North Salem Foots Bill for Dog's Euthanization

North Salem Town Board Credits: File

NORTH SALEM, N.Y.-The Town Board has decided to pick up the bill for the euthanasia and cremation of what Supervisor Warren Lucas called a “problem dog.”

The board voted at its Jan. 23 meeting to approve the $208 payment to Brewster Veterinary Hospital, months after the dog, a female pit bull named Gwen, was put down.

According to police, the pit bull escaped from a home on Spur Street in Purdys and attacked a smaller dog being walked in the area in October. Police were called and a neighbor used a hose to spray the dogs and break up their fight.

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Following the incident, the pit bull’s owner was cited for having an unlicensed dog, a dog at large and a dangerous dog. On Oct. 11, Judge John Aronian ordered the dog be confined in a secure, fenced area and restrained by a leash and a muzzle by a person 18 or older. The owner was also ordered to pay the medical bills for the victim dog in the amount of $6,339.

According to court documents, Gwen, the pit bull, attacked Tate, a nine-year-old coon hound. Katonah Bedford Veterinary Center described the bite wounds as severe and said Tate also had some broken bones.

The pit bull, Gwen, and a male pitbull, Maverick, had gotten loose previously and after that attack, the owner told the town’s dog warden that he would like to euthanize the dog but could not afford it, according to court documents. Maverick went to live with another family member.

“(The victim) dog had a significant amount of bills and our police were in the middle of things trying to pull the dogs apart,” Lucas said. “It was suggested that the dog be euthanized because the dog was not controllable and the person didn’t have enough money to pay…so I made an offer saying if you can’t afford to euthanize the dog, the town will pay to euthanize the dog and that’s what ended up happening.”

The Somers Record is not naming the man who owned the dog because no criminal charges were filed. The civil case is still pending in Somers Town Court.

According to, a nonprofit education website about dangerous dog breeds, about 4.5 million dog bites occur every year in the U.S.

Town officials said this is an isolated incident and would not spur any action, such as a breed-specific law, which typically target pit bulls.

“You have wonderful, wonderful dogs of every type and then you have ones that are out of control of every type,” Lucas said.

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