PERU — A judge declared a pit-bull mix legally dangerous after it killed a poodle last week.
“The breed gets a terrible name, but it’s the owners not being responsible with their dogs that causes the problems,” said Peru Town Supervisor Peter Glushko.
“It’s a responsibility because they (pit-bulls) do have the capability of doing a lot of damage.”
On April 16, Jim Duval’s dog attacked and killed Terri Cioppa’s 7-pound poodle, Jean Claude, according to witnesses.
She was walking her dog on its leash on Elm Street near Peru Community Church Fellowship Hall when the other canine lunged after it. The larger dog had been running loose, and Sarah Davis, who saw it as she dropped her son, Cooper, off at Peru Nursery School that morning, had caught it.
While awaiting the dog control officer, she had used a jump rope as a temporary leash.
Duval, a resident of Conwell Mobile Home Park in Peru, appeared in Peru Town Court before Town Justice James Kirby last Friday. The ruling on Monday deemed the dog dangerous.
When a court makes that designation, the animal must be implanted with a microchip that would identify it as dangerous, and it must be neutered or spayed, Glushko said.
The dog had already been neutered, he said.
Kirby also required that Duval’s pit-bull mix be restrained on a leash and supervised by an adult 21 years or older whenever it is on public premises, in accordance with New York State’s Agriculture and Market Law.
“The judge had several options,” Glushko said.
A judge could have required that the dog be evaluated by a certified behaviorist, securely confined for a period of time determined by the court, muzzled when it is in public, and/or that the owner pay for a liability insurance policy in an amount determined by the court.
In addition, if a judge finds a dog dangerous, he or she may order euthanasia or permanent confinement of the dog if the animal, without justification, caused serious physical injury or death to a companion animal, farm animal or domestic animal for a second time within two years, according to the state law.
Glushko said he has been getting many calls from Peru residents about the April 16 incident.
A number of people had been in the vicinity when the dog attack happened and were very distressed over it. It was commonly known that Cioppa was much devoted to Jean Claude and took him for walks in the hamlet frequently.
This type of incident is “very rare” in the town, the town supervisor said, noting that Duval recently moved to Peru.
Duval will be issued five citations for violation of the Dog Licensing and Control Law of the Town of Peru, which took effect in January 2012.
“The (town) leash law was put in place to prevent things like this,” Glushko said.
Duval was cited for several violations: for a dog running at large; off the owner’s property without a leash; unlicensed dog; causing damage to personal property; and harassing a person.
Duval will be issued citations in Peru Town Court on Tuesday, Glushko said.
According to the Peru Dog Licensing and Control Law, a violation of the town law or the State Agriculture and Markets Law is a misdemeanor and can be punishable by a fine ranging from $25 to $1,000 and/or imprisonment for a minimum of 15 days and a maximum of a year.
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