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New Hartford family appeals dog's death sentence

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: New Hartford family appeals dog's death sentence
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A New Hartford family is appealing a judge's decision to have their pet put down, after the dog bit the owner's granddaughter. Since the incident happened, people from throughout the country and even overseas have rallied behind Jack. Our Candace Hopkins has more on the fight to save the Sheltie's life.

NEW HARTFORD, N.Y.--It was March 27th when Natalie Beratta said her dog, Jack, bit her four-year-old granddaughter on the cheek. No one witnessed the attack. So, it's unclear if the dog was provoked; but, Beratta said Jack is a gentle dog.

"I've had Jack since the day he was born. He's always been a great dog. He's friendly. He sleeps on the same bed as we do. I've never had any problems with Jack," said Beratta.

The child needed four stitches to close her wound, but is now recovering. Eventually, Beratta ended up in New Hartford Town Court, where a judge held a hearing on the matter. YNN obtained the transcript. Beratta's daughter Nicole testified that Jack bit the same child when she was a baby, leaving a small cut on her hand.

Natalie Beratta and an animal control officer also testified before the judge made his decision saying, "Based upon what I've heard today and the exhibits offered, I find that there is clear and convincing evidence that the dog is dangerous and that he committed or caused serious physical injury to the daughter. Based on that, I'm going to issue an order for euthanization."

The decision shocked the Beratta family.

"We just feel so helpless and sad at this point, because not only did my granddaughter get bit, but our family pet was sentenced to death. So, I put it on Facebook. A couple people saw it. Somebody else saw it. It went viral," said Beratta.

That's when Dana Carney-Madigan stepped in to create the Help Save Jack Facebook page. It currently has over 3,500 likes. "There's so many people from not only locally here, but just all over the world, as far as France, the UK, Canada. I mean, people are just outraged over this," said Carney-Madigan.

Jack's death order has been suspended while the Beratta family appeals the judge's decision. The case will be heard in Oneida County Court. Until then, he's being held at the Stevens-Swan Humane Society.

The Beratta family said the child's mother does not want Jack put down. If he is allowed to live, they said he will be moved to another family that does not have small children.

They are accepting donations to help with the appeals process. If you'd like to learn more, visit the Help Save Jack Facebook page.

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