OGDEN, N.Y. (WROC) — A pit bull in Ogden has been determined dangerous and was sentenced to be put down, according to a Monday Ogden Town Court ruling.
The dog, named Vanessa, was accused of biting a jogging neighbor. Vanessa was being walked with another dog by her owner’s girlfriend, according to court documents.
The bite, the documents say, required 18 stitches.
“I ran away from them when they were coming at me,” said Jessica Hirt, who says she was bitten by Vanessa, “and they still got me as I continued to try to get away from them.”
A petition to free the dog has more than 6,000 signatures as of Thursday morning.
Jared Hirt, Jessica’s husband, told News 8 he had received threatening messages after the incident was posted about on social media.
“All of this perpetrated as some type of narrative to establish that we are somehow villains because of this,” said Hirt. “None of which we asked for, my wife just went out for a jog.”
Vanessa’s owner, Jeremy Wolf, told News 8 the ruling was too extreme, and that Vanessa acts as a support dog.
“I am a responsible dog owner,” said Wolf. “I just do not think the punishment fits the crime in this situation. So I just think that the judge has been way too severe considering the details of what happened.”
According to the judge’s decision, the dog owner’s team called on a certified dog trainer who, after meeting with Vanessa for 45 minutes, concluded the dog was not capable of biting someone without being provoked.
Wolf plans on appealing the decision to a higher court, according to Wolf’s attorney.
Check back with News 8 as we continue to update this story.