County has its second registered dangerous dog

October 3, 2013
Sutton, a 1-year-old dachshund, was heavily bandaged after he was attacked by another dog – an American Bulldog – in Canonsburg in August. - Observer-Reporter Order a Print

An American bulldog that attacked a dachshund in Canonsburg two months ago will be the second dog in Washington County to be deemed a dangerous dog. The bulldog’s owner, Sean Kenavey of Hutchinson Avenue, Canonsburg, pleaded guilty to charges of harboring a dangerous dog Tuesday during a hearing at the office of District Judge David Mark.

Canonsburg residents grew concerned with the bulldog, named Zeus, after he broke loose from his fenced enclosure and attacked a dachshund named Sutton at Hawthorne Street and Belmont Avenue in August. Sutton required surgery for an abdominal puncture, lacerated liver and muscle damage. Kenavey will be required to pay $3,400 in restitution to cover the veterinary bills.

Prior to that incident, Zeus attacked a greyhound named Gracie as her owner walked her past Kenavey’s house in February. Gracie slipped out of her harness and went missing for 12 days, but survived.

Kenavey will be required to register Zeus as a dangerous dog with the state Dog Law Enforcement Office within 30 days and follow all subsequent requirements. If Kenavey chooses not to euthanize Zeus or send him to a rehabilitation facility, he will be required to pay a $500 registration fee each year and post a bond or obtain $50,000 in liability insurance for any injuries the dog might cause. Zeus also would need to be confined in a proper enclosure, muzzled and leashed when outside, neutered and given a microchip implant.

There is only one other registered dangerous dog in the county, but 15 cases are still open, according to Samantha Krepps, press secretary for the Department of Agriculture, which oversees the Dog Law Enforcement Office. Open cases include those in which a hearing has not yet been held, cases under appeal and cases in which the dog owners are in the process or registering their dog or have failed to do so.

According to Joe McCay and Jim Sulkowski, owners of Sutton and Gracie, respectively, Kenavey is looking into options to rehabilitate Zeus in a facility outside of Canonsburg, and possibly outside of the state. Kenavey did not return a call seeking comment.

Both McCay and Sulkowski attended the hearing Tuesday and said they were relieved that Zeus was deemed a dangerous dog, but they also said they won’t feel entirely safe until Zeus is removed from their neighborhood.

“It’s still a risk for the next 30, 60, 100 days, or whatever,” McCay said. “He’s still (living under) the same conditions as he was when he made the last couple attacks.”

McCay and Sulkowski said Kenavey refused a request by Mark to refrain from walking Zeus in Canonsburg. Kenavey allegedly said that by law, he could walk Zeus anywhere as long as he was muzzled and leashed.

“All of us in the neighborhood want to know that the dog is out of our neighborhood,” Sulkowski said. “I think it’s still a risk.”

Emily Petsko joined the Observer-Reporter as a staff writer in June 2013. She graduated from Point Park University with a dual bachelor's degree in journalism and global cultural studies.

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