After several attacks, judge orders dog put down
TUPPER LAKE — The dog that has attacked several other dogs around town in the past year was ordered to be put down by a town judge Wednesday.
Milo, a black male German shepherd owned by Brian Demars, has injured three Tupper Lake dogs since August 2018, been shot by a police officer in one of those incidents and attacked at least one more dog in Plattsburgh before that.
“It’s very hard. I’ve had to do it four times,” Justice Leonard Young said after the ruling. “It’s never easy having to put someone’s pet down.”
He said he had offered for the dog to get training the last time Demars was in court for an attack, but Demars refused the offer because he did not want to pay for it.
The first attack in August 2018 came after Milo was picked up for roaming loose, escaped the back of a police car and got stuck in Mark Dewyea’s front yard. He attacked Dewyea’s 7-year-old silky terrier, Jackson Browne, before being shot and fleeing the scene.
Then in February, Milo attacked Dave Bedore’s 9-year-old beagle, Sadie-Jo, during a walk on McLaughlin Avenue. Bedore saved his dog by prying the larger dog’s mouth open, releasing Sadie-Jo’s neck.
Last month, Milo dragged a 9-year-old Boston terrier-French bulldog mix named Copper — owned by Thomas Kriegel and Allison Schaffer — out of the car he was in and attacked Copper in the parking lot of the Family Dollar store.
Each attacked dog suffered puncture wounds, and some underwent surgeries. Bedore also had puncture wounds in his hand from his rescue.
The judge’s ruling stems from the most recent incident in the Family Dollar parking lot, when Demars was issued a ticket for having a dog running at large. The last time Demars was in court, several conditions had been set for him to keep Milo. One was that Milo needed to wear a leash and muzzle anytime he was in public.
“I’ve been adhering to it every inch of the way,” Demars said.
Yet Milo was not wearing a muzzle the day he attacked Copper. Demars said he had just bought Milo a new muzzle because the dog had chewed the leather on the old one. Demars claimed he did not break the condition because “if he’s in the car, he’s not in public.”
Young read the condition, which stated that Demars must “muzzl(e) the dog whenever it is on public premises in a manner that will prevent it from biting any person.”
Young said Milo needs to be brought to the dog control officer, Wayne LaPierre, within three days of Wednesday to be put down. Otherwise, Demars could face a $3,000 fine and 90 days in jail.
Demars’ account of the events conflicts with the account given by Schaffer and the responding village police officer, who said both dog owners were inside the store and were told the dogs were fighting outside. Demars told the judge that Milo was on a leash in the car and that when he opened the door with his groceries, Milo jumped out of car and attacked Copper. Demars said he stepped on the leash and that Milo let go of Copper immediately.
“The dog (Copper) looked OK,” Demars said. “I mean, I didn’t see no blood. The dog wasn’t howling or anything.”
He said he was unclear on the specifics of what happened because “I was trying to hold myself from crapping my drawers.”
When Young asked about the police officer’s account that Milo jumped into another car and attacked Copper there, Demars said “That’s a crock of crap.”
Young said because the conditions had been violated and another dog had gotten injured, Milo would have to be put down. Demars said Milo was on his way to Jacksonville, Florida, but LaPierre said that means he is in Star Lake, where Demars is in the process of moving.
“He tried to move today, before court,” LaPierre said after court.
Young reminded Demars of the fine and jail time he could face if he does not comply, which he said he did not want to do.
“You want to kill my dog,” Demars said. “Let me ask you a question, please. I went to another judge, already been to court before this, so that doesn’t matter?”
Young said yes. The conditions set at the previous court date were violated.
“Last time I went through a lot of crap not to put your dog down,” Young said. “I did everything possible.”
LaPierre was upset that Demars turned Milo over to someone else.
“So you released a dangerous dog on somebody else,” LaPierre said. “You can’t turn that dog over to somebody else so that it attacks somebody else. What if there were kids around that dog?”
“That dog does not attack people,” Demars rebutted defiantly.
LaPierre asked what would have happened if there was a child in the car or walking the dog.
“That kid could be attacked,” LaPierre said. “You have no consideration for the public. You have no consideration for the three dogs that dog has attacked, plus the ones it’s attacked back where you used to live. I’m done.”
“The dog hasn’t attacked anything anyplace else,” Demars said.
“Your brother’s dog in Plattsburgh,” Young said, “It attacked your brother’s dog, right?”
Demars confirmed that Milo had attacked his brother’s dog in his brother’s house.
Demars was upset by the ruling, and when he left the courtroom, he paused and pointed at LaPierre.
“I don’t know why he’s pointing at me,” LaPierre said.
“Probably getting a gun,” Young said. “Laurie (Fuller), would you keep an eye on the cameras for a minute?”
As of Thursday afternoon, LaPierre said he had not received Milo yet.
“It’s not the dog’s fault,” Young said.
“It’s the owner’s fault,” LaPierre said.