RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Dogs are not welcome in eating establishments or where food is stored. But, a south Richmond restaurant and market had three. One of the animals bit a little girl. Her father called 12.
Her father is frustrated because he can't change anything. Andrew Tracy believes Richmond health inspectors let this business off the hook, in terms of following up, or issuing a warning that no animals are allowed near food.
The 8-year-old's leg has healed, but Danielle remembers the dog bite on October 23. Pictures on her dad's camera phone show puncture wounds and lacerations.
"He was on the side where I was walking and he just bit me," she said.
Her dad, Andrew Tracy, said it "Left a good size bruise in the muscle as well as on the bone. The kids were just hysterical after that."
Danielle, two sisters and mom and dad say they walked in the same time 3 dogs ran out of the 'Korean Garden & Young Bin Market', on Midlothian Turnpike.
"I really think that's unsanitary. I talked to the city and they said the most they can do is say, don't do that again," Andrew said.
I called the Richmond Health Department and learned the inspector went through the kitchen and only inspected the restaurant, not the market. Stores are not his jurisdiction they say.
DIANE: "How many dogs are here? One dog? 2 dogs?"
OWNERS (Through translator): "Yea. No, we don't have a dog. No dog here."
DIANE: "But they were here?"
So, we visited the restaurant-market twice, using a hidden camera and never saw dogs. The third visit was revealing. An employee translated for the Korean store owners, Sung Suh and her husband.
DIANE: "Do you know it's illegal to have dogs in a restaurant?"
OWNERS (Through translator): "This is not a restaurant. It's a store. We never had a dog in restaurant at all."
DIANE: "But, look, just around here, thru this door right there, is the restaurant. That's just a couple feet? What's to stop the dog from leaving the store and go into the restaurant where people are eating?"
They were dog sitting their son's two Lhasa Apsos. They say it was a one day emergency and the animals were outdoors.
OWNERS (Through translator): "It was outside when dog have to pee."
DIANE: "He's saying no. It happened inside here and that the dog came from behind the counter."
OWNERS (Through translator): "Then he's lying about that because they were outside."
I tip toed to see behind the counter and found a dog's food bowl and bed, three weeks after Danielle was bitten.
OWNERS (Through translator): "He gone…"
DIANE: "So, why do you have...Why is the bed still here and the bowl? Why do you keep the bed and the bowl?"
OWNERS (Through translator): "It's just been there. He just forgot to take it. We don't have a dog. We don't have no dog after that incident."
Bureaucracy is frustrating. The store is another department's jurisdiction so; the restaurant inspector did not walk over and investigate the market. But after my call Wednesday Richmond alerted the Department of Agriculture. Dogs are not allowed in restaurants, or grocery stores. I'll follow up, on what inspectors did at the market.
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