Shelter Faces Suit for Adopting Out ‘Wild’ Dog

     MINEOLA, N.Y. (CN) – A woman being sued by the elderly person her dog Jimmy mauled says a pet-rescue group misled her about the animal’s aggression.
     Allison Fowler brought the April 23 complaint in Nassau County Supreme Court against Ruff House Rescue Inc. and its director.
     In her lawsuit, Fowler says Long Beach-based Ruff House induced her to adopt Jimmy, and falsely advertised the pit bull mix as a “pointer/black Labrador mix.”
     Though the shelter allegedly described the dog was “not at all aggressive,” Fowler says it knew that the dog had a history of aggressive behavior toward humans.
     Ruff House and its director failed to disclose that Jimmy had bitten the grandmother of his previous owner, according to the complaint.
     Fowler allegedly had the dog less than a year when, on May, 10, 2012, Jimmy “attacked and seriously injured an 80-year old woman.
     This woman sued Fowler, and Fowler now faces more than $100,000 in liability damages, she claims.
     Fowler says she learned about Jimmy’s bite history in July 2012 when a Ruff House employee allegedly told Fowler that Jimmy had “bitten someone once before you even adopted him.”
     The employee allegedly added, “I remember he had moments with certain people.”
     Ruff House placed Jimmy with Fowler on Oct. 26, 2011, after she submitted a five-page adoption application in which she informed the rescue organization that she was looking for a gentle, companion pet and had never before owned a dog, according to the complaint.
     “With reckless disregard for the safety of Allison Fowler and the public at large, [Ruff House] disregarded Allison Fowler’s lack of experience with dogs and therefore the obvious unsuitability of placing an aggressive pit bull mix dog with a history of aggression against people, as a pet for Allison,” the complaint states.
     Alleging gross negligence, fraudulent inducement and breach of implied warranty of suitability, Fowler seeks compensation for any judgment that may be rendered against her by the woman her dog bit.
     Fowler is represented by William Scott Fowler of Jericho, N.Y.

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