New York man sues animal shelter after adopted dog mauls him
A Staten Island man who was violently mauled by a rescue dog the day after his mother adopted the dog has sued the city’s beleaguered animal pound for allowing the dog to come home with them, has learned The Post.
Anthony Pavone, 24, said he was missing a piece of muscle in his right arm after he was attacked by Jaxx, a 5-year-old pit bull boxer, on May 12, 2019.
Pavone is suing the Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC), claiming “the dog was dangerous and should never have been offered to the general public,” according to her lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court filed last week.
His mother, Christine – who has since died of cancer – had adopted the 86-pound dog from the ACC on May 11 and brought him back to their home in Graniteville.
The family had the first sign of trouble the next morning, on Mother’s Day, when the dog pounced on Pavone’s father.
“In the morning my dad went to drink water and the dog tried to attack him,” Pavone recalled, saying his dad “lifted a Swiffer to defend himself and the dog broke the Swiffer and the ‘threw to the side’.
Jaxx “had my dad pinned down in the kitchen and I grabbed him by the collar…then he calmed down,” Pavone told The Post.
After going out with the family for a Mother’s Day meal, Pavone was about to leave to catch up with friends when Jaxx became aggressive again and tried to attack him twice, he said.
The first time, Pavone said, he yelled at the dog, which crept up to his bed. Then, as Pavone tried to start again, “this time he went straight for my leg”.
“I jumped back…I fell down the steps and that’s when he went and grabbed my neck,” Pavone said. “I reached up and he grabbed my arm and the top of my head. That’s why I was bleeding all over my face.
“Then he started ripping my right arm off and playing tug of war with it,” Pavone said.
Christine threw a chair at the dog, who dropped Pavone’s right arm before reaching for his left arm. Finally, Pavone’s father pulled Jaxx by the collar and put him on the terrace, Pavone said.
“I was really surprised, the adrenaline was rising,” said Pavone. “I was trying to get my arm back.”
Pavone was hospitalized and had to have surgery on his right arm, which is still missing a piece of muscle. He said he also had puncture wounds to his head and left arm.
Pavone was particularly shocked by the attack as he immediately drove to Jaxx when his mother brought the ACC dog home.
DISCLAIMER: GRAPHIC CONTENT
“I took him for a walk. I fed him. That night he slept with me right next to the couch,” he said. “I wondered why he would do that [attacked him] because I treated him so well. I was in shock and I was so upset.
Since the attack, Pavone said, he’s been getting nervous around dogs.
“I have never been afraid of dogs. I had a bunch of them growing up,” he said. “After this incident, I was worried every time I saw a dog.”
As for the shelter, says Pavone, “I think they should have done more research on the dog. There must be something wrong with him. He had no reason to act like this. He was very vicious.
In fact, Pavone said, the shelter called Jaxx “the friendly giant.”
“I hope this never happens to anyone else again,” Pavone said, noting that his 6-year-old nephew was present during the attack.
“If this had happened to [my nephew]he would have been killed,” Pavone said.
His lawsuit says the ACC failed to properly “screen” the dog before allowing him to be adopted. The ACC also “failed to provide adequate warning to the adopter,” the filing alleges.
Pavone is suing for unspecified damages.
Her attorney Ronald H. Roth told the Post that Pavone’s mother adopted the dog “in hopes of bringing some happiness into their home as she was losing her battle with lung cancer.”
“Unbeknownst to the Pavones, the dog they adopted from ACC was a ticking time bomb that went off when they arrived,” Roth said.
The ACC did not return a request for comment.
At the time of the incident, ACC spokeswoman Katy Hanson told the Staten Island Advance that “there were no red flags indicating the potential for aggression” at Jaxx. The dog was returned to the ACC and Hanson said at the time that he would be evaluated to determine if he should be put down.