The family of a little boy who was bitten by a pit bull over the weekend is asking for help finding the owners in the hopes that they can avoid a full series of rabies shots.
Riley Gallagher was cheering on his mother and her friends at the YWCA triathlon at Lake Nokomis on Sunday, but just moments after a photo caught him and his father running across the finish line with his mother, teeth clamped down on his left leg.
"I felt something grab me," Riley Gallagher recalled.
Shortly after Riley Gallagher was bitten, his father rushed him to the medical tent.
"I was just in shock when I heard a kid screaming and I looked down," Shawn Gallagher told FOX 9 News. "I couldn't believe it was my kid that was screaming."
When Shawn Gallagher returned to look for the dog and its owner, they were gone. Now, the Gallaghers hope a picture will help find them.
The attack left the 7-year-old, who also has Asperger's syndrome, with several puncture wounds and bruising. Since the Gallaghers do not know the dog or whether it has been vaccinated, Riley has since undergone a series of four rabies shots.
"Without any proof, we've got to assume the dog does have rabies. We can't take any chances," Shawn Gallagher said. "If we know the dog has been vaccinated, we can stop these."
For any child, a trip to the doctor can be a traumatic experience, especially when shots are involved.
"I don't like the part where I have to get more shots," Riley Gallagher admitted to FOX 9 News.
Yet, he has more reasons than most to dread those trips to the clinic. He'll require five more shots in the next month unless the dog's owner comes forward and provides documentation that the pit bull has had its rabies shots.
The Gallaghers told FOX 9 News they don't want anything to happen to the dog or its owner. They just want to know if they can stop putting Riley through any more pain because he has already suffered a reaction to the first round of shots that included a fever and upset stomach.
Anyone with information on the dog or its owner is urged to give Minneapolis Animal Control a call at 612-673-6222.