Bite victim returns to school

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A 10-year-old Indian Hills boy returned Monday to Jacks Valley Elementary School, one week after receiving 80 stitches as the result of a dog bite.

On March 4, Joshua Thielen was playing with his brother and another boy in an Indian Street yard about 5 p.m. when he was bitten on the neck by a shepherd-mix dog, said his father Dan Thielen.

The dog has been quarantined since the incident at the Douglas County Animal Shelter and will be released Thursday to its owner, said shelter worker Rhonda Moore.

The quarantine is standard procedure for any dog bite, Moore said. Its purpose is to determine whether the dog has rabies.

The dog is not sick, she said.

Dan Thielen said his son was helped following the attack by his 12-year-old brother, Patrick, who ripped off his brother's shirt and stuck it on his bleeding neck.

A third boy, Steven Virgen, pulled the dog away from Josh, said Thielen.

"They're both pretty on-their-feet thinkers," he said.

The incident happened one-half block from the family's Indian Hills home. It was reported about 5:10 p.m.

"They were playing in the yard," Thielen said. "I'm not sure how he ended up with the bite."

No citations were issued to the dog's owner, said Douglas County Sheriff's Sgt. Lance Modispacher. The boys' stories about events immediately before the bite are conflicting, he said.

Thielen thanked paramedics who helped his son and the doctor at Carson-Tahoe Hospital who operated on Josh.

"They were phenomenal," he said.


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