Breed Specific Legislation in Action:
Death Row Dog’s Family Fight for his Life
This incredibly sad and bad situation is typical of the terrible effects of BSL, not unlike that of a Mastiff X puppy being walked in a New York park and accused by an ignorant animal control officer of being a Pit Bull. For 12 years his family fought through the courts for the return of their pet, and even once he got cancer they still wouldn’t admit they were wrong and let him go home. They made him die in jail. That was over ten years ago. And look here – they’re still at it.
Duke is a Pit Bull Terrier who has been on Death Row for four years, since he was just two years old! He was accused of mauling the neighbours Bulldog. He was also accused of attacking a horse in a field. He could not have been involved in either incident his owners claim (with 4 witnesses who have stated he had not left the house – never mind the property at the time of the incident with the neighbour’s dog – and couldn’t be identified by the witness to the attack on the horse).
Although the New York State Court of Appeals adhered to it’s 2004 ruling that declared the state’s capital punishment law for humans unconstitutional, that is small consolation for Duke’s family, Denise Menedez and her two kids Paulina (10) and Trace (9) of Long Island.
Ms Menedez, in tears, repeated “He is a good dog, he is a good dog”.
Matt Caracciolo, the retired supervisor of the Islip Animal Shelter, agreed.
“Duke spent over three-and-a-half years in my shelter. I’ve never seen a dog so well-behaved. There were no incidents, ever.”
Even if Duke did attack the other dog, it was illegal to sentence him to death, according to state law at the time. A 2003 law defining “dangerous animals” that would be eligible for euthanasia only allows for attacks on service animals and was not expanded to include pets until January 2004, two weeks after the alleged attack took place.
The court is expected to hand down its decision in about six weeks. Duke’s appeal could be denied, he could get a retrial or a total suspension of sentence.
Brooklyn Strikes Again:
Last May, Peter Georgoutsos’ mastiff escaped from his car in Queens and was picked up by police. When Peter went to collect his dog from the Animal Care and Control Center in Brooklyn, he was ordered to neuter his dog in accordance with city law despite the fact that he did not live in the city and did not want his pet neutered. Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly gave city officials a thorough bagging on his show the O’Reilly Factor. In June, Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Arthur Schack ordered that the man’s dog be returned to him as is. Good decision Arthur.