Troy family fights to save dog from being put down

November 12, 2018 07:14 PM

"My client frequently breaks down in tears. They refer to Luna as a member of their family," said attorney Margaret Donnelly.

Luna, a 6-year-old pitbull mix, is slated to be euthanized this week. The city of Troy removed the dog from its home after an altercation with another dog resulted in the animal needing a few stitches. Officials say a person was bit in the confrontation as well.

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Donnelly says the dog was placed on a 10-day quarantine and was being held at the Mohawk Humane Society when the owner was asked to appear in court where she was told the dog would be put down. Troy has laws that say an animal can be deemed dangerous and ordered euthanized after one bite, even if it is not serious in nature.

"She's crying. She's overwrought. She thought there was no other alternative," said Donnelly.

Donnelly says her client didn't have legal representation at first. The city says the owner agreed to have Luna put down, but Donnelly says she didn't fully understand her rights.

On Friday, Donnelly appeared in court with her client, asking for an appeal and a stay for Luna so that they can prove the dog is not dangerous. A city judge denied the appeal.

"The city's attorney said, 'and I want you to know I'm calling Menands on Tuesday morning.' So, we're like, 'Bleh! The dog is going to be put down.' So I said I want an appeal. 'Mmmm, no,'" said Donnelly.

Donnelly says Luna has never been violent and lives in a home with other animals and a small child. The altercation between the dogs happened in a common area on the property of the multifamily home her client lives in. Donnelly says the other family had only recently moved to the house and in the past, pet owners have taken turns allowing their animals outside.

City spokesperson John Salka told NewsChannel 13 that the city's attorney and the judge offered the owner a deal, saying if she agreed to convictions for owning a dangerous dog, paid fines and met several requirements to securing and training, Luna the dog would be spared. Donnelly says they declined the offer and question the city's motives.

"This is absurd," she said. "Are you telling me the dog really needs to die desperately? Apparently not, if you're making an offer saying you can keep the dog."

Donnelly is going to Rensselaer County Court on Tuesday morning to see if a county judge will step in and grant a stay so that they can have a fair hearing to prove Luna is not a violent animal.


Jacquie Slater

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