Officials Seek Dog That Attacked L.I. Woman

No one in the neighborhood had seen the dog before, and the victim hopes its owner will come forward

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The search is on for a dog that has already attacked one person. Greg Cergol reports. (Published Friday, Jun 1, 2012)

    Animal control officials on Long Island are looking for a dog that attacked a 44-year-old woman as she walked up a friend's driveway to pick up her daughter Tuesday night, forcing her to get 15 stitches to repair her torn foot.

    Valerie DeMasi says she was walking up the driveway in Holbrook to pick up her 9-year-old daughter when she heard someone calling a dog. She looked up, saw the dog and says it attacked her, knocking her to the ground and ripping open her foot with its teeth.

    The owner of the home saw the dog attack and came outside wielding a piece of wood. He swiped at the dog and when it backed off, he carried the bleeding DeMasi inside.

    By the time he came back out to look for the dog, it was gone. DeMasi says her daughter and the other children in the house witnessed the attack and were traumatized. No one had seen the animal in the neighborhood before.

    A Town of Islip spokesperson told NBC 4 New York the town was aware of the incident and called it an "unprovoked dog attack."

    DeMasi had to get at least 15 stitches in her right foot and is currently getting a series of rabies shots to prevent infection. Since no one was familiar with the dog, her doctors are taking precautions in case it was sick.

    Animal control officials are now canvassing the neighborhood, checking on dog licenses and trying to find the animal that attacked DeMasi.

    DeMasi wants the dog owner to come forward and take responsibility for what happened. Yari DeLeon, who lives in the home DeMasi had visited to pick up her daughter, says her street is full of homes with children who used to frequently play outside.

    Now, she says, the children are scared to play outside and parents, fearful of a potentially dangerous dog on the loose, won't let them.
     

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