The decision to euthanize Trigger, , was made after local officials determined his attacks on an 8-year-old girl were unprovoked, the Humane Society of Harrisburg s executive director said Thursday.
Amy Kaunas said a state dog warden s investigation determined Trigger had attacked the daughter of on more than one occasion.
In one attack last April, the dog grabbed the girl by the top of her head, Kaunas said. And in another attack in December the one that allegedly led Boyanowski to order Trigger s death the girl was left with serious injuries to her upper lip and chin that required eight stitches.
There s no evidence [the attacks were provoked], Kaunas told PennLive Thursday. I know it s a heartfelt story; it s a sad story. The dog was a victim of a really heinous act. But there s another victim too and that is this little girl.
Trigger after police said Boyanowski, 31, of Middletown, asked his friend, Jeffery S. Fletcher, 21, of Highspire, to kill the dog. Authorities allege that Fletcher slit the dog s neck three times with a hunting knife and left it to die, which led both men to be charged with animal cruelty and other charges.
Kaunas said Trigger arrived at the humane society shortly after the incident and the attack on Boyanowski s daughter. Any dog that attacks a human or another animal is kept in quarantine for 10 days as a state dog warden conducts an investigation.
That investigation includes interviews with the family of the dog and a look at its past history, Kaunas said. The state dog warden ultimately deemed Trigger a dangerous dog and issued a citation.
That citation applied to the Humane Society of Harrisburg, which technically became Trigger s owner after Boyanowski transferred ownership of the dog. The citation did not allow the humane society to transfer ownership of the dog to another person, Kaunas said
She added that humane society staff also conducted their own investigation, along with Lower Swatara Township police, and interviewed Boyanowski s family, including his daughter. Meanwhile, Trigger continued to act in a way that left staff at the humane society to take extra precautions in handling him, Kaunas said.
Ultimately, the decision was made to put down Trigger on Jan. 2 after the humane society considered the information it had gathered and the state dog warden s findings.
Kaunas stressed the injuries suffered by Boyanowski s daughter were a key component in the decision to put down Trigger.
Imagine what eight stitches would really look like. It s not a good thing, Kaunas said. It s not a nip and pull. This was bruising. This was eight stitches and the dog grabbing her face.
Kaunas said the humane society offered Trigger s ashes to Kevin Bonner, the man who planned to adopt the dog after playing a part in his rescue. Bonner, who could not be reached for comment by PennLive, declined the ashes, Kaunas said.
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