A Staten Island man who was viciously mauled by a rescue dog the day after his mom adopted the pooch has filed suit against the city’s beleaguered animal pound for allowing the canine to go home with them, The Post has learned.
Anthony Pavone, 24, said he was left with a chunk of muscle missing from his right arm after he was attacked by Jaxx, a 5-year-old boxer pitbull mix, on May 12, 2019.
Pavone is suing the Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) claiming the “dog was dangerous and should never have been offered to the general public,” according to his Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit filed last week.
His mother Christine – who has since died of cancer – had adopted the 86-pound dog from ACC on May 11 and brought him back to their Graniteville home.
The family got the first indication of trouble the next morning, on Mother’s Day, when the dog lunged at Pavone’s father.
“In the morning, my father went to drink of water and the dog tried to attack him,” Pavone recalled, saying his dad, “lifted up a Swiffer to defend himself and the dog broke the Swiffer and threw it to the side.”
Jaxx “had my dad pinned in the kitchen and I grabbed him by his collar … then he calmed down,” Pavone told The Post.
After going out as a family for a Mother’s Day meal, Pavone was about to leave to meet friends when Jaxx again became aggressive and twice tried to attack him, he said.
The first time, Pavone said he yelled at the dog, who slinked back to his bed. Then as Pavone tried to leave again, “this time he went right for my leg.”
“I jumped back… I fell down the steps and that’s when he went for my neck,” Pavone said. “I put my hand up and he got my arm from him and the top of my head. That’s why I was bleeding all over my face.”
“Then he started ripping into my right arm and playing tug of war with it,” Pavone said.
Christine threw a chair at the dog who released Pavone’s right arm, before going for his left arm. Finally, Pavone’s father yanked Jaxx by the collar and put him on the patio, Pavone said.
“I was really surprised, adrenaline was pumping,” Pavone said. “I was trying to get my arm back.”
Pavone was hospitalized and needed surgery on his right arm, which still has a piece of muscle missing. He said he also had puncture wounds on his head and on his left arm.
Pavone was especially shocked at the attack because he had immediately taken to Jaxx when his mom brought the pooch home from ACC.
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“I took him for a walk. I fed him. That night he slept with me right by the couch,” he said. “I wondered why he would do this because I treated him so good. I was in shock and I was so upset.”
Ever since the attack, Pavone said he gets nervous around dogs.
“I was never afraid of dogs. I had a bunch growing up,” he said. “After that incident, I was worried every time I walked past a dog.”
As for the shelter, Pavone says, “I think they should have done more research on the dog. There had to be something wrong with him. There was no reason for him to act like that. He was very vicious.”
In fact, Pavone said the shelter called Jaxx, “the friendly giant.”
“I would hope this would never happen to someone else again,” Pavone said, noting his 6-year-old nephew was present during the attack.
“If that would have happened to [my nephew]he would have been killed,” Pavone said.
His suit says that the ACC failed to properly “screen” the dog before allowing it to be adopted. The ACC also “failed to provide an adequate warning to the adopter,” the filing alleges.
Pavone is suing for unspecified damages.
His lawyer Ronald H. Roth told The Post that Pavone’s mother had adopted the dog “hoping to bring some happiness to their home, as she was losing her battle to lung cancer,”
“Unbeknownst to the Pavones, the dog they adopted from ACC was a ticking time bomb that detonated upon arrival,” Roth said.
The ACC didn’t return a request for comment.
Around the time of the incident, ACC spokesperson Katy Hanson told Staten Island Advance that “there were no red flags that would indicate the potential for aggression” in Jaxx. The dog was returned to ACC and Hanson said at the time he would be evaluated to determine whether or not he needed to be put down.