Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dog Federation of New York Expresses Sorrow at Death of Staten Island Dog Attack Victim, Urges Full Investigation of Previous Complaints

Group Stresses Prevention of Tragedies Through Enforcement of Laws Requiring Humane Containment of Dogs

August 21, 2008 – New York, NY: The Dog Federation of New York (DFNY) today issued a statement expressing deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Henry Piotrowski upon news of his death following a dog attack on Staten Island earlier this summer.

“Sadly, Mr. Piotrowski’s death could have been prevented” said Mahlon Goer of the DFNY. “According to neighbors, city authorities were alerted eight or nine times regarding those dogs. That is eight or nine missed opportunities to prevent Mr. Piotrowski’s death. We question why the city failed to respond to complaints of loose and threatening dogs and reiterate our call for a full and complete investigation.”

Ms. Goer continued, “It is critical that we educate our entire community, especially our children and the elderly, about safety around dogs and the importance of responsible, humane restraint and containment.” Mr. Piotrowski was 90 years old when he died.

DFNY offers its resources, free of charge, to the family, the public, and city leaders. To help educate the public about dog bite prevention, the Dog Federation of New York reaches out to local community leaders with preventative safety and educational programs centered on material published by the Centers for Disease Control and the American Veterinary Medicine Association.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), almost all dog bites are preventable and fatalities are exceedingly rare. Neither the breed of dog, nor the method of restraint, are reliable indicators of the likelihood of dog bites. The Centers for Disease Control warns that dog bite-related fatalities are very unusual occurrences and that such tragedies should not be used to formulate public safety policies.

“It is our goal to educate every New Yorker about dog bite prevention and keeping our communities safe,” said Ms. Goer. To help get the message to the community, DFNY offers free Public Service Announcements (PSA’s) on dog bite prevention from the Campaign for Responsible Ownership. The PSA’s are based on research and recommendations from both the Centers for Disease Control and the American Veterinary Medical Association.