Victim out of hospital after Montgomery County dog attack

ALBANY – Marissa Christman, the animal shelter employee who was mauled by two dogs on Monday, was released from Albany Medical Center on Thursday afternoon. The question now is what happens to the dogs? It’s complicated.

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The two dogs, Golden Lab mixes, were placed at the Ayres Memorial Animal Shelter in the Town of Root, Montgomery County, about a month ago during a criminal investigation.

Even though the animals hadn’t cause any problems since they arrived, that changed in an instant Monday morning.

Christman was violently attacked by those dogs when she tried to walk them. Her injuries were substantial, and she’s expecting a long road to recovery.

New York happens to be a “One Bite” state, which means if the animals had a prior history of aggressive behavior, or if they caused serious injury, their fate would be sealed.

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However, there also needs to be an assessment of those animals, typically by a veterinarian behaviorist, who would then recommend to a judge what the next step should be.

Alissa Mosier is a certified dog trainer who says not knowing the dogs, it’s difficult for her to know what triggered their violent behavior.

“When you have cases like this where the aggression does put someone in the hospital, this is a case where you really want to make sure you’re working with someone who knows what they’re doing. When you have a case like this, you really want to go to your veterinary behaviorist,” she said.

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“Dogs are individuals,” she continued. “Just like people are individuals, some dogs can experience the most traumatic situation in the world and come out with a beautiful, wonderful personality while some are more fragile and when exposed to the darker parts of life can have behaviors that reflect that. I’ve seen it happen both ways.”