Deadly Pit Bull Attack in Mamaroneck Causes Death of Dog, Owner’s Severed Fingertip

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An elderly Mamaroneck resident is recovering at home after a vicious pit bull attack on Wednesday that killed her dog and left her with only part of her finger remaining.

The 75-year-old woman was walking her 1-year-old Coton De Tulear—a small, long-haired French breed—on Florence Street on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at approximately 9 a.m., when the unleashed pit bull—whose owner lives on Jensen Avenue—began to attack her dog, according to Village of Mamaroneck (VOM) Police Spokesperson Det. Sandra DiRuzza.

As the woman attempted to separate the two dogs, she suffered several puncture wounds on her hands and the loss of one of her fingertips, said DiRuzza.

The pit bull’s owner has been charged under the Agriculture and Market Law with one count of a dangerous dog attack on a domestic animal, a violation. He is due back in VOM court on Oct. 2, said DiRuzza. He was not charged in connection to the attack on the woman because the woman was bit while attempting to rescue her dog.

Kim Stein, who also lives on Florence Street, told Larchmont Patch that she ran outside after hearing piercing screams.

“I witnessed the owner pulling his pit bull off of the victim who was on the ground with her dog, while he was kicking and punching his pit bull. Another neighbor had also been out there. I was in full panic mode and ran back into my house to call 911,” she said.

According to Stein, the pit bull owner’s residence borders both Florence Park and is within walking distance of Daniel Warren Elementary School.

“This could have been us. We are petrified to walk our dog now. I really want to know why this dangerous pit bull is still at it’s residence and not impounded or taken away. I feel violated in my own neighborhood—I no longer have the freedom to feel safe on my own street,” she said.

New York State Agriculture and Market Law 123 states the following:

3. Upon a finding that a dog is dangerous, the judge or justice may order humane euthanasia or permanent confinement of the dog if one of the following aggravating circumstances is established at the judicial hearing held pursuant to subdivision two of this section:

(a) the dog, without justification, attacked a person causing serious physical injury or death; or

(b) the dog has a known vicious propensity as evidenced by a previous unjustified attack on a person, which caused serious physical injury or death; or

(c) the dog, without justification, caused serious physical injury or death to a companion animal, farm animal or domestic animal, and has, in the past two years, caused unjustified physical injury or death to a companion or farm animal as evidenced by a “dangerous dog” finding pursuant to the provisions of this section. An order of humane euthanasia shall not be carried out until expiration of the thirty day period provided for in subdivision five of this section for filing a notice of appeal, unless the owner of the dog has indicated to the judge in writing, his or her intention to waive his or her right to appeal. Upon filing of a notice of appeal, the order shall be automatically stayed pending the outcome of the appeal.

It also states:

10. The owner or lawful custodian of a dangerous dog shall, except in the circumstances enumerated in subdivisions four and eleven of this section, be strictly liable for medical costs resulting from injury caused by such dog to a person, companion animal, farm animal or domestic animal.

VOM Police shot and wounded a pit bull on Barry Avenue in October of 2011 after it attacked a man in the middle of the street. The dog was euthanized at the request of its owner.

Editor’s Note: Information about the victim’s dog’s breed and age was added to an original version of this article.

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