Lindsay McKearn had to be consoled as she wept after Visiting Schenectady City Court Judge Stephen Swinton ruled that Vick, one of her family’s two beloved dogs that attacked and killed a smaller dog, would be euthanized.
The decision on Wednesday came after Swinton concluded that Vick, a Stafforshire terrier, and Tyson, a French mastiff, are dangerous dogs under the state Department of Agriculture & Markets law.
It’s the second time in the past few years that the dogs have been designated as dangerous. The other times were for biting animals in two separate incidents.
More recently, Vick, acknowledged by the McKearns as being aggressive toward other dogs, leaped out an open window at the McKearns’ Dean Street home in Schenectady and mauled Templeton, a terrier, that was being walked by its owner, Rebecca Cigal.
Templeton died a few days after the June 30 attack.
City officials say Tyson also was involved in the attack. The McKearns said Tyson is “guilty by association” and is a good dog.
On Wednesday, Lindsay McKearn’s brother, Sean McKearn, the registered owner of the animals, reluctantly accepted the deal as several family members and friends, including his father, Kevin, looked on in the court gallery.
Sean McKearn, who faces two counts of misdemeanor harboring a dangerous dog, was represented by a new attorney, Rebecca Mudie.
The dangerous dog case has cast a spotlight on what the McKearns and animal activists have called disgraceful conditions at the city’s temporary animal shelter. It has also prompted calls by politicians for a state law to alert residents when a dangerous dog lives in their neighborhood.
As a result, the city recently began posting information on its website about dangerous dog incidents in 2014 along with the address of the dog owner and a description of the animal.
Still, Republican Assemblyman Jim Tedisco and Independent Schenectady Councilman Vince Riggi said that doesn’t go far enough, and they are pushing for the city to list cases over the past few years. Tedesco, who has locked horns with Mayor Gary McCarthy on the issue, said he plans to introduce legislation named for Templeton next year aimed at protecting people and pets.
Outside court, Assistant Corporation Counsel Carl Falotico said he must complete paperwork but he expected Vick to be put down in the near future.
He said the fate of Tyson will be decided on Aug. 27 when Sean McKearn is due back in court on the two misdeameanor charges.
Sean McKearn declined comment Wednesday on the advice of his attorney.