Pit bull attack in Saugerties leads to leash-law questions

An attack on a small Maltese-mix dog has Village of Saugerties trustees scrambling to figure out a way to enforce the community’s leash law. The Maltese’s owner, an older woman who lives on Post Street whose name is being withheld upon request, told trustees at their October 3 meeting that her dog, Cooper, was attacked on September 20.

“We were walking on Post Street at 7 a.m. when the pit bull and a Lab came running from the property on Post Street and the pit bull attacked Cooper,” the woman said.

Cooper, who also attended the meeting, had his back end shaved where a local vet treated him for his wounds.


“It was a harrowing experience,” the woman said.

She credits Stefan Yasabek, who was driving by with saving her dog. “He jumped out of his car, and pulled the pit bull away from Cooper,” the woman said.

After the attack, in which the pit bull pulled off Cooper’s leash and collar, the woman called police. “Officer Jeremy Rushkoski, the department’s K-9 officer, who was very nice, came out and took a complaint,” the woman said. “I also called the dog warden, but was told she didn’t have enough time to come out.”

She then called trustee Vince Buono, who was not at the meeting because of a death in his family, “and he told me I should come to this meeting.”

Mayor William Murphy pointed out that the village shares the town’s dog warden, and that she is only part-time. He added that the family which owns the pit bull should have paid for Cooper’s vet bills.

The mayor said that he will ask the dog owners to keep their dogs on their property and to have them on a leash if they leave it. He added that he will talk to police chief Joseph Sinagra to see how best to enforce the law, and to ensure that fines and penalties are stiff enough so that dog owners to obey the law.

There is one comment

  1. Debbie Bell

    Dog attacks? We need new laws that will make owners care enough to prevent attacks.

    It’s easy. This attack was animal neglect and abuse, worse than organized dog fighting where at least the humans are there by choice and the dogs matched by weight.

    Charge the owners / handlers of dogs that severely injure or kill dogs, farm animals, humans or cats at the cat’s home, with animal neglect and abuse.

    Make the punishment forfeiture of rights to own or live with or manage any dogs for Life.

    Signs must be posted “No Dogs Permitted.”

    A severe punishment, publicized and enforced, will make some dog owners care enough to prevent most attacks.

    Those too uncaring or irresponsible or sadistic will no longer be a problem as they won’t have any dogs. Any dogs found on their property or under their management will be immediately confiscated.

    This breed neutral law would be supported by all those who truly care about dog welfare.

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