It seems BSL is continuing to rear its ugly head, not only in the controversial activities of Montreal but here in the United States as well. Dogs are being seized from their families on the fraudulent promise of only a 10 day quarantine; then being held indefinitely and neglected by those that are holding them hostage.
Cesar, a pit bull residing in Staten Island, New York with his owner Kristina Zdanaviciute Panattieri and her husband Douglas Panattieri, has never shown any signs of aggression. He actually serves as a therapy dog for an autistic child. However, six months ago an incident occurred that has Cesar sitting on death row, and his owners worried over his physical and mental well-being.
The incident occurred while Cesar was in his own yard when a neighbor’s dog wandered into his territory. Cesar did exactly what any dog would’ve done no matter what the breed; he attempted to protect his territory. An altercation ensued between Cesar and the neighbor’s dog, resulting in the neighbor receiving a bite wound. There is no concrete evidence that it was Cesar who did the biting, it could very easily been the neighbor’s own dog who inflicted the wound.
Nonetheless it was Cesar who was impounded and taken to Staten Island Animal Care and Control facility where he was supposed to only be held on a ten day quarantine per the Department of Health. It has been six months since the incident, and Cesar has not been released to his owners as promised and now the Department of Health wants him euthanized.
During his six month imprisonment, Cesar has lost over twenty pounds and has gotten sick with pneumonia. He is being denied food and water and proper veterinarian care. He is also suffering from parasites and bacteria, yet his owners are not allowed to take him to a private vet. He is kept in a cage and not given adequate exercise. His owners, the Panattierris are only allowed to visit him twice a week for fifteen minutes each.
Under these deplorable conditions, Cesar will most likely die. The Staten Island Animal Care and Control Center has an obligation to keep the animals in their care safe and well. That is their job; that is what they are being paid, but unfortunately they are lacking in their responsibilities by letting a dog waste away and die while under their roof.
The case is being appealed, and a petition has been started on Cesar’s behalf urging Federal Judge Kiyo Matsumoto and Attorney Christina Kang for the Department of Health to let Cesar go home to his family.
Please sign and share Cesar’s petition.
It is a gross miscarriage of justice to continue to keep Cesar imprisoned at the Staten Island Animal Care and Control Center when there is no evidence he has done anything wrong other than behave as any other dog would in the given circumstances.
The Department of Health and the Staten Island Animal Care and Control Center need to be held accountable for their treatment of Cesar. They need to be investigated and prosecuted with the same zeal and aggressiveness that they prosecute innocent animals and their owners.
Do not let them get away with this.