Dog that attacked Sikeston woman tests negative for rabies

Authorities euthanize pit bull that attacked Sikeston woman

SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - The Scott County Sheriff's Office and health department confirms that a dog that seriously injured a Sikeston woman on Sunday was put down Wednesday, at the request of its owner.

We confirmed on Friday, June 19 that the dog tested negative for rabies.

Police say the woman was attacked by a pit bull as she rode her bike around her neighborhood on Sunday, June 14.

Natalie Ledbetter's screams were heard by her husband and mother in their nearby home and she was rushed to the hospital.

Chad Ledbetter said his wife Natalie was bit a few times in her lower and upper leg with a large section of the side of her calf being bitten off. He said that doctors at the hospital compared her injury to that of a shark bite.

"On her right leg, the dog bit her there and she was still peddling and took a big chunk out of her leg," Chad Ledbetter said. " She fell on the ground and injured her clavicle. While she was down on the ground, the dog continued to bite her."

He told us on Tuesday that police decided to give the dog back to an area resident, who said the dog wasn't theirs, but would take care of it. Ledbetter said he doesn't understand taking care of a dog and not being held responsible for the dog's actions. He is calling for a change in the laws.

"I'd like to see the laws changed for the actual county because I know there is a lot of strays that are always dropped off. Some of them are vicious and some of them are not," Ledbetter said. "If somebody takes ownership of that dog, it is their possession and they're responsible for shots. If they don't want the dog, then they need to take the dog to the humane society and give the dog away in the proper way."

On Tuesday, Ledbetter told us authorities left the dog with the resident so that they can continue the investigation and find out if the dog had rabies. He said he believed the dog should have been in the possession of Scott County instead.

"I like to see Scott County take possession of that dog and that dog be in their possession the remainder of the ten days," Ledbetter said. "I would like them to verify that the dog doesn't have rabies, so that I can make sure that my wife gets the proper treatment in that seven day period."

Until the rabies results came back, Natalie Ledbetter has chosen not to get a rabies shot because it may cause problems to other functions of her body.

Scott County police say the dog's body was sent out to be tested for rabies on Thursday.

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