The Keokuk Police Department is investigating a reported dog attack that occurred on August 12. But the agency is not releasing any information due to the "active" nature of the investigation.
Vince Sanders of Ankeny, Ia. spoke to Tri States Public Radio on behalf of his mother, Loretta Sanders of Keokuk, who he said was injured in the attack. It occured near the intersection of 15th & Fulton Streets.
Sanders said he learned of the attack at about 4:00 p.m. from a relative.
Sanders describes his mother as an avid walker who was out on a walk the morning of August 12. She told him she did not see the dog coming, only knowing that it hit her with enough force that she was knocked to the ground, injuring her back, head, and arm. He said she was laying on the ground for an undetermined amount of time after the attack.
“The next thing she remembers is hearing a woman’s voice saying something along the lines of, ‘They got past me, out the door, before I could get them on the chain,’” said Sanders.
Sanders said the woman whose voice his mother heard left without helping her, and he said his mother was not able to identify the woman given her condition at the time. He said no one else noticed his mother laying on the ground either, so it was not until she regained her strength that she got up and walked to her home, which is about ten blocks away.
Sanders said when family members in Keokuk learned of her injuries, they took her to the hospital to get checked out. He said she received stitches on her arm from a large gash and was in pain from her injuries.
Sanders traveled to Keokuk from Ankeny after learning of the attack. He said the most frustrating thing happened after his mother went to the hospital: she learned that she might have to take a series of shots in case the dog was rabid.
“My one goal at first was to find the animal so we can determine if mom has to get these shots,” said Sanders. “I didn’t want her to have these shots. That was my sole goal in life at that point.”
But because Loretta Sanders could not identify the dog or the possible owner who she heard speaking after the attack, she was forced to receive the treatment.
Sanders offered a cash reward on social media for help in identifying the dog prior to his mother receiving the shots in the hopes of learning whether the dog had been vaccinated for rabies. But he said that yielded nothing, as has the police investigation.
“[The rabies shots] certainly could have been avoided,” said Sanders. “Just get it done, just get it done.”
Family members have visited the area where his mother was attacked to talk to neighbors to find out what happened. Sanders said they have an idea of what happened, but only that -- an idea.
Sanders said he’s frustrated that it’s been almost a week and he knows nothing more about the attack other than what his mother has told him. He said all he wants to do is to protect other residents of Keokuk from a potentially vicious dog.
Keokuk Police Chief Dave Hinton told Tri States Public Radio that his department started investigating the attack soon after learning about it on August 12. He said because it is an active investigation, he cannot comment on its status and he cannot release documents related to the investigation.