Case Snapshot
Case ID: 16410
Classification: Stabbing
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Abuse was retaliation against animal's bad behavior
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Monday, Apr 5, 2010

County: Westchester

Charges: Felony CTA
Disposition: Convicted
Case Images: 1 files available

Defendant/Suspect: Andrew Owens

Case Updates: 2 update(s) available

A man who had grown tired of the incessant barking of a dog that dislikes minorities was arrested Monday night after he slashed its face, police said.

The German shepherd lost an eye, and the suspect -- who worked for an oil delivery business where the dog stood guard -- was arrested on a felony aggravated cruelty charge. He also was charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a misdemeanor.

Andrew Owens, 58, was arraigned Tuesday in City Court after spending the night in jail. He admitted to the crime, police said.

"The dog reacts to black people, Hispanics, anyone who is not white," owner Paul Tocco said. "She always barked at him. He (Owens) was well aware the dog didn't like him, and he knew to stay away from her."

A detective for the SPCA of Westchester said the slashing was unprovoked. It took place around 7 p.m. as the dog, a 4-year-old named Jenna, was leashed outside Valley Oil at 707 Nepperhan Ave.

Owens, who worked there as a handyman, had threatened to kill the dog in the past and told authorities it had bitten him about a year ago. Monday night, he "egged on" the barking dog and charged at her, Detective Ken Ross III said. Owens is alleged to have then brandished a 9-inch folding knife.

Owens is accused of taunting the dog with his arm, raising his arm with a knife and slashing the dog across the face, Ross said. The dog was cut "over the right eye, all the way down to the socket bone," he said.

Tocco, whose family runs the business, said he heard the dog barking, went outside and saw Owens strike the dog.

"The dog let out a loud yelp, and when I ran there, she turned her head toward me and I seen the whole right side of her head bleeding," Tocco said.

Rather than going after Owens, Tocco placed Jenna in a work van and drove her to a Greenburgh animal hospital. A veterinarian performed emergency surgery, but the eye couldn't be saved, Ross said. The dog was transferred Tuesday to an animal hospital in Scarsdale.

"The dog is supposedly in good spirits and is OK now," Ross said. "But it did lose the eye."

The detective said he's uncertain why the action was taken against the dog.

"He never liked the dog," Ross said of Owens. "The dog did not bite him (Monday). It appears everything was done out of anger."

Owens, who lives nearby, was arrested at his apartment at 10:20 p.m.

Tocco said he would never allow Owens to work there again. "We don't want him around here anymore," he said.

After an initial report about the incident appeared on The Journal News' Web site Tuesday afternoon, Tocco said, he got bombarded by media calls, with many reporters asking about his dog's attitude toward nonwhites. This upset him.

Tocco said he never trained Jenna to behave this way. He said he didn't think it was fair to call his dog prejudiced.

"I never said the dog was prejudiced," Tocco said. "I said it doesn't like minorities. I think it's unfair to the dog that you're publicizing that she's prejudiced."


Case Updates

A Yonkers man, who pled guilty to slashing a companion dog on its face with a knife, causing a long laceration to the right side of its face and one eyeball, was sentenced Thursday to 15 months in the Westchester County Jail.

Andrew Owens, 59, pled guilty to one count of aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony for intentionally slashing his neighbor's dog, a four-year-old German Shepherd.

On April 5, 2010, Owens pulled a knife and slashed the dog. The animal's right eye had to be removed.

Owens claimed the dog, named Jenna, had bitten him a year earlier and that he cut it in retaliation.

The investigation was conducted by the SPCA of Westchester County.

A permanent order of protection in favor of the dog's owner was issued by the court.
Source: midhudsonnews.com - Sep 3, 2010
Update posted on Mar 5, 2011 - 5:04PM 
A Yonkers man accused of brutally slashing a German Shepherd has plead guilty aggravated animal cruelty.

Andrew Owens was armed with a knife when he attacked a four-year-old German Shepherd named "Jenna" in April, prosecutors said. Owens had claimed that the animal bit him and he attacked in retaliation.

But an investigation by the Westchester County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals revealed that Owens was the aggressor.

Officials said Owens taunted "Jenna, who was restrained by a cord, then pulled the knife out and slashed at the dog causing a long laceration to it's face and cutting one of the animal's eyes.

Jenna had to have her right eye removed as a result.

Owens claimed that he cut the animal in retaliation for being bitten almost one year before.
He will be sentenced on September 2, 2010.
Source: nbcnewyork.com - Jul 15, 2010
Update posted on Mar 5, 2011 - 4:58PM 

References

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