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New York state law prohibits breed specific legislation. Let's remind the village and county officials of this as well as educating them on the ineffectiveness of BSL. ~ Jodi

Village of Upper Brookville
1395 Planting Fields Road
PO Box 548
Oyster Bay, NY 11771-1302
Office of the Village Clerk - 9:30am - 12:30pm
Email: [email protected]

Phone - 1-516-624-7715

Nassau County Officials

County Legislature

Maureen O'Connell
Nassau County Clerk
240 Old Country Road
Mineola, NY 11501
Phone: (516) 571-2664

Thomas R. Suozzi
County Executive
(516) 571-3131E-mail contact form

Lorna Goodman
County Attorney
(516) 571-3056

Terrier killing prompts call for pit bull ban

BY JENNIFER BARRIOS

[email protected] newsday.com

Winston the small brown dog was a carrot fanatic who zealously guarded his Upper Brookville home against rabbits and squirrels.

The 10-year-old Norfolk terrier -- Winnie for short -- also was an actor. He played Toto in the 1999 Locust Valley High School production of "The Wizard of Oz," although he got the part due as much to nepotism (owner Jillian Russo's sister played Dorothy) as his looks.

So the father of Jillian 20, Frank Russo, cried as he described how his wife found Winston's lifeless body on the patio Wednesday, drenched in blood.

"There was blood splattered all over the place," he said. "It was pretty abrupt and violent."

Ellen Leonhardt, the Russos' veterinarian, said the 15-pound Winston died from three bites from a large-breed dog.

When Russo called Old Brookville police that day, he found out two pit bulls were reported loose and running around the neighborhood. And that their neighbors at the adjacent nursery had watched in horror as the same dogs killed their cat, Pavarotti.

Now Russo, a village trustee for Upper Brookville, is pushing for a ban on pit bulls in the village and Nassau County.

A county spokesperson said Nassau's jurisdiction over issues of animal control is uncertain. However, towns and villages can write their own policies. Russo plans to bring the issue before the other village trustees.

Upper Brookville code prohibits animals from roaming at large, except for cats that weigh less than 15 pounds and dogs "not declared vicious." A dog is declared vicious if it bites one human or two animals, and there were eyewitnesses only to Pavarotti's attack.

"I'm not looking for revenge," said Russo, who added that a ban on the breed was necessary to stop future problems.

"A Labrador would never do this, unless it were an abused animal," he said. "A pit bull has to be trained not to do this."

Russo said police told him they found the dogs and returned them to their owners. He plans to file a complaint with the village court about the dogs. If the court finds the dogs vicious, the owner will be liable for fines and damages and the dogs could be euthanized.

The pit bulls' owners, who live in Old Brookville, could not be reached for comment.

Leonhardt, who owns two Rottweilers, said she has mixed feelings about a breed ban.

"I don't have a fear of pit bulls," she said. "I have seen nice pit bulls. It's about training and socializing. "

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-litoto0414,0,4790078.story?coll=ny-main-bigpix

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