Court battle over dog sentenced to death

Amy Freeze reports from Harlem.
November 21, 2013 3:07:50 PM PST
Animal advocates are suing the city to save a dog sentenced to death in Manhattan.

A 75lb mixed breed dog is feared to have rabies so the Department of Health will not let the dog be sent to an animal sanctuary and plans to euthanize the dog.

4-year-old pit bull mix Jake is on New York City doggie death row, but a Queens attorney says it's a case of mistaken identity and time is running out.

"This is a death sentence for this innocent dog," said Rich Rosenthal, of the Lexus Project.

Jake was taken in at Animal Care and Control with bite wounds from another animal.

He was assumed to be bait used in illegal dog fights.

The City Department of Health cited rabies concerns and condemned Jake to death.

That is, until the Lexus Project stepped in.

"Unless someone steps up, these dogs have no way of having facts shown," Rosenthal said.

The Lexus Project alleges ACC did not get the facts right about this dog.

"It appears that the DOH did not perform the proper investigation or test to prove Jake has rabies," Rosenthal said, "Now we've done a proper investigation. We have the rest of the story."

In fact, there's proof the fog had a rabies shot. It was his microchip that helped track his vaccines and his former owners, all information that took a little digging by someone else because Jake cannot speak for himself

Animal Control would not show Jake or any dog at their facility to our cameras and offered a statement via a city attorney.

"Animal Care and Control of NYC takes great care to balance public health and safety concerns with animals' well-being and has been providing regular veterinary care to Jake. We will be addressing the petitioner's claims in greater detail at Friday's hearing."

Rosenthal says there is a message in Jake's story for all pet owners.

"Bringing them to ACC saying they are a stray means they will be killed or executed," Rosenthal said.

Jake has a stay of execution until Friday's court date.

For more information on the Lexus Project please visit: