Pols point to system failure in recent pit bull attacks
BY SIMONE WEICHSELBAUM
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Saturday, July 5th 2008, 3:16 PM
First, it was 90-year-old Henry Piotrowski, his arms and legs eaten like pieces of raw meat.
The next day, 3-year-old Kamar Reynolds had his ear ripped off while he played. Later that evening, two firefighters helping a man in the Bronx were bitten, one on his leg, the other on his hand. The bloody attacks last week had one vicious common denominator - pit bulls.
Animal advocates and city officials said the maulings never had to happen, pointing the finger at the city's confusing reporting system. "This is a bureaucratic nightmare with no end in sight when it comes to reporting dangerous dogs," said City Councilman Peter Vallone (D-Queens).
After Piotrowski was critically wounded by two pit bulls on Tuesday, his neighbors in Port Richmond, S.I., complained they had dialed 911 and 311 countless times during the past year hoping authorities would seize the dogs.
Police and the city's Animal Care and Control said they had no detailed reports about the dogs, despite acknowledging that nine calls were logged about them.
Even though Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly called dog maulings "increasingly a case of concern," there is no clear line of responsibility to deal with threatening dogs.
In an immediate emergency, police officers hunt for the animal and its owner.
In the rare case that cops spot the dog, they either tranquilize it and bring it to a shelter or tell the ACC to pick the dog up.
Worried neighbors have the option of calling 311 to report a scary pooch, but those complaints are often stymied by long delays and inaction, critics complain. The 311 call goes to the Department of Health in the event the dogs is roaming without a leash, lacks a licence or has bitten someone.
If the DOH decides to pick up the case, a warning letter is sent to the owner's address. This process can take weeks, putting more lives in danger. Owners who don't comply face penalties ranging from a $200 fine to losing the dog. Some victims think the answer should be a lot simpler. "Some people raise pit bulls right," said Kamar's mom, Keesha Reynolds.
"But they are still pit bulls."
With Jonathan Lemire and Khadijah Rentas
http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/200 ... ent_p.html
Bless the Bullys