Weekly Feature



2018-10-11 / Front Page

Residents call for action after death of family dog

by BRYAN JACKSON
Editor

Residents in the Castlewood, Baywood and Cherrywood drives area are speaking out after dogs from a nearby Borden Road residence broke through a fence into a neighboring yard Sunday and attacked a dog that lived there.

The dog, Pug, who belonged to the Kegler family, died from wounds suffered in the attack.

Sarah Kegler, who lives with her family on Castlewood Drive, recounted the attack to the Cheektowaga Town Council Tuesday night.

According to Kegler, two of her children and her friends were playing in her backyard when four dogs allegedly got through the fence at 808 Borden Road, where the dogs reside, and attacked the Keglers’ dog. During the attack, a neighbor who came to help was bit on the thigh and hands. He was treated for his injuries at Erie County Medical Center and released.

The Keglers’ dog suffered broken ribs, punctured lungs, a broken jaw, ruptured intestines and a ruptured bladder, and died at an emergency veterinarian clinic Sunday night.

“My children screamed, ‘Why Mommy?’ and for the first time, I didn’t have an answer for them,” Kegler said. “Most times, my response would be something to the effect of things aren’t always fair or everything happens for a reason, neither of which felt like a good answer to this one. This was preventable. It was avoidable, and it was the irresponsible dog owner’s fault.”

Charles Kegler said Pug was part of the family

“He was part of our family. We had him for seven years,” he said. “It was all of [the children’s] first dog. He goes everywhere with us.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, several other neighbors spoke about their run-ins with dogs from the property, including Daryl Gainey, the neighbor who came to Pug’s aid last weekend. Gainey said the dogs are rarely leashed or attended to while outside in the large lot at 808 Borden.

The Keglers have had problems before with the dogs at 808 Borden Road — a property owned by Michael Khalil, according to Erie County Real Property Tax records. Twice in 2015, the dogs broke down sections of the fence and got into the Keglers’ yard. During one of those incidents, Kegler said her father had to use a chair to keep one of the dogs at bay while its owner could come get it, and during the other incident, a dog repeatedly slammed its head into the family’s sliding glass door.

According to the Keglers, Cheektowaga’s animal control officer, Scott Thrun, has not been helpful. Sarah Kegler told the board that Thrun reported to them that he had advised the homeowner at 808 Borden Road to put up a chain-link fence to better control the dogs.

The Keglers spoke to Thrun by phone on Monday, the day after the attack, and he reportedly told them that he had inspected the chain fence and had stopped at the residence on multiple occasions. However, the Keglers dispute that account, especially after Thrun came to their house after the weekend phone conversation and was unable to identify the chain fence he had assured the family was there.

Thrun declined to comment, citing a pending dangerous dog hearing scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 13. He referred further questions to Assistant Chief of Police James Speyer, who serves as the department’s public information officer.

According to Town Attorney John Dudziak, in addition to the hearing scheduled for 10:30 a.m., if a judge determines the dogs are dangerous in the meantime, they could be removed from the residence and held, pending the result of the weekend hearing. However, that decision had not been made by press time.

email: bjackson@beenews.com

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