The mother of a 13-year-old boy attacked by a loose dog last summer said Monday she believes penalties should have been higher for the dog’s owner.
The boy suffered 20 puncture wounds that required 30 staples and five stitches to close when he was bitten on his family’s Lenox Road property by a loose pit bull, officials said.
The dog was declared dangerous, but wasn’t put down because it was his first offense. The owners agreed to move it out of the city and the City Court judge required $50,000 in insurance to be taken out on the dog, city Corporation Counsel Carl Falotico said.
The dog’s owner, Amy Conger of Mason Street, pleaded guilty to having a loose dog. The dog was also unlicensed, city officials said.
Conger was required to pay the out-of-pocket medical expenses for the family of the boy attacked. Those expenses totaled just $380.
The case concluded in City Court Monday with the final restitution figure set.
The mother of the boy attacked also gave a victim-impact statement in court.
Christine Serafini later said she believes the dog owner should have had to pay for all the medical costs, including reimbursing the insurance company. She also questioned how serious a first offense has to be to increase the penalties.
“What degree does the damage have to be physically to a victim that a dog or dog owner is punished to the full extent of the law?” Serafini wrote in a statement she gave in court that she provided.
Serafini’s son, now 14, was attacked as he and friends played basketball in the Serafini driveway the evening of June 26. She said her son continues to heal, but the injuries are not inhibiting him.
“My only peace is that my son’s physical and mental status are strong and we move forward from this,” Serafini said in her statement in court.
Conger was represented by attorney Kevin Luibrand.
Luibrand on Monday said Conger had the dog for protection and that there were no prior problems. The dog got loose after getting through a hole in damaged piece of fencing in Conger’s back yard.
Luibrand said Conger has complied with the requirements and the dog has been moved from the city and is now living with someone in Scotia or Glenville.
Falotico said the city viewed the insurance paperwork before releasing the dog to the family in September. Among the requirements was that the dog be registered as a dangerous dog with the municipality it was taken to.
The attack came four days before an unrelated dog attack in Schenectady that later gained much attention. In that case, two dogs, Victor and Tyson, attacked and killed another dog, Templeton. The two attacking dogs had previously attacked another dog and were later ordered euthanized.