A dog that fatally attacked a 95-year-old woman and was ordered to be euthanized could wind up at a farm in Upstate New York.

The fate of Dexter the pit-mix is still being decided after he brutally mauled a woman to death in 2019, which has cost the Town of Suffield, Connecticut, over $150,000.

The Hartford Courant reports Dexter was court ordered to be euthanized nearly 5 years ago, but his owners, Neil and Annie Hornish, are fighting for his freedom. During all this, he's been living at River Valley Animal Shelter.

Animal Shelters Across The Country Are Experience Overcrowding
Brandon Bell/Getty Images

First Selectman Colin Moll said the town is on the hook for keeping Dexter there while the legal battle plays out, which is costing $66 a day. Despite draining taxpayer dollars, Moll said it's worth it.

He said Dexter had 3 known prior bite incidents "before it killed a 95 year old woman in a "gruesome mauling."

There is too great a risk that the dog will escape and injure or kill another person. The Town would rather pay the legal fees and boarding costs to defend the Hornishes’ many lawsuits than to all put another innocent elderly woman, a child or the general public at risk.

The victim was 95-year-old Janet D'Aleo, a family friend who dropped by with her aide for a visit, but the Hornishes weren't home at the time. Authorities said Dexter grabbed D'Aleo by the ankle and caused the woman to fall. D'Aleos' aide reportedly beat Dexter with a metal step stool in an attempt to rescue the elderly woman, but to no avail.

Police Chief Richard Brown said the D'Aleo suffered “massive injuries including flesh, muscle and tendon loss to the lower extremities.”

The state medical examiner also ruled that D'Aleo died from dog bites.

Annie Hornish disagrees, saying, "We think Dexter jumped up to greet her and knocked her on her back, and then the aide panicked because Janet fell and Janet was so fragile." She believes DeLeo died from a heart attack.  "The aide testified that Janet didn’t make a sound throughout the whole thing," she said.

In the beginning, the Hornish family paid for Dexter's boarding fees while they fought the euthanasia order, but finally stopped after shelling out $42,000. In addition to trying to save Dexter, they are also suing the town to recoup their financial losses.

They say this nightmare can come to an end if the town agrees to let him live out the rest of his life at a farm located in Chatham, New York. The property is owned by former state Rep. Diana Urban, who is willing to keep Dexter.


She also said she can have her son, who is a lawyer, draft papers to indemnify the town.

“Suffield is just a microcosm of that kind of stupidity, where government is not doing their job," she told the Courant.

What is their job, to kill the dog? Why? Because the dog needs to understand that he did a bad thing and we’re going to kill him? What? That’s insane. They can send the dog to me, forever. They don’t have to think about it. He’ll be fine.

Urban apparently houses several rescued animals at her property and offers horse riding lessons to children. She adds she keeps her rescued dogs in a separate area, away from the kids.

Town officials continue to shoot the idea down and say they will push for Dexter's termination. Said Moll, "It is difficult to rationalize how someone can justify fighting to keep a dog alive who brutally mauled an innocent woman to death."

"At every stage of the legal process, the courts have continued to side with the Town, only to be continued through the appeal process by the Hornishes," he added.

Read More: Why Are So Many Crashes Happening in CNY All of a Sudden?

He also said the town is looking forward to a resolution in their favor and plan on recouping their financial losses from the Hornish family.

The Hornishes say they will continue fighting for Dexter, saying, "This is like government at its worst and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer monies to kill a dog. That’s their endgame, to kill a dog when we have a solution."

Do you think Dexter deserves another chance? Shout us out using the station's mobile app below.

WIBX 950 logo
Get our free mobile app

See the Miracle Twin Foals Born in Central New York

Gallery Credit: Megan

The Top 5 Dirtiest Cities in New York State

A new study from LawnStarter rated the 150 dirtiest cities in America. One city from the Empire State made the top 10... and it wasn't New York City.

Gallery Credit: Megan

Top Rated Irish Bars in Central New York

Not everyone will be able to head to the Big Apple for St. Patrick's Day - if they even want to. But for those who want to grab a pint and celebrate their Irish roots with friends, here's some of the most highly-rated Irish pubs in Central New York.

Gallery Credit: Megan

More From WIBX 950