Police & Fire

Police: Pit Bulls Involved in Fatal Incident with Bichon in Garwood Considered ‘Not Dangerous’

The same pit bulls that fatally attacked a Bichon in July first attacked a dog in March at Garwood's Hartman Park, according to police. Credits: Leah Scalzadonna

GARWOOD, NJ – No action will be taken against the two dogs – which have been described as pit bulls and bulldog mixes – that fatally attacked Lucky, an 8-year-old Bichon, in Garwood near the Westfield border last month.

On July 22, Lucky’s owner, Nancy Rubin, was walking him on leash when she said Lucky broke away and ran across the street to where the two pit bulls were being walked on leashes. According to Rubin, both of the pit bulls also broke free of their owner and attacked 10-pound Lucky.

According to the police report obtained by TAPinto Westfield, the pit bulls were not injured. Lucky was later euthanized.

Sign Up for E-News

To read our original story about that incident, click here.

According to the police report, the two pit bulls are not considered potentially dangerous and were not recommended for quarantine because the Bichon ran to them, classifying the altercation as a provoked attack. The findings were agreed upon by the Garwood Police Department and the Westfield Health Department.

“We were not going to be taking any further steps as there’s no dog-to-dog quarantine requirements and the incident did not qualify under the potentially dangerous dog law,” the police report reads.

According to state law, a dog can only be declared potentially dangerous if it severely injured or killed another domestic animal unprovoked. A dog can also be considered dangerous if it caused bodily injury to a person unprovoked.

“‘Provoked’ is the key word,” Loray Kozar, registrar of vital statistics for the Westfield Health Department, said.  

A potentially dangerous dog must be kept securely enclosed and wear a special license, Kozar said. A dog can only be euthanized by the municipal court when it is found to be vicious. To be declared vicious, a dog must kill or severely injure a person unprovoked.

“It’s very hard to get a dog put down,” Kozar said.

This was not the first time that these two dogs attacked another dog, according to police. On March 2, the Garwood Police Department was called to Hartman Park by the owners of a Shiba Inu that was bitten by the pit bulls.

According to that police report, the owner of the Shiba Inu was walking his dog near the park when the owner of the pit bulls was exiting and the pit bulls rushed over to the Shiba Inu and bit his neck and his leg.

After the attack, the Shiba Inu underwent a procedure at an emergency vet in Iselin. The owner of the pit bulls gathered his dogs and left the scene.

“The [pit bulls’] owner explained that he was scared for his dog’s wellbeing because he was passing out after the fight and wanted to rush him home,” the police report reads.

A witness who lives near the park also called the Garwood Police and said the owner of the pit bulls frequently closes the gates to Hartman Park and uses it as a dog park. According to the police report, no complaints were filed against the pit bulls.

“The victims were not desirous of complaints at this time but were concerned about medical reimbursement from the other party involved,” the report reads.

Because no complaints were filed, the dogs were not found to be potentially dangerous.

“The municipal court decides if a dog is potentially dangerous,” Kozar said.

After both incidents, the pit bulls were quarantined until they were inspected by the health department. As of now, both are are free to be walked and let outside under standard pet laws.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

Clark

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_3ea3b857c0f371ec5d16_belmarkitefestival2015

Sun, October 22, 10:00 AM

Ocean Avenue at Second and Third Avenues, Belmar

Belmar Kite Festival

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_a1573c2ed085ed5217bf_mini_magick20171006-18978-9hcxzt

Mon, October 23, 10:00 AM

Clark Public Library, Clark

Tales for tots

Tue, October 24, 7:00 PM

Parish Community of St. Helen, Westfield

Fourth Annual Union County Day of Prayer

Religions And Spirituality

Veteran's Appreciation Day

October 22, 2017

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- NJVetsConnect will be hosting a special "Veteran's Appreciation Day" on Sunday, Nov. 5, at St. Bartholomew the Apostle Church in honor of the upcoming Veteran's Day.  

NJ VetsConnect is a group who's mission is to bring Veteran's together in Fellowship, Camaraderie and Connection.  Led by a group of military veterans, the ...

Lawsuits Over Westfield’s ‘Watcher’ House Dismissed, Report Says

October 19, 2017

WESTFIELD, NJ — A Superior Court Judge dismissed the civil lawsuit against the former owners of 657 Boulevard, now infamously known as “the Watcher” house, on Wednesday, according to a report on NJ.com. According to that story, the judge said she dismissed three counts of fraud because there was no evidence the former owners intentionally hid a letter from “the ...

You Must Talk to Your Child About the Cost of College

It can be difficult to talk with your student about the college budget, but this is an important topic, and one which I spend a lot of time on with my clients.  Many parents prefer to shield their children from the financial pressure associated with choosing a college. They feel the process is stressful enough without complicating it further with talk about money. The thinking goes something ...

How We Can Reduce Our Property Taxes

October 7, 2017

I’m Rich Fortunato and one of the reasons I am running for the State Assembly in District 22 is to work to reduce our property taxes.    

You may not realize it but it is very likely that more of your property taxes go to your school district than to your town. In Clark and Middlesex Borough, almost twice as much of your taxes go to the schools than to the town, in ...

Parents Should Have More School Choices

October 20, 2017

Dear Editor:

I’m Rich Fortunato and I’m running for State Assembly in District 22 on November 7th.  I am putting out these statements so that you can make an educated choice when you vote on November 7th.

I believe that parents ought to have more choices available to them to educate their children. Whatever town or school district they live in, parents ought to be able to ...

Obituaries

South Plainfield - Susan M. Sutton, 51, died Tuesday September 19, 2017 at Robert Wood Johnson ...
Read more
South Plainfield – Ellen Parker, 76, passed away on Monday, August 21, 2017 in JFK Haven ...
Read more