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Dog that bit Scotia man seized, owner cited

Thursday, September 26, 2013
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— The dog that attacked an 80-year-old man in Scotia on Saturday has now been seized and its owner has been cited, village police said Thursday.

The dog owner, 43-year-old Camilla Griffin, of 224 Alexander Ave., said Thursday that she followed all instructions she received from authorities after Saturday’s incident and never intended to do otherwise. But police initially could not find the dog to seize it.

The dog was seized late Wednesday afternoon and a citation issued to Griffin for violating village ordinances related to her dog running off her property and chasing the victim Saturday afternoon.

The victim, identified as 80-year-old Clifford Semerad, was treated at Ellis Hospital and released. He returned later for a related infection, neighbors said. He suffered bites to his face, head and hands. His condition was not available Thursday.

Neighbors said Semerad was attacked after he returned a bowl to the Griffins, who had filled it for him with vegetables from their garden.

Griffin gave up the dog Wednesday, a day after Scotia Mayor Kris Kastberg said police went to the home to get the dog, but found no one home and no sounds of a dog barking inside.

The response was delayed, Kastberg said then, as the animal control officer doesn’t work weekends and was ill Monday and Tuesday.

Griffin said Thursday that she followed all the instructions she received from police and health officials Saturday. The dog was kept in a back room, away from people since the attack. The family wasn’t home Tuesday because of her son had a game in Queensbury.

“I did everything they told me, nothing less,” Griffin said.

As for her neighbor, she said she feels horrible for him. She said she brought him some food after his initial return from the hospital and apologized.

Police described the dog as a mixed-breed, but Griffin said it’s a Staffordshire terrier that the family rescued. She expects the dog now will be put down.

She also acknowledged there was one previous incident with the dog biting someone inside her house, last month. She said there were no serious injuries, but she called police and was ready to give up the dog then. But she eventually kept him, after she said she was told she could.

Kastberg has previously said dog bites on the dog owner’s property are civil matters, not criminal matters.

 
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