Vanessa Carlton bitten by pit bull

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Pop songstress Vanessa Carlton set out on her daily run along the streets of Shohola, a rural area about 20 miles outside of Milford.

Her father, Ed, has a home in the Walker Lake community. The neighborhood doesn't have sidewalks, so Carlton runs in the roadway.

About two blocks from her dad's house, Carlton passes a home with three dogs in the yard: A Pomeranian, a Jack Russell Terrier and a 9-month-old pit bull named Bella. The yard is surrounded by an invisible fence.

Bella bolts the yard and bites Carlton on the calf. The singer is bleeding from five puncture wounds, and retreats home.

Two days later after the May 2 attack, Vanessa and Ed Carlton go back to Bella's home and confront its owners, Ben and Jo Anne Teichberg.

"They are branding Bella as a dangerous animal and want her put to death," Ben Teichberg said. "They said because Bella is a pit bull, it is known to be bad."

The victim, Vanessa Carlton, is a 26-year-old singer-songwriter-pianist who spent three years touring with Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks. Carlton's been nominated for three Grammy awards and just released her third album, called "Heros and Thieves."

James Rickert, the dog warden for Wayne and Pike counties, put Bella under a 10-day home quarantine. The dog must be either confined or on a leash during that period.

The quarantine is a precaution against rabies, according to Ellen Howarth, region supervisor for dog law enforcement at the state Department of Agriculture. The Teichbergs must monitor Bella for changes in her health, behavior or attitude. At the end of the 10 days, Rickert will return for a health check. If Bella shows any signs of illness, she'll be sent to the family's vet for an exam.

During the quarantine, Rickert will also check Bella's license and rabies vaccination status. Only under rare circumstances — such as if a dog was found to be dangerous by a court and there was a subsequent attack — will a dog warden ever seize a dog. Even under those circumstances, euthanizing an animal is unusual.

Because there were no witnesses to the incident, it would be up Carlton to file a written statement and no such statement has been filed, Howarth said.

Meanwhile, Carlton continues to recover. She's been seen by a doctor, who is monitoring her for infection. She's also taking antibiotics, according to her father.

Carlton will be notified of the medical results regarding Bella's condition at the end of her 10-day confinement.

And after that, she might have to find another running route.


They shouldn't euthanize the thing, they should either teach its owners proper care or give it to someone who knows what they're doing.