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Format: 04/19/2014
Format: 04/19/2014

News

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Family searches for cat that attacked Arnold 7-year-old

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

By Brian C. Rittmeyer

Valley News Dispatch

Henry DelGrosso is combing his neighborhood for a cat that attacked his son Sunday in the hope that the boy won't need to get precautionary rabies shots.

The cat, DelGrosso says, scratched the face of his 7-year-old son, Dominic, Sunday evening near their home on Alcoa Drive.

Unless DelGrosso finds the animal, his son will have to receive a series of rabies shots as a precaution.

Arnold police said they also are trying to find the cat.

Dominic's parents took him to Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, where he needed five stitches in his lip, four stitches in an ear, and a staple in his head. Jolene DelGrosso said her son suffered scratches all over his body.

She and her husband don't know if Dominic was bitten, but he will be getting the rabies shots just in case.

The only description Dominic could give his parents is that it's a medium-sized black cat, possibly with some white near its neck, either from white coloring or possibly a collar.

"Neighborhood kids have seen the cat," Henry DelGrosso said. "I'm not going to ask them to go try to catch that cat after what it did to Dominic."

Jolene DelGrosso said Dominic was playing on a trampoline with two cousins in their yard Sunday night around 8 when he walked over to the neighbor's back yard.

"Within not even a minute he came to me screaming and crying. He was bleeding from everywhere," she said.

Dominic told his mother he saw the cat on the neighbor's picnic table. He bent down to look at the cat and picked it up when it attacked.

They don't know who owns the cat, if anyone.

"He said it was just a stray that they've been seeing outside," she said.

Dangerous bites

Cat bites can be dangerous — worse than from dogs — because they can go deep into the flesh, said Dr. Mark Scheatzle, an emergency room physician at the Alle-Kiski Medical Center, Harrison.

Scheatzle said his emergency room usually sees a couple of cases of cat bites each day, but mostly from pets that were provoked rather than strays.

"Cat bites are pretty significant bites. They have long kind of thin teeth that lead to deep puncture wounds," he said. "A dog bite is more of an abrasion or scratch that doesn't penetrate as deep. Cat bites go very deep. Cat bites usually end up getting infected."

To read more, visit the Valley News Dispatch web site.

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