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What you need to know for 01/19/2018

Schenectady dogs to be put down

Schenectady dogs to be put down

Both of the dogs involved in a fatal attack on another dog will be euthanized by Friday.
Schenectady dogs to be put down
Sean McKearn, hugs his sister Lindsay McKearn Wednesday, August 13, 2014. His father Kevin is seen at right.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

Both of the dogs involved in a fatal attack on another dog will be euthanized by Friday.

Owner Sean McKearn agreed to the euthanization in a plea deal Wednesday morning in City Court. One of his dogs, Vic, had already been slated for euthanasia after a dangerous dog hearing two weeks ago, but the fate of the second dog, Tyson, waited for today’s criminal hearing.

McKearn pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of harboring a dangerous dog. He was sentenced to 75 hours of community service and must pay the $2,614.26 vet bill for Templeton, the dog killed by his dogs.

Afterward, his entire family expressed remorse.

Sean McKearn said he wanted to apologize to Templeton’s family.

“My heart goes out to the Cigal family,” he said. “I feel awful about the situation and I hope their future is bright.”

McKearn’s father, Kevin, said that when he heard Templeton’s owners speak in court, he realized he would feel the same way if a dog of his was killed.

“We all learned a lesson. It was a hard lesson,” he said, adding that he should have done things differently to keep the dogs securely contained. They got to Templeton by leaping out of a window he left open.

“I’ll accept a lot of the responsibility because it was my house,” Kevin McKearn said. “I had no idea Vic was capable of what he did, because the two prior incidents were very minor.”

In both prior cases, Vic attacked a dog but did not cause fatal wounds.

Visiting City Court Judge Stephen Swinton was highly critical of Sean McKearn as he sentenced him. He said McKearn refused to accept responsibility earlier, when he could have taken actions to keep his dogs from attacking others.

“You’re not the worst person I’ve ever had in front of me as a judge,” he said. “You might be the most childish.”

He added that McKearn had many opportunities to retrain the dogs, contain them better or take other actions to prevent attacks.

“If there’s any blame for putting these dogs down, it’s on you,” he said, calling McKearn an irresponsible dog owner. “The court doesn’t put down dogs to punish dogs.”

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