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Man Arrested For Attacking ‘Racist Dog’

From New York state’s Journal News:

Police: Man slashes owner’s dog; animal loses eye

By Shawn Cohen • April 6, 2010

YONKERS — A prejudiced pooch that reportedly disliked minorities was slashed last night by a black man who had grown tired of the dog’s incessant barking at him, police said.

The German Shepherd lost an eye, and the alleged slasher — who worked for an oil delivery business where the dog stood guard — was arrested on a felony aggravated cruelty charge.

Andrew Owens, 58, was arraigned this morning in City Court after spending the night in jail.

“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 four-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.

Last night, he “egged on” the barking dog and charged at her, Detective Ken Ross III said. He allegedly then pulled out a nine-inch folding knife.

“He taunted her with his arm, raised his arm with a knife and slashed the dog across the face,” he said. “He cut the dog over the right eye, all the way down to the eye socket bone.”

Tocco, whose family runs the business, said he heard the dog’s 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 [sic] 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. Today, the dog was transferred to an animal hospital in Scarsdale.

“The dog is supposedly in good spirits and is okay now,” Ross said. “But it did lose the eye.”

The detective said he’s uncertain why Owens allegedly acted out on this occassion [sic].

“He never liked the dog,” Ross said. “The dog did not bite him yesterday. It appears everything was done out of anger. He might have just snapped.”

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

Tocco said he will never allow Owens to work there again. “We don’t want him around here anymore,” he said.

We are not sure why Mr. Owens was arrested.

Still, our hero can take solace in the fact that once he gets his ACLU/NAACP attorney he will be well on his way to riches.

(Thanks to Melly for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, April 7th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

18 Responses to “Man Arrested For Attacking ‘Racist Dog’”

  1. canary says:

    The dog must have sensed the workers hostility & felt more protective to guard.
    Since, it’s common to go after dog abusers (no matter the race) more than people abusers, I think the ACLU/NAACP would be wise not to waste their time on this criminal action. Watch PETA go after the owner instead of the attempted dog murderer.

  2. proreason says:

    Brains are racist.

  3. U NO HOO says:

    Hey, the dog IS German…

  4. MrBill says:

    I thought dogs were colorblind?

    She’ll really hate black people now.

  5. OxyCon says:

    Some dogs simply react to things that seem strange to them. I’m White and spent four years as an insurance agent in a predominantly Black city. I remember there were many dogs that reacted agressively towards me because I was White.

  6. canary says:

    U NO Hoo, could point. It is a German dog with it’s own traits. Highly intelligent and it’s attempted murderer (you know he was going for the throat) probably tormented the dog every chance he got. Those sad puppy eyes, oops eye. :( She looks so sad, and look how well she get’s along with the vet.

    Muslim’s would say an eye for an eye.

  7. jobeth says:

    Sounds like “Jenna” had a better sense of character than her boss.

    Once that guy had done the first thing to my dog or even a threat, he would be outta there.

    I question why “Jenna’s” owner allowed him to continue working for him.

    If for no other reason I would use the reasoning that it wasn’t safe for the employee…and with unemployment as high as it is, surely he could have replaced this guy.

    I love most dogs more than most people…any day. And if my dog doesn’t like you…well…chances are…it’s right.

  8. wirenut says:

    Not all dogs are racists, but all racists are dawg’s. Mr. Owens needs to be put down before he can do anymore harm to society at large. Clearly, the scumbag has issues. Perhaps an unarmed cage match with the victim is in order here.
    Bill it as: I-gone The Barker VS. Shreds The Chew Toy

  9. NoNeoCommies says:

    When my family lived in Tehran, we had a neighbor family that was educated and spoke english.
    They had adopted a stray dog that sat in front of their house all day.

    It did not bark at Americans, or other foreigners, or middle class Iranians.
    It barked at and chased any Iranian that looked and dressed like they were the equivalent of a minimum wage worker or homeless.
    Obviously, it was prejudiced.

  10. Digby says:

    You are “not sure why Mr. Owens was arrested”? Do you think it is acceptable behavior to attack a leashed dog with a knife?

    It sounds as though this dog was kept as a guard dog. It is a lousy life. Guard dogs are not treated as pets. They are rarely are treated with kindness and they are often left out in all kinds of weather, day and night. Sometimes they are not even well fed. No one should expect a dog that is treated that way, and that is expected to “guard”, to be friendly.

