MARCO ISLAND — After a 10-day wait to learn about the status of his furry attacker, the young victim of a dog bite, Avery Beauchamp, 11, of Isles of Capri, is recovering while undergoing treatment for rabies.
“He's fine,” said his mother Florence Krauss. She said Avery was nervous about the shots, but luckily he did not have any adverse reaction to the rabies treatment.
The dog and owners were never identified, making the rabies treatment a necessary precaution recommended by the Collier County Health Department and Avery's medical providers.
“It's left me with a very bad taste in my mouth,” Krauss said.
"I've learned a lesson." She said she experienced a loss of faith learning now that people will not stand up and help when she and her family need it.
Krauss said she is always quick to help her neighbors and friends, but when it came to her time of need, she was disappointed that no one came forward to help identify the owners of the dog that had bitten Avery on Sept. 26 while he was running in a Marco Island Charter Middle School cross country meet at Mackle Park.
Krauss, along with Marco and Collier County authorities, made statements to the press and public in hopes of reassuring the owners of the dog that if they came forward with information about the dog's health-- particularly whether it had rabies or rabies vaccinations-- then there would be few if any consequences.
Marco Island City Council Chairman Rob Popoff had supplied an anonymous phone number to supply information to during a televised Council meeting on Monday, Oct. 5. If information wasn't gathered about the dog by early the next afternoon, Avery would begin a long, relatively painful process of rabies inoculations, beginning with a day in the emergency room.
No one had come forward in time so the process began that Tuesday.
Krauss said she appreciated the people who did try to help, but she was a bit frustrated that officials weren't more forthcoming with her in their investigation.
The dog owners weren't forthcoming either, making an investigation to find the dog all the more difficult.
Collier County Domestic Animal Services Animal Control Supervisor Dana Alger had put out a statement hoping someone would come forward in those final hours of Avery's prayers to avoid shots.
“There would be no fine issued as the dog was being walked on a leash,” Alger had said.
She added that if the dog had been found alive and well, the case would have been closed.
“I think it was all about the money,” Beauchamp said, adding that she could only be left to wonder the worst about people who didn't do the responsible thing.
She said that because Avery's bite had become infected within about three days of the bite, health care professionals were particularly concerned and strongly suggested rabies treatment in the absence of the dog that caused the bite.
When Avery was bitten, several people said they believed they saw the dog, which appeared from a distance to be a large German Shepherd, but a detailed description of the dog, and the couple who were walking the dog on a leash when it lunged and bit Avery on his left side near his pelvis, did not surface.
The most recent description is that the man and woman, who likely had shoulder length hair, were possibly in their 40's or 50's. The dog had brown and black fur with a large, long nose.
After Avery was bitten, he said it all happened very quickly. He said it was out of habit that he had told the couple he was O.K. immediately following the bite.
After finishing his lap of the two-mile race, Avery noticed the bite had punctured his skin under his running shorts. By then, the dog and couple were no where to be found.
Collier County Spokeswoman Camden Smith said even if the dog and owners' location was known, the consequences they could face from DAS or other authorities remain to be few if any.