Pictured, left to right: Lynne Schoepfer, Dori Scofield, Lucky, and Lucky’s former owner, Joey Mantle.

Save-A-Pet Holds Official Send-Off For Lucky

Former “Death Row” Dog to Get a New Leash on Life at Sanctuary in Arizona

Save-A-Pet Animal Rescue and Adoption Center, Inc. held an official send-off on July 23 for Lucky, the dog who had been on “death row” for killing a cat. Lucky’s life was spared after a court ruling that he leave the state.

During the initial court case, the judge ruled for Lucky to be destroyed. But upon appeal, the pit bull mix was freed from the Brookhaven Town Shelter after 14 months in “doggy jail” when the cat’s owner’s lawsuit was settled. Both sides agreed that Lucky would not be destroyed, but that he would be ordered to leave the state. Up until July 23, he had been housed at Save-A-Pet, as Founder/President Dori Scofield is the former Brookhaven Animal Shelter Supervisor and the dog held a special place in her heart.

"Lucky and I go way back. He is a very special dog and it broke my heart to think he could’ve been euthanized for killing a cat — something that New York State law does not recognize as a valid reason for destroying a dog upon first offense. This was an unfortunate incident and it’s sad for the owner of the cat, but Lucky was just being a dog and doing what many dogs would naturally do.”

In March 2012, a Suffolk district court judge ordered that Lucky be destroyed, even though he had not been previously deemed dangerous, which is a requirement under state law. Lucky’s owner, Joey Mantle, appealed the judicial ruling with the help of attorney Amy Chaitoff and Smithtown-based Guardians of Rescue, of which Ms. Scofield is the Vice President. Unable to cover the costs of the appeal, Mr. Mantle relinquished custody of his dog to Guardians of Rescue. The case was won, under the condition that Lucky leave the state within 60 days.

"Lucky has remained calm throughout this entire ordeal,” said Ms. Scofield. “While at Brookhaven, he wasn’t allowed to play with other dogs or be let outside by anyone but specified handlers. That situation would prove difficult for most dogs, but not Lucky. He took it all in stride. We’ll be very sad to see him leave Save-A-Pet, but are so happy his life was spared with the help of Ms. Chaitoff and Guardians of Rescue.”

On Tuesday, July 23, the shelter held an official send-off in honor of Lucky’s second chance. Guests, including Mr. Mantle, enjoyed pizza and cake and Mr. Mantle was able to say an emotional goodbye to his former pet. Ms. Scofield then met up with an experienced transporter/trucker at a rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike for the first leg of Lucky’s journey. He then headed to Denver, Colorado before continuing on with another transporter to Arizona, who will meet up with Hillarie Allison, founder and president of Rescue Unwanted Furry Friends Foundation (RUFFF) in Golden Valley, where Lucky will be trained before being available for adoption to a suitable home.

Newsday.com: “Death Row Dog Gets a Lucky Break,” 7/23/13
Fox 5: “Dog’s Life is Spared and He’s Heading for Arizona,” 7/23/13
Port Times Record: “Saved Dog Heads West for Rehabilitation,” 7/24/13





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