Wednesday, May 18, 2016


The mangled finger of  Anthony Aliotta
The victim of the dog attack in South Mountain Reservation, which resulted in a court order to have the offending dog destroyed and sparked a protest, says he was attacked and bitten only when he sought to remove the dog from his leg. 

Anthony Aliotta, a Millburn police officer, also showed his mangled finger -- which he said was partially bitten off and re-attached -- that he says will never be the same. He did not want to be shown, but was willing to have his hand photographed.

He also said his own dog, a German Shepard, was attacked by the same dog and required many stitches after the incident on Nov. 9, 2015.

John Henry
"I was walking with my dog, recreational walking, and this pit bull came charging at us," Aliotta, 35, told Tuesday. "He jumped on my leg, I pushed him off and he bit me."

Aliotta, a Montclair resident, came under fire by some protesters at Tuesday's Township Committee meeting who came out to object to the April 13 court order that found the owner of the dog in violation of a state statute regarding violent animals.

Maplewood Municipal Court Judge Stanley Varon ruled on April 13 that Fernanda Silva was in violation of the state law when her dog, John Henry, attacked Aliotta while off leash in the reservation.

The judge directed that John Henry be destroyed, but that has been appealed to Essex County Superior Court. John Henry is currently being held in a Livingston animal shelter pending the outcome of that appeal.

Protesters posted some objection to the ruling online that Aliotta said were "bashing" him "on the Internet, but they don't know the truth."

He also spoke at the TC meeting public comment portion, adding that "the attack was not a scuffle, it was an attack ... at the end of the day, the dog still snapped ... If the dog is put down it is not Maplewood, it is the owners."

About a dozen protesters spoke out at the Tuesday night TC meeting, where they urged that the dog not be destroyed and questioned the ruling.  

See comments from two of them below:



Unknown said...

I dont know any of the facts of this charge, but I saw that dog in The Livingston Animal Shelter this week and it was as friendly to me and my cat as any dog I have ever met.

Randy Lawrence said...

I do not know anyone in this particular situation, but I feel for everything involved in it. As a dog owner, I cannot imagine having to give my dog up to be put down. But I also know that not all dogs are nice and the community cannot have dogs running around injuring people and other animals. Good luck to everyone!

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