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from TheJournal News.com
Fate of dog that killed woman still up in air
By MARCELA ROJAS
BRIARCLIFF MANOR The fate of Mr. B, a pit bull-brindle mix who attacked and killed a 75-year-old Cortlandt woman Friday, was still being decided as state police continued their investigation into the incident.
State police Investigator Steven Listner said yesterday that police are awaiting word from the Westchester District Attorney's Office on whether any criminal charges are warranted in the attack.
Bonnie Page of 84 Wharton Drive had returned from shopping and was visiting with the dog's owner, Nancy Delaney, around 7:30 p.m. Friday, when the attack occurred. Police said Page was showing Delaney items from her shopping bag when the dog bit Page in the face without warning. She died after losing massive amounts of blood, police said.
"Based on the information provided thus far by the state police, there is no evidence of criminal wrongdoing on the part of the dog's owner," said Anne Marie Corbalis, a spokeswoman for District Attorney Jeanine Pirro.
Even so, if the owner does not want to put the dog down, state police may seek a court order to ensure it is euthanized, Listner said. The dog weighs about 80 pounds, officials said.
"I've never had to go this far, but that would be my presumption," Listner said. "I can't imagine putting this dog back into society. What if he turned around and did this again next year?"
State police continued its investigation of the adopted 2-year-old dog yesterday, Listner said. Attempts to contact the dog's owner were unsuccessful, Listner said. Delaney, who was also Page's landlord, was injured when she tried to restrain the pit bull. She was treated for cuts to her arms and legs at Hudson Valley Medical Center. The Journal News could not reach Delaney for comment.
Until a decision is made, the pit bull is being housed at the Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals of Westchester in Briarcliff. Yesterday, he wagged his stub of a tail and licked the fingers of SPCA President Mimi Einstein when she greeted him in his isolation pen.
The pit bull mix, previously reported as an American Staffordshire terrier, was detained at the Peekskill police station during the weekend and was brought to the Briarcliff shelter Sunday afternoon.
"My first thought was whether we would be able to deal with this dog," Einstein said of the black, brown and white mixed breed. "But he has shown no sign of aggression whatsoever. He's a very friendly, sweet dog. The only thing I can think is that he mistook whatever was in the shopping bag as a threat to the owner."
Mr. B was placed on isolation row at the 120-year-old shelter on North State Road, a site typically reserved for animals facing court charges or those ineligible for adoption, Einstein said. The caged pens are far removed from the other 90 dogs and 53 cats at the shelter.
"My hunch is that he will be euthanized," Einstein said. "With that kind of known history, you can't place him in a home. The kindest thing to do would be to put him to sleep here."
The dog had been adopted from the Mount Vernon Animal Shelter, which is run by a division of the Mount Vernon Police Department, on April 6, Police Commissioner Bernice Kennedy said.
"The dog came into our shelter on March 16, 2002, and had been transferred to us by EMS when it was found running loose on the streets of Mount Vernon," said Kennedy. "During his stay at the Mount Vernon shelter, he did not display any signs of aggression."
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