The Recorder

Dog to be euthanized after attacking Amsterdam boy

By JOHN PURCELL

Recorder News Staff

Big Boy, a pit bull and boxer mix who hospitalized an Amsterdam boy, will reportedly be euthanized next week.

Amsterdam Animal Control Officer Gina Kline said Big Boy is scheduled to be euthanized Tuesday, with consent given from the dog’s owner, Jasmine Tirado. Kline said the mandatory 10-day confinement period will end Sunday, but the weekend and holiday on Monday will delay the euthanasia until Tuesday.

Kline said she filed a dangerous dog complaint against Big Boy in Amsterdam City Court on Monday. She said Tirado had authorized the euthanasia prior to the complaint being filed.

Tirado and her fiancé, Samuel Lawson, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Lawson last week said he did not intend to keep Big Boy after his son, 8-year-old Emanuel Sanchez, sustained severe neck injuries when the family’s dog attacked him Wednesday, Aug. 23. Emanuel reportedly was walking the dog in the backyard of his Chapel Place home when the attack occurred.

Lawson had said Emanuel underwent surgeries after he was airlifted to Albany Medical Center and he appeared to be recovering well.

Tirado also sustained injuries after she ran out of her home to separate Big Boy from Emanuel, which included the dog biting off the top portion of her pinky finger.

Lawson had said the 5-year-old Big Boy had been with the family since he was a puppy and the dog had not exhibited aggressive behaviors until the attack Wednesday evening. He was unsure what could have spurred the attack.

Kline said if Big Boy had been deemed dangerous before the attack, Tirado could have faced a misdemeanor charge for the incident.

Kline was unaware of any instance where the city had deemed a dog to be dangerous and the animal was not euthanized. She said if Big Boy was found to be dangerous, the dog could be euthanized without the owner’s consent.

A stipulation of Big Boy being deemed dangerous could include family members having to attend educational sessions about dogs, such as learning the body language of dogs and what to do during an attack, according to Kline.

“We want to make sure that they get that education, too,” Kline said. “Even if they never get a dog again in their life, their friends are going to have dogs and they’re going to walk on the streets and in parks where there are animals. They may possibly encounter a loose dog and knowing how to defend yourself or keep yourself safe in a situation like that is going to be paramount for them.”

Amsterdam Police Chief Gregory Culick did not respond Wednesday to requests for comment.

Tirado was convicted in Schenectady City Court on three misdemeanor dangerous dog charges in March 2012. The three charges were related to two separate incidents, with one involving a Schenectady woman being severely mauled by Tirado’s dogs in 2011, according to reports. The three dogs involved in the incidents were reportedly euthanized.

Lawson said Thursday the dog who had seriously injured the Schenectady woman in 2011 did not belong to Tirado. He said Tirado accepted the plea bargain to spend more time with her family.

“At the time she had just had a baby, so it was either cop out to that or go back and forth dealing with that,” Lawson said. “She copped out of that to actually spend time with her kids.”

Lawson said he installed surveillance cameras at his Amsterdam home as a precautionary measure after the incident in Schenectady, which he believed was not accurately portrayed. He pointed to video captured of the recent incident as evidence there was nothing apparently done to provoke the dog.

“You say what you want, cameras don’t lie,” Lawson had said.