Monday, December 18, 2017
Politics

Rose Rocco, state House candidate from Spring Hill, injured in dog attack

SPRING HILL — State House candidate Rose Rocco had one stop left Monday after a busy day distributing campaign signs and literature.

It's one she will likely never forget.

About 7 p.m., Rocco and her husband, Peter, walked up to a house in the 3300 block of Montano Avenue in Spring Hill to check on some campaign signs they had ordered.

A 73-year-old woman answered the door. Standing outside, Rocco started to leave a message with the woman for her son. The woman's grandson came to the door and pushed it open a bit more, Rocco said.

That's when Mister attacked.

The 8-year-old blond Lab mix jumped through the door frame and lunged at Rocco, latching on to her left forearm, just above her wrist, according to a Hernando County sheriff's report.

"It was so fast," said Rocco, 71, who is running as the Democratic challenger to state Rep. Rob Schenck in House District 35. "We didn't hear a dog in the house. It was too fast to react to anything.

"The dog just grabbed on to my arm, and I just screamed."

She was able to beat the dog back, and within seconds he had released his grip.

The wound was deep, and her arm was bleeding profusely.

Rocco, her husband and a campaign volunteer drove roughly 4 miles to the emergency room at Spring Hill Regional Hospital.

Rocco said she needed about 15 stitches. Due to the severity of the bite, doctors said they would not be able to close the wound completely, according to the Sheriff's Office.

"He ripped my whole arm open," Rocco said. "It's a bad bite."

She said Friday that her hand remained swollen and extremely painful.

She hoped it wouldn't put a kink in her campaign.

"It couldn't be at a worse time," she said, referring to the short time before the Nov. 6 election.

She had to go back to the hospital on Thursday to get the wound cleaned, to have cultures taken and for blood work. With the wound showing signs of infection, Rocco was given antibiotics intravenously.

She had another follow-up Friday afternoon.

The dog's owner, Glenn Wilcoxson, 47, who was not home at the time of the attack, was not able to show proof of current rabies vaccinations, according to an animal enforcement incident report.

Mister was handed over to county Animal Services, and Wilcoxson asked that the dog be euthanized after the requisite quarantine period.

A bite report was taken and sent to the Hernando County Health Department.

Wilcoxson could not be reached by the Times on Friday.

Rocco said she was glad that Mister went back into the house after he bit her and did not get loose.

"For me, it was one thing," she said. "This dog could have come out of the house and gone after a child."

She said she hopes people will read about the incident and understand the importance of making sure pets are up to date on their shots.

Danny Valentine can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1432.

Comments
National security strategy plan paints China, Russia as U.S. competitors

National security strategy plan paints China, Russia as U.S. competitors

WASHINGTON — A new U.S. national security strategy plan presents China and Russia as competitors that want to realign global power in their interests, potentially threatening the United States, Trump administration officials said Sunday.President Don...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Trump says he isn’t considering firing Mueller

Trump says he isn’t considering firing Mueller

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Sunday that he is not considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller even as his administration was again forced to grapple with the growing Russia inquiry that has shadowed the White House for much of his ...
Published: 12/17/17
Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set ‘to rock’

Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set ‘to rock’

WASHINGTON — Closing in on the first major legislative achievement of his term, President Donald Trump on Saturday defended the Republican tax cut as a good deal for the middle class while boldly suggesting it could lead to explosive economic growth....
Published: 12/16/17
Romano: Some bullies survive beyond the schoolyard

Romano: Some bullies survive beyond the schoolyard

Sometime soon, members of the Florida House will be asked to consider a solution for bullying in public schools. It’s a dubious idea based on the premise that students should flee their tormenters, and use voucher funds to attend a private school of ...
Published: 12/16/17
CDC gets list of forbidden words: ‘fetus,’ ‘transgender,’ ‘evidence-based’

CDC gets list of forbidden words: ‘fetus,’ ‘transgender,’ ‘evidence-based’

Trump administration officials are forbidding officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases - including "fetus" and "transgender" - in any official documents being prepared for next year’s budget.Polic...
Published: 12/16/17
Female congressional candidate leaves race after sexual harassment allegations resurface

Female congressional candidate leaves race after sexual harassment allegations resurface

A Democratic candidate hoping to flip a hotly contested congressional seat in Kansas has dropped out of the race after allegations that she sexually harassed a male subordinate resurfaced amid her campaign.Andrea Ramsey, 57, who was running to unseat...
Published: 12/16/17
Highlights of GOP compromise bill to overhaul tax code

Highlights of GOP compromise bill to overhaul tax code

WASHINGTON — Republicans in Congress have blended separate tax bills passed by the House and Senate into compromise legislation that seeks to achieve a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s tax code. GOP leaders are looking toward passage of the final pa...
Published: 12/15/17
Updated: 12/16/17
With Rubio, Corker back on board, GOP speeds ahead with tax plan

With Rubio, Corker back on board, GOP speeds ahead with tax plan

WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers on Friday secured enough votes to pass the most sweeping tax overhaul in decades, putting them on the cusp of their first significant legislative victory this year as party leaders geared up to pass a $1.5 trillion t...
Published: 12/15/17
Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

TAMPA — Nearly 600,000 more people will live in Hillsborough County by 2040, and if elected officials and county planners don’t take bold steps now, the population boom will turn the county into the soulless sprawl of Anywhere, U.S.A.That’s the messa...
Published: 12/15/17
Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

WASHINGTON — America’s top diplomat stepped back Friday from his offer of unconditional talks with North Korea, telling world powers that the nuclear-armed nation must earn the right to negotiate with the United States. Secretary of State Rex Tillers...
Published: 12/15/17