Palm Beach County Magistrate spares life of pit bull that bit Jupiter Farms man

Hurley in 2013

Hurley will live.

At a special “aggressive dog” hearing Wednesday morning, a magistrate refused to ratify Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control’s classification of the 4-year-old mail pit bull as “vicious,” which would have meant the death penalty.

Hurley had bit disabled veteran Lee Ash May 6 at Jupiter Farms Park, causing wounds to Ash’s scalp and forehead that required numerous stitches and staples.

Ash said Hurley but him after he took a football linebacker’s stance and knocked the dog down as it charged him and his 5-year-old Schnauzer, Prancer.

On Wednesday, Magistrate Earl Mallory said owner Ken Zaino was at fault when he let the dog off the leash for what Zaino said was “two seconds.” He said the county was at fault for not declaring the dog “dangerous” in 2013 after it bit two people less than six months apart. And Mallory said that while he’d have done the same things as Ash, Ash was at fault. He said it technically was Ash who attacked the dog, not the other way around.

Mallory instead instituted the “dangerous” classification, which will require the Zainos to, among other things, buy a special tag, post special signs, and muzzle the dog outside their property.

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