    The owner of the property is completely at fault for not firing the employee when he threatened to kill the dog. And “Mr. Owen” (gee, you show him an inordinate amount of respect) deserves a long jail term for animal cruelty. Fortunately we now have laws that punish people who abuse animals. And folks in that area would be well advised to steer clear of Mr. Owens in the future. It is now widely acknowledged (finally!) that people who abuse animals very often go on to violently assault humans.

    • Helena says:

      “…And “Mr. Owen” (gee, you show him an inordinate amount of respect) …”

      I don’t presume to speak for Mr. Gilbert, but if you read the site a little longer you will get used to his tone, which is perhaps more sarcastic than is immediately evident, and a lot drier.

      As to ‘prejudice’ in dogs, the examples are many. Some dogs react badly to males of any description, some don’t like children, other dogs, etc. Horses are similarly quirky, sometimes a hat or sunglasses will spook them.

  11. confucius says:

    The dog’s very owner said the dog was racist:

    The dog reacts to black people, Hispanics, anyone who is not white,” owner Paul Tocco said.

  12. Melly says:

    Jenna the dog now being called a racist.Recent article updating Jenna’s ill treatment by some bloggers etc.http://www.lohud.com/article/20104090349

    Slashed guard dog called racist

    YONKERS — Jenna the dog is having an exceptionally rough week.

    Slashed through the eye on Monday by a handyman she worked with, the German shepherd guard dog is now the subject of taunts from belligerent bloggers calling her a "racist" because of what her owner has said was her tendency to bark at minorities……

    Of course, Jenna can’t address the media. But her owner, Paul Tocco, and several other people who know and love the 4-year-old canine have come to Jenna’s defense, saying she’s no racist — and, in fact, has many black and Hispanic friends.

    "All of my friends are minorities, and the dog has never attacked any of them," said Richard Lopez, 20, a Hispanic who once lived with Tocco and helped take care of Jenna. "She wouldn’t harm a fly."

    Maybe not a fly. But the dog has had a gripe with Andrew Owens, a handyman at Valley Oil on Nepperhan Avenue.

    Even Rush Limbaugh sounded off on his radio show….

    On The Wall Street Journal online op-ed page, a writer pointed out that " ‘The idea of a prejudiced dog’ has arisen before, both in fiction (there was a very funny ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ episode on the subject) and in real life: ‘Dogs can be trained to discriminate,’ according to a 2003 Slate essay."

    The writer added that "some Jamaican resorts feature dogs that chase blacks off the beach," and South Africa’s apartheid government trained animals that were advertised as "racist watchdogs."

    Tocco was bombarded by interview requests and calls from friends and customers. In the face of criticism, he has backed off his initial statements, saying now that the dog does not dislike minorities.

    Brianna Mecca, a friend of Tocco’s who lives nearby, said the dog does what she’s supposed to do: [0x13]She guards the business.

    "(She) barks at everyone," Mecca said. "It’s not just blacks and Hispanics. If (she) doesn’t know you, (she) barks. That’s (her) job."

    Steve Diller, a private dog trainer who teaches animal behavior as an adjunct professor at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, said it’s not uncommon for certain dogs to act aggressively toward minorities.

    "It’s not always people of color," he said. "It could be children, or women. Dogs can have problems with these folks when they weren’t exposed to them as puppies. They’re afraid and they react in an aggressive manner."

    Typically, Diller said, a dog picks up these sorts of patterns during the formative, first weeks of life.

    Tocco said he adopted Jenna when she was puppy, from a shelter, after she was found with eight other puppies abandoned in a trash bin.

    Diller said puppyhood trauma can affect a dog’s entire life. Dogs may also learn behaviors from their owner, though Tocco said he never trained Jenna to lash out at minorities. Diller disputes the entire notion that a dog can be a "racist."

    "Most of my clients think that dogs have racial preferences, and that’s ridiculous," he said. "Dogs don’t have the mental capacity for racism."

    • JohnMG says:

      …..”Dogs don’t have the mental capacity for racism…..”

      I might tend to disagree with this statement. Most dogs are smarter than that.

      On the other hand, people who are quick to brand others as racist are most likely mentally truncated.

    • confucius says:

      I don’t get it.

      The dog’s owner said, “The dog reacts to black people, Hispanics, anyone who is not white . . . .”

      A professor of animal behavior and dog trainer said, “it’s not uncommon for certain dogs to act aggressively toward minorities.”

      So, why isn’t this dog racist?

    • Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

      I’d say the dog wasn’t so much racist as a good judge of character. Too bad Jenna didn’t latch onto that POS crotch.

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