Woman attacked by her adopted dog, sues town

Kristin Thorne has the exclusive story from Farmingville, Long Island. (WABC)
May 5, 2014 10:00:54 AM PDT
It's hard for Cassandra Cosgriff to even stand in a certain corner of her Farmingville house.

Recently. Cosgriff's pit bull, Zen, who she adopted the town of Riverhead animal shelter a few years ago, attacked her arm in February, chomping down and not letting go. "She jumped up and went for my throat," she said pointing to her injuries. "These two injuries still really hurt. There's nerve damage over here."

Cosgriff has several surgeries to go to recover from her injuries, and she is planning to sue the town of Riverhead for several million dollars.

Cosgriff said the dog never showed any signs of aggression until the attack when Zen also went after Cosgriff's two sons. "We almost couldn't get the dog off," she said.

Zen has since been euthanized. After the attack, Cosgriff did some research and out from police that she had been abused. "I found out that my dog's ears had been cut with scissors and that she had been a fighter dog."

The shelter never told her about Zen's past, which is why she is now suing the town for fraud and negligence.

"There was a known history of severe abuse with this dog and she should not have been placed with a family," said Sandra Radna, her attorney.

The supervisor for the town of Riverhead said the town will not comment on litigation and that he is unfamiliar with the case. Cosgriff is just now starting to be able to use her arm again, but not enough to continue her job as a hairstylist.

"This whole thing could have been avoided. I'm lucky to be here. I could be dead right now," she said. "This dog chewed on me like I was a bone."