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Dog that bit Petaluma firefighter to be killed

The dog that bit a Petaluma firefighter last week is scheduled to be killed Thursday at the Petaluma Animal Shelter.

The five-year-old pit bull mix was surrendered by its owner to serve a 10-day rabies quarantine at the shelter and will be put to death the day it ends, said Jeff Charter, executive director of the shelter.

“It's unfortunate. It's a necessary outcome,” he said. “Nobody likes it (but) sometimes that's the right decision.”

The dog named Indi is “totally healthy” with no sign of illness, Charter said, noting that the quarantine period is needed to determine if the animal is rabid.

In some dog-bite cases officials may consider alternatives, but that was precluded by Indi's previous documented attack on another dog, Charter said.

The dog bit Petaluma fire Capt. Martin McCarville's left leg and left hand on Sept. 16 while he was treating an English Street resident for a medical problem at his home.

McCarville said the pit bull charged into the house, without barking or any warning, and lunged at him twice. He was treated for puncture wounds to his leg and hand at a medical clinic and returned to work.

Daniel Dellucci of Rohnert Park, the dog owner and son of the man aided by McCarville, lamented the prospect of losing his pet.

“She's a great dog,” he said, calling the episode “a freak accident.”

“She was doing what she thought was her job — protecting her owner,” he said.

Dellucci said he plans to talk to Charter today to see if his dog can be spared.

He's had Indi since she was a puppy and said she's always gotten along with his other dog, a border collie, and his 16-month-old daughter. Indi has fought with other dogs, he acknowledged.

Dellucci disputed the seriousness of the incident, saying that McCarville reached toward the dog and it “nipped” his finger, without drawing blood.

You can reach Staff Writer Guy Kovner at 521-5457 or guy.kovner@pressdemocrat.com.

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