Pit Bull That Attacked 4-Year-Old Girl Released From Death Row

Filed under: In The News, Pets

Pit Bull released from death row

Franchesca Surun, right, with her dog Snoop, who spent eight months on doggie death row for biting a 4-year-old girl.Credit: Joe Marino, New York Daily News

Here's a phrase you don't hear every day: Wow, that dog has a great lawyer.

Following a lengthy legal battle, a Bronx pit bull named Snoop was released from death row Aug. 15. The hound had been incarcerated after biting Terrence Roker and Taite, his 4-year-old daughter, on Dec. 6, 2009.

Roker tells the New York Daily News it is "ridiculous" that Snoop is still alive.

"I just don't know what it takes," he tells the newspaper, adding that he loves animals, but not "animals who attack my family."

So how did Snoop manage to get this new leash on life?

Franchesca Surun, the dog's owner, received free legal help from attorney Rachel Hirschfeld, who tells the Daily News she had to talk to the shelter "every three days ... about not killing him."

Back in April, a Daily News report said Hirschfeld had "outfoxed" city officials by insisting that Snoop's rights be honored "to the letter of the law."

The case was unusual because "most dogs (only) last a few days on Death Row," according to Kevan Cleary, a volunteer at the Brooklyn shelter where Snoop was held for eight months before his release.

The incident occurred last winter when Snoop escaped from Surun's yard and attacked Roker and his daughter while they were walking in their neighborhood looking at Christmas lights. The dog bit "both of Taite's feet" and ripped open Roker's leg, according the Daily News. Roker is planning to sue Surun.

In order to satisfy city officials, Surun has agreed to construct a 7-foot-high fence in order to keep Snoop from escaping from her yard again.

In 2009, the New York City Housing Authority banned certain dog breeds from city housing projects, including "pit bulls, Rottweillers and Doberman Pinschers," according to PawNation. Other cities have laws that restrict ownership of certain types of dogs, or require their owners to carry liability insurance.

Related: 9-Year-Old Saves Girl from Pit Bull

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.