Albany dog owner: My dog is not vicious

ALBANY – By seeing him interact with his owner, you might find it hard to believe a German Shepherd named King would be anything other than sweet, playful, and obedient. That’s how King’s owner, Celeste Byerwalters, sees it.

Dog owner: My dog is not vicious

An Albany dog owner whose German Shepherd has been accused of four attacks says she's prepared to go to court to save her dog's life.

“My dog is not vicious,” Byerwalters said. “My dog is a Shepherd. He’s got a lot of energy. He barks like every other dog. He’s loveable. He’s playful.”

Back at the end of August, King escaped from his backyard on Fairlawn Avenue in Albany. He then ran toward a woman who was out walking her own two little dogs, which triggered an attack. The woman sustained bite wounds, puncture wounds, and other scrapes, scratches and bruises, not to mention the emotional trauma that she said remains.

“My wounds, they are closed,” the attack victim explained, requesting anonymity. “I do have pain from the dog bite. I also have swelling, so I have to go to urgent care and have that checked out.”

“I’m sorry this happened,” Byerwalters stated. “I feel terrible that this happened.”

Three other people have filed “dangerous dog” complaints against King. That’s why a city judge has now ordered the dog removed from his home.

“He’s a big dog, he’s a Shepherd, I understand that,” said Byerwalters. “I totally understand seeing a big dog. I totally understand seeing a big dog come running at you. You are going to be afraid, but there is a way to react.”

Bywerwalters believes people are making false and misleading allegations against her beloved pet, claiming King has never attacked anyone else other than the woman who sustained injuries.

“He would not have bit somebody if he wasn’t defending himself. Dogs have feelings too. He was scared. They provoked him by kicking and flailing their arms a couple of times. He didn’t go and attack this woman and push her. She fell.”

In court on Thursday, a not guilty plea was entered on behalf of King. The case will be back before a judge on November 9.

Meantime, Byerwalters has been trying to find a new owner for King, she said. She also said she will do whatever she can to save the dog’s life.