First Photos of Star the Pit Bull, Still on the Mend

Star the Pit Bull 2Courtesy Animal Care and Control of NYC

The pit bull that was shot on 14th Street has been turned over to the city after her owner failed to fetch her, and The Local has obtained the first photos of Star since she was shot while charging a police officer on Aug. 13.

Richard Gentles, a spokesperson for city Animal Care & Control, said Star’s owner failed to claim her by a deadline of 8 p.m. yesterday, at which point she was released to the agency. Once she leaves the care center in East Harlem where she’s been recovering, she’ll be turned over to the Mayor’s Alliance for New York City’s Animals, a coalition of non-profit animal shelters and rescue groups aimed at insuring that animals are adopted rather than killed in city shelters.

Mr. Gentles said his agency had arranged for what had come to $10,000 in medical treatment, most of which will be paid for by donations. He said Star was still resting and not ready for visitors, but – as with three previous status updates – her condition is improving.

starCourtesy Animal Care & Control of NYC

The Local has been unable to locate Lech Stankiewicz, who was passed out on the sidewalk when the dog charged a pedestrian and a police officer while apparently trying to protect him, but some in the “traveler” and “crust punk” communities said they had seen him on the street after the incident occurred.

It’s uncertain whether Mr. Stankiewicz has made any efforts to retrieve Star, but some young homeless people complained that Animal Care & Control rules worked against them, since owners must show a valid government-issued ID and proof of address in order to retrieve their pets from city shelters.

Kala, a 23-year-old from Hull, Mass. who did not want to give a last name, said her dog was recently taken from her because it was not wearing a health department license as required by law; she claimed she wasn’t able to retrieve the pet because she didn’t have the required documents and was trying to arrange for a friend to adopt it.

Melvin Felix and Ray Lemoine contributed reporting.