Stephen Neira adopted a pit bull named Alex just 22 minutes before the dog was scheduled to be euthanized at the Animal Care Centers of New York City. Neira brought Alex into his Patchogue, New York, home on Sept. 6, but within minutes, the dog attacked Neira’s 16-year-old daughter, Briana.
“He ran up to the back door wagging his tail, the kids were there with their iPads taking pictures,” Neira told Pix11. “When I opened the back door he shot all the way through the house straight to the living room and then all the way back, and on his way out my oldest girl was standing in the corner and with no hesitation, no sniff, right from running jumped right in to go for her, right at the face.”
Neira leaped into action. "After I threw the dog — I thought it had passed out from me choking him — he bounced right back up and pinned me up against my own gate,” he said. "I fought with him there, kicking him, trying to keep him back, and finally my neighbor opened the gate grabbed me and pulled me out of the gate."
Although Alex had passed a battery of behavioral tests, the dog bit Briana’s face, neck and arm. She needed plastic surgery on her lip and it took two tranquilizer darts to knock Alex unconscious.
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"It was supposed to be a beautiful, beautiful day; instead my wife can't stop crying," Neira told Newsday. ”We were giving the dog a new life.”
The following day, Alex was euthanized.
The website Neira found Alex on, Urgent Pets on Death Row, said the dog was safe to go home. “Alex did not show any concern during the handling and resources of the behavior assessment but he show a bit of concern inside the shelter,” the dog’s profile read.
“When he’s off leash, he is friendly with other dogs. But when he is on a walk or when he’s in the kennel he showed barrier frustration and barks at other dogs. The behavior department feels that he can go to an Average home.”