UPDATE 10/16/08: There has been a disturbing update to this story. The county judge has released the animal back to its owner and dropped the "dangerous dog" label, citing there was not enough evidence to substantiate it. Please see full story.
10/04/08: Town Members Pay for Vicious Dog
North Greenbush, NY - A nearly year-long legal battle over the future of a dangerous dog has cost the town nearly $8,000 in boarding fees. Town officials declared Max, a rottweiler, "dangerous" and ordered it destroyed after it mauled its owner's niece in December 2007. But the dog's owner, Steven Agar, and his lawyer, Mark Portin, are fighting to keep the dog alive.
"On Dec. 7, 2007, Jacquelyn Boudreau, 11, of Sand Lake was visiting the North Greenbush home of Agar, her uncle. While walking outside, the Rottweiler, attacked her, ripping off a large section of the front of her scalp and part of an ear. The girl required 2,700 internal stitches and 300 external stitches to close her head wounds and almost lost her ear, her mother, Laura Boudreau, has said. Scarred-over injuries to her neck as well as defensive wounds on both arms remain visible."
The fate of the dog now lies in the hands of County Judge Robert Jacon after Portin filed an appeal and attorney Henry Bauer, representing the town, filed a response about two weeks ago. A decision is expected in several weeks. By law the town is required to board the animal because it brought the charges. The law also bars the town from suing the owner to recoup the boarding costs when the case is settled.
Town Clerk Katie Connolly said, ''A couple of weeks ago they called and said we had better pay the bill or the town was going to have to adopt the dog.'' The humane society charges about $58 a day to board a pet, so the rate the bill should be closer to $17,000. ''I think they are cutting us a break. But still, the taxpayers are getting hit hard here and they should not be. They didn't do anything wrong.''
TimesUnion Blogger Amazed at Insane Policy
Teri Conroy, an animal lover and blogger at the TimesUnion, asks pointed questions about the ridiculous policy. We've clipped a few quotes for you.
"HEL-LO, is this for real? Shoot the dog, for pete’s sake, before the boarding fees add up to $20,000. Who the heck makes these laws? 2,700 internal stitches and 300 external stitches on an 11 year old girl? $8,000 - if I’m not mistaken, will be the responsibility of the town’s taxpayers? HEL-LO??? Anyone there? For $8,000 that dog could be boarding with Cesar Milan..."
"...Does that make me wicked? Helping an obviously unhappy animal get to Heaven? I’m sure there are details that I don’t know, but for me the facts that I read in the article speak loud and clear. Personally, I think that the girl’s uncle (Uncle???), Steve Agar, ought to be in the kennel with his dog, or perhaps the dog should be put under house arrest and live with the lawyer."
Two excellent ideas.
02/01/08: Breeder Costs Taxpayers Over $100,000 in Boarding Fees