Dog bite takes a chunk of faith away from Capri family

Avery Beauchamp, 11, and mom Florence Krauss, of Isles of Capri, shoot pool together at Mackle Park. In the days following the dog bit, the two talked to park-goers and personnel hoping to find clues as to the health of the dog that bit Avery on Sept. 26.

Photo by KELLY FARRELL

Avery Beauchamp, 11, and mom Florence Krauss, of Isles of Capri, shoot pool together at Mackle Park. In the days following the dog bit, the two talked to park-goers and personnel hoping to find clues as to the health of the dog that bit Avery on Sept. 26.

Avery Beauchamp, 11, of Isles of Capri, shows the wound as it continues to heal about five days after a dog bit him during a cross country meet held between several schools at Mackle Park Saturday, Sept. 26.

Photo by KELLY FARRELL, Staff

Avery Beauchamp, 11, of Isles of Capri, shows the wound as it continues to heal about five days after a dog bit him during a cross country meet held between several schools at Mackle Park Saturday, Sept. 26.

Waiting and hoping, Avery Beauchamp, 11, sits in Mackle Park at about 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, just off the path where about five days earlier he had been running in a track meet and was bitten by a dog. Avery says he wants to avoid a series of four or five rabies shots by finding the dog owners to see if the dog had a vaccination. He needs to know by Tuesday, Oct. 6, said his mom, Florence Krauss of Isles of Capri.

Photo by KELLY FARRELL, Staff

Waiting and hoping, Avery Beauchamp, 11, sits in Mackle Park at about 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, just off the path where about five days earlier he had been running in a track meet and was bitten by a dog. Avery says he wants to avoid a series of four or five rabies shots by finding the dog owners to see if the dog had a vaccination. He needs to know by Tuesday, Oct. 6, said his mom, Florence Krauss of Isles of Capri.

— 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.

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Comments » 11

FECOYLE writes:

When it was first proposed to allow dogs into Mackle Park I wrote a number of E Mails to Councilmen against it predicting just this type of occurence. There are responsible dog owners & there are many irresponsible dog owners. Unfortunatly they cant be separated. Dogs do not belong in Mackle Park leashed or unleashed. I hope the parents of this child hold Marco Council responsible. It is a darn shame this kid had to suffer through the rabies shots

freedame writes:

It is a shame that Avery has to go through the shots, but before everyone gets on their soapbox, there may be a number of reasons why the "dog owners" haven't come forward. One reason could be that they were here on vacation and unaware of the furor the incident has caused. I will admit that they were not diligent in ensuring that Avery was ok. Another reason is that the couple may have gone away and are not aware of the situation.

As for FECOYLE and others who have similar views, it is a community park which includes community members with dogs. Dogs are not allowed in the athletic fields thereby providing a safe place for children and adults to enjoy their sports. Last time I checked, this country still practiced democracy which resulted in allowing dogs in the park.

ilikemarco writes:

in response to FECOYLE:

When it was first proposed to allow dogs into Mackle Park I wrote a number of E Mails to Councilmen against it predicting just this type of occurence. There are responsible dog owners & there are many irresponsible dog owners. Unfortunatly they cant be separated. Dogs do not belong in Mackle Park leashed or unleashed. I hope the parents of this child hold Marco Council responsible. It is a darn shame this kid had to suffer through the rabies shots

I think there are a lot of Marco residents that agree with you. The dog park is a bad idea that is only going to get worse.

Smeg writes:

If children were not allowed in our Byron dog park the animals would not be prone to bite them. Warning signs should be posted.

freedomofspeech1 writes:

OK before this great dog park was created all the dog owners wanted to walk their dogs in the park on a leash....and the dog loving council gave them thier wish. Now with the dog park a reality the time has come to return the parks to whom they belong....THE PEOPLE!! Council needs to ban all dogs at all of our parks! This will only continue and more people, not just kids, will be bitten. At a minimum there should be no dogs allowed when an event is occuring at our parks. It just makes sense to have no animals when a cross country meet is going on!

u2cane writes:

Wow, some people on this island are just s-----. I say that we hold a day where all dog owners unite and flood the park with dogs in a show of support for rights of dog owners. I think that the planners of this event didn't do a good enough job to clear the park for their event. People need to start using common sense before we start banning things from the park. Instead of dogs, lets ban the FECOYLE's of the world from the park.

FECOYLE writes:

in response to u2cane:

Wow, some people on this island are just s-----. I say that we hold a day where all dog owners unite and flood the park with dogs in a show of support for rights of dog owners. I think that the planners of this event didn't do a good enough job to clear the park for their event. People need to start using common sense before we start banning things from the park. Instead of dogs, lets ban the FECOYLE's of the world from the park.

This is typical of an irresponsible dog owners attitude. Dogs are animals & not human no matter how much you want them to be. Why should this poor young child have to suffer thru these rabie shots due to some one elses carelessness. Mackle Park was made for people not dogs. That is why they were initially prohibited

freedomofspeech1 writes:

BAN ALL DOGS AT MACKLE PARK AND WINTERBERRY PARK.
THE PARKS ARE FOR HUMANS...NOT ANIMALS. I KNOW THE DOG LOVERS THINK THEIR DOGS ARE HUMAN, BUT THEY ARE NOT. YOU CANNOT MAKE ANY SENSE WITH A DOG...HAS ANYONE EVER SPOKEN TO A DOG IN ENGLISH? NO! HAS ANYONE EVER REASONED WITH A DOG? NO! A DOG LIKE ANY ANIMAL IS UNPREDICTABLE AND THEREFORE DOES NOT BELONG WHERE PEOPLE CONGREGATE! NO MORE DOGS!

jimbo46marco writes:

Many towns have a fenced area where the dogs can be dogs and run...fenced the operative word.

Smeg writes:

Hope the coming foreclosure doesn't interrupt the Dog Park dedication.

According to Court records Byron has had a recent Lis Pendens filed.

You are not anonymous on any NDN blog.

suntan writes:

Dog Owners story.... Reason it bit the young boy was he ran into the poor dog. At the time this animal was enjoying the park when his space was invaded by the running boy.

This is the fiction that the poor dog owners will claim.

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