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Girl unlikely to need rabies shots for bite

A 10-year-old St. Petersburg girl probably won't have to undergo rabies shots because the dog that bit her has been found. Officials on Friday identified the dog as a 3-year-old 140-pound Rottweiler named Zabu after its owner called county animal control officials and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Department.

According to sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Greg Tita, the dog's owner, Edward Gonzalez, of 8663 94th St. N, said his son, Edwardo, 18, was walking the dog last Saturday when it bit Jill Manes.

Jill was walking with a friend about 3 p.m. near 86th Avenue and Parkwood Boulevard in Seminole. As a man and his leashed dog passed the girls, the dog bit Jill.

The bite was about 4 inches in diameter and an inch deep, police said. Jill needed 70 stitches in her left arm to close the wound.

Edwardo Gonzalez, a University of Tampa student, took Jill's home telephone number and said he would call, according to Tita.

Apparently, he didn't know the girl was hurt badly, Tita said.

Edwardo Gonzalez said he tried to contact Jill once, Tita said.

Edward Gonzalez questioned his son after he heard stories about the dog search on television and in newspapers. The young man confirmed that Zabu was the dog police were looking for, Tita said.

Sheriff's deputies and county animal control officers were looking for the dog because Jill would have needed a series of rabies shots if the dog were not found.

No charges are to be filed in the case, Tita said. Although the owner said the dog is immunized, Zabu will be quarantined at animal control for 10 days to ensure that it has no signs of illness, Tita said.

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