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Woman Worried About COVID-19 Exposure, As She Has To Go For Rabies Shots After She And Her Dog Are Attacked By Pit Bull

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A brutal dog attack in Lincoln Park sent a woman to the emergency room and her dog into emergency surgery.

Now she tells CBS 2's Tara Molina she is concerned for her health after possible exposure to COVID-19.

The woman, named Jennifer, has walked the same route through the neighborhood hundreds of times. But they are steps Jennifer takes with caution now, with her guard still up just walking next to Molina.

"It was definitely traumatic," she said. "I'm afraid to go outside."

That is after Jennifer and her dog, Sophie, were attacked by what she says appeared to be a pit bull-mix.

It went right through a gate on their afternoon walk days ago. Still shaken up, Jennifer appeared on camera from the back as she talked with Molina talked with at Lincoln and Armitage avenues and Sedgwick Street.

"I make the split-second decision to pick up my dog to try to protect her," Jennifer said. "Unfortunately, this didn't deter the dog, as it still kept running towards us and attacked both of us."

She jumped in a cab and rushed to the vet where Sophie needed emergency surgery. The injuries to Sophie's neck and ear are too graphic to show on television.

Jennifer herself had to go to the emergency room for bites on her hand, nerve damage, and a hit to her knee.

"With COVID and stuff occurring, I feel really anxious exposing myself to that," she said.

Jennifer said she has to go back five more times to complete rabies shots – something that is concerning right now, to say the least.

"I feel bad that I'm having to detract from care for really sick patients experiencing COVID, but also, I have to put myself at risk," she said.

Jennifer reported the attack to Chicago Police and Animal Care and Control, which are still investigating this incident.

Chicago Animal Care and Control released the following statement:

"Chicago Animal Care and Control takes reports of animal bites seriously as they impact public safety. When a bite occurs, the victim or the victim's owner should report the bite incident to the Chicago Police Department by calling 3-1-1. The police department will generate a bite report and Chicago Animal Care and Control will start to investigate the incident. If the animal is loose on the public way and constitutes a safety issue, CACC will go out to impound the animal and may issue citations to the owner of the biter animal. If the animal is contained with the owner, the animal may stay with the owner during the investigation. An Animal Control Officer will contact both the owner and the victim to gather information about the incident and will ask the owner of the biter animal to provide proof of license and that he is current on his rabies vaccine.

"The biter animal is also required to complete a 10-day rabies quarantine immediately following the incident per Cook County Ordinance. If the biter animal is current on his rabies vaccine, the owner may take the animal to their veterinarian for an exam on the first and last day of the ten-day quarantine period. If the biter animal is not current on his rabies vaccine, the animal must be quarantined for the full ten days under a veterinarian's observation. CACC will send the bite report investigation to Cook County Animal and Rabies Control who will follow up with the owner to ensure the 10-day quarantine was completed. If the quarantine was not completed, Cook County will issue a fine to the owner."

Jennifer told us she has heard dog attacks are happening more often during the stay-at-home order, with more people out with their dogs. Molina asked Chicago Animal Care and Control about that, and when they send us their numbers, we'll update this story right here.

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