GRRR: 2 Hero Dogs Who Apprehended NYC Mugger Euthanized by Shelter

dog in shelter

When a teenager snatched a woman’s purse in Queens, N.Y., earlier this month, two stray dogs — a German Shepherd and a Pit Bull — took off after the thief. They pinned him down in nearby Springfield Park and bit him.

Even then, the four-legged crimestoppers were treated very poorly by officers from the NYPD’s Emergency Service Unit. The two dogs were pepper-sprayed, beaten with batons and shot with tranquilizer darts before being transported to Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C).

“The dogs were still lingering, looking to get him,” a police source told the New York Post. “They were set up to continue their mauling.”

The 15-year-old boy was treated for bite wounds at a local hospital. He was charged with petit larceny and will live on to hopefully not steal more purses.

But if he does, those two hero dogs won’t be around to stop him. Even though George Petruncio of Sewell, N.J., let AC&C know he wanted to adopt the German Shepherd and Pit Bull, the two dogs were euthanized yesterday because they were allegedly too aggressive.

“They never gave the dogs a chance,” Petruncio told the Post. “They did a good thing and this is how you repay them? It’s garbage.”

Polices officers in Queens’ 105th precinct also did their best to spare the lives of the two dogs. They offered to help AC&C place them with a rescue group.

“The dogs deserved a second chance because of how they helped out,” a police source told the Post. “It just doesn’t seem like justice was served for these dogs.”

AC&C has a troubling reputation with animals, and not only dogs. Earlier this week a bull that escaped from a slaughterhouse — and was promised to be released to a sanctuary — died after being shot with multiple tranquilizer darts. In December, a beloved deer that lived in a Harlem park died from stress after it was captured by AC&C.

However, it wasn’t the AC&C, but the NYC Department of Health that issued death sentences for the hero dogs.

“After a comprehensive assessment by an animal behavioral specialist, the two dogs that mauled a teenager were determined too aggressive to be placed at rescue organization or put up for adoption,” spokesman Julien A. Martinez said yesterday. “They were humanely euthanized today.”

The heartbreaking tale of these two hero dogs makes me all the more thankful for groups like BAD RAP and Best Friends Animal Society, who took in and rehabilitated some other famous dogs that were also deemed too aggressive to ever be adopted: the survivors of Michael Vick’s dog-fighting operation. Many of those dogs went on to become therapy and service dogs — and even earned the title of ASPCA Dog of the Year.

Good thing the AC&C’s animal behavioral specialist and the NYC Department of Health didn’t get to Vick’s dogs first.

Photo credit: FastPhive

Laura Goldman

I am a freelance writer and lifelong dog lover. For five years, I was a staff writer for i Love Dogs. When that site shut down, I started this blog...because I STILL Love Dogs!