Family seeks $1 million after town euthanizes their dogs

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UNIONDALE, N.Y. (PIX11) — Did the Town of Hempstead have the right to euthanize two dogs without the owner’s knowledge?

A Uniondale family has filed a lawsuit claiming their two pitbull mix dogs were not dangerous but animal control officers took them away anyway.

dogs“I know for a fact they were loving and caring dogs,” Marbin Funez said. “They never hurt anybody.”

In February 2013 the two dogs, CC and Yankee, escaped from the backyard and they ran around the neighborhood.

Police responded and one officer fired a shot, striking one of the dogs.

When the dogs returned home, Marbin’s grandfather Narcizo Funez was asked to sign a release form. However, Narcizo does not speak English and no translator was provided.

The family’s attorney said Narcizo Funez was coerced into signing the form that would allow the town animal shelter to take complete control of the dogs.

When the Funez family came to the shelter to pick up the dogs the next business day, they were told the dogs were killed.

And according to the lawsuit, filed last month, a court should have determined the dogs were dangerous before they were euthanized.

According to Town of Hempstead spokesperson Mike Deery, “One police officer drew a gun and fired on one dog and another police officer used his night stick to fend of the other dog. We are confident that the police don’t fire on animals unless they are a threat to the public.”

The Funez family has maintained the dogs were friendly. They are seeking $1 million in damages and a change in how the town handles animal cases like this.

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