Trawinski Urges Borough to Release Dog Attack Photos

Deputy Mayor Ed Trawinski would like photos from a dog attack on Jan. 3 that killed one dog and injured its owner posted on the borough's website.

Amid criticism of the borough council's decision to override a previous municipal court settlement and continue to hold two dogs believed to be responsible for a Jan. 3 attack on another dog and its owner, Deputy Mayor Ed Trawinski asked council Tuesday to consider releasing photos from the attack.

"I cannot in good conscience let the people of Fair Lawn think that this council is acting somehow in a knee-jerk reaction, knowing what those photographs show," he said, urging council to discuss at its next public work session the possibility of posting the photographs on the borough's website.

"I think the people of Fair Lawn should be able to make an informed decision and judge for themselves."

Trawinski called an account of the attack provided on a Facebook page created in support of the dogs' release "totally wrong and factually fallacious," and urged release of the photos to counter any public sentiment that the attack was not, in fact, serious.

"The people of Fair Lawn need to understand what the risk is that we are evaluating in looking out for the interests of the people of Fair Lawn with respect to these two dogs that attacked, and didn’t just bite, but killed, in fact, I would say disemboweled a terrier and did severe damage to the terrier’s owner," he said.

According to a police report, both the dog and the dog's owner were bleeding when officers arrived on the scene. The owner was transported by ambulance to Hackensack University Medical Center, and the dog was taken to Valley Brook Animal Hospital, where it died “as a result of the injuries,” according to Borough Manager Tom Metzler.

Hope Alexander, who, along with her mother, owns the dogs allegedly responsible for the attack, said she was told that no blood was seen on either of her dogs following the attack and maintains that they are friendly and do not pose a threat to the public.

"I feel very helpless," a post on the Facebook page she created in support of her dogs reads. "I am one person against an entire town set on proving a point at the expense of my mild mannered oblivious pets."

A municipal court hearing Wednesday will decide whether the Jan. 9 settlement, in which Health and Human Services director Carol Wagner agreed to conditionally release the dogs if Alexander install a padlock on her gates, and muzzle and keep the dogs on a short leash when walking them, will be upheld.


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Phil Jonas January 30, 2013 at 12:21 PM
This is poppycock!! At least Trawinski finally gave up the medical stipend he received from Fair Lawn that cost the taxpayers over $10,000 last year. His county job that pays $175,000 plus full medical benefits apparently wasnt enough. Cosgrove and Wilson should have bitten his hand while it was in the cookie jar!!!!!!
FLResident98 January 30, 2013 at 12:32 PM
The facts on the facebook page are not "totally wrong and factually fallacious" At no time does Miss Alexander say it is impossible that her dogs were responsible for the attack or deny the seriousness of the attack . The facts are: 1. The town entered into an agreement. 2. Miss Alexander fulfilled her end of the agreement 3. The town reneged on their agreement The case has garnered the attention it has because it appears that the town is not living up to its agreement and are using Miss Alexander as an example that they are not soft on dog crime after letting 3 dogs who routinely escaped from their home and terrorize neighbors return to their owner.
Chris January 30, 2013 at 01:36 PM
I STAND WITH TRUINSKI…. As a 20 year resident of Fair Lawn and the owner of three dogs, I fully support Truinski on this one. The sad truth is that I cannot walk my dogs in the parks in Fair Lawn where I live because other irresponsible dog owners neglect the leash law and let their dogs run free. I've personally had a bad experience with this. It’s sad that I can’t even walk my dogs in our parks! No one respects the law anymore and as a result, we all suffer. I couldn’t possibly imagine what was going through this poor man’s mind as he was trying to protect his dog while he himself was being attacked. Although people have clearly drawn lines in the sand regarding this issue, some choose to disregard the fact that there are laws on the books regarding dogs and dog attacks and they MUST be abided by. They also don’t care about the facts of this incident. No matter how graphic these photos are, I think it’s imperative that people open their eyes to see the damage that these dogs have brought to this man, and his dog ultimately taking the dog’s life. Maybe and "eye for an eye"????
Marie January 30, 2013 at 01:49 PM
Who cares about the pictures!!! Everyone knows how the Yorkie died! Thats supposed to change people's minds?? Not mine! Give her dogs back already and stop making the town look rediculas!!!
BellairBerdan January 30, 2013 at 04:34 PM
Release the photos, not the hounds. If not for the fact that the owner of the 2 dogs did not keep them contained none of this would have happened. End of story. The lack of responsibility and accountability of the owner is astounding. I'm just happy she doesn't own tigers. Trawinksi is correct on this issue.
Cmon Joe January 30, 2013 at 04:35 PM
the only people making us look 'ridiculous' are the people trying to twist the story and make it sound like the 2 dogs were not responsible for the yorkies death. such as the 50+ posts on the other article saying the owner had a little scratch "According to a police report, both the dog and the dog's owner were bleeding when officers arrived on the scene." you people dont know the severity of these wounds but assume its a little scratch without being there or seeing pictures. this is the problem w/ social media. hope tells HER side of the story (even though she didnt see the attack) and because she and her daughter are well known in town and have lots of social media friends 100's of people blindly support them with out knowing the real story.
Gail P January 30, 2013 at 06:05 PM
I agree with above FL98- Hope has fulfilled all obligations that the court put upon her. It's unfair and unreasonable to continue to hold her dogs in custody. Its like saying "you gave me a bail, I posted it now u need to let me go. I grew up in fair lawn my entire life and I have to say I am happy I have moved out of a town that continues to play politics. This is ridiculous and the town officials should uphold the Judges ruling. Please do the right thing, let the dogs go back to their home. On another note; Hope has always stated that until proven she would stand by her dogs side, she has never denied any alligations in all her postings and she does feel terrible. Please do not put words in her mouth. She is a stand-up single mom and she will continue to fight for her rights.
Marie January 30, 2013 at 06:11 PM
Poor man??? Yeah right! That poor man didnt have a license for his dog nor all the shots. The Yorkie mind as well have died of kidney failure like some people are wanting to believe. The owner obviously did not care him. This man isn't going through anything but dollar signs in his head. Our parks are actually very safe to walk our dogs in. I do it everyday and yes, there are some dogs without leashes but their owners that I have grown to know quite well, are close by. Another thing, "Eye for eye" was taught many moons ago (if it was TAUGHT at all) not this day in age. We do not teach our children to behave like that and we shouldn't either. Your suggestion is obscene and better hope you are not put in this kind of situation anytime because you would not like to see you family pet put down or taken away. What is wrong with people these days????
FLMOM January 30, 2013 at 07:29 PM
This town and its leaders are WRONG! When there is an agreement it should be followed through. The town needs to and is responsible for following protocol and by not releasing the dogs when the owner complied with the necessary things she was told to do the dogs should have gone back to her. Enough nonsense with the pictures and sob stories.....if FAIR LAWN wants people to obey laws then they should too! I am so fed up with political bull$&@! Why is this going on for so long?
FLMOM January 30, 2013 at 07:31 PM
I agree...the town of Fair Lawn is setting a horrible example of "not following the rules" and if they want others to "follow the rules" then they should as well!
FLMOM January 30, 2013 at 07:37 PM
Why doesn't the fair lawn politicians do something about the drunk, loitering, homeless man wandering around in the shop rite parking lot begging for money every time I am there? He is a threat! I have been approached by him several times, all in the evening. Nothing has been done! I am more afraid of him then 2 dogs who will be secured back at home with its owner who has made ALL ARRANGEMENTS as the town instructed her to do. Give the woman back her dogs! Fair lawn and its representatives should all be ashamed!
Candi January 30, 2013 at 07:56 PM
Hope has done everything they have asked her to do...give her back her dogs..actually its animal cruelty keeping them in that disgusting fairlawn shelter when they are used to a loving home...but then again Fairlawn is one of the most corrupt towns around...Hope is not saying that her dogs didnt do anything .But where are the pics?? The vet stated the yorkie died from kidney issues UNRELATED to this...the dogs got out..sometimes this happens..she corrected any problems..the yorkie was off leash which is against the law...overdue shots and overdue rabies shot also against the law. Not licensed also against the law.....there is so much more to this. Who is the yorkie owner related too in the corrupt town..its not what you know its who you know and in this day and age everyone is sue crazy!!!!! Hopefully she will have her dogs returned today..if not she will continue to fight for them and she has many people behind her...and once the investigative reporters start digging into things I am sure many corrupt fairlawn officials will be wishing they had honored the ruling of giving her dogs back...can't wait to see how this story unfolds.....
Dorinda Mascitelli January 30, 2013 at 08:20 PM
Please step up n show real leadership n do what is right ! Stop this madness n please give this family back their babies ! show this is not a 3 ring circus for the world ! if the owners complied do what's right ! stand up n be above this bull ! Please be a stand up persons always not for the world to see but for yourself !
MBM January 30, 2013 at 09:05 PM
I agree 100% with Trawinski as my postings on FaceBook will attest to. Let us all stick to the facts and not politics. Any situation regarding Trawinski has nothing to do with this matter. The dogs got loose, 'attacked and ate' another dog and severely bit a HUMAN. It doesn't matter that the Yorkie did not have his shots. You are implying that the dogs would not have attacked him if he did? To say the owner of the Yorkie did not care for his dog is also not a relevent fact. I'm sure he did but does that really matter either? As far as FLMOM saying the town is not following the rules, well , that might have been true in the past which is what I have been fighting them on for 2 years. We DO have pet ordinances that have been ignored and now finally, the town is taking a stand, putting their foot down and FINALLY enforcing the ordinances that we have. Read up FLMOM. I don't think they are using Hope as an example but finally have had enough. As for the woman who said the dog died of kidney failure, are you kidding me? Did you read the PATCH? Are you saying that they have distorted the facts? The only one distorting the facts is the owner of the 2 dogs. She has all of you sobing at her feet but it seems none of you have taken the time to find out what the facts of this incident are. You see 2 beautiful dogs (which they are) and take them and her story at face value then comment and judge the VICTIM not the violator. Bravo Mr. Trawinski!!!!!! Stand strong!
BaylaBeagle January 30, 2013 at 09:29 PM
As a resident of Fair Lawn, mother and dog owner I am happy the town is taking every precaution necessary. These are very big dogs who KILLED another dog and attacked it's OWNER. There's a park where children play near where this attack occured. What if the owner's negligent again? What if next time there were to attack a child? If a dog attacks a person there's something seriously wrong, and they should be put down. It's a public safety issue.
LENNY January 30, 2013 at 09:44 PM
Did WOODY JOHNSON buy FAIR LAWN ????? I ask this because our town has become a circus just like THE NEW YORK JETS. and this statement is from a long time JET FAN.
don January 30, 2013 at 10:38 PM
No fl mom your wrong. Say they let the dogs out and months from now one of the dogs bite someone else. Then the borough could get sued for not doing enough after first infident. Let it get cleated up in court so the borough isnt liable
BaylaBeagle January 30, 2013 at 11:23 PM
Who's to say these dogs wouldn't attack a child walking a dog? These are very large dogs who caused great harm. As a resident of the town, I commend the town for being thorough. These dogs KILLED another dog and ATTACKED A PERSON. They should be put down, not given back to the NEGLIGENT owner.
Candi January 31, 2013 at 01:26 AM
The yorkie owner has not commented..I am sure that he has lawyered up...yes let's see the pics and the yorkies vet records...then everyone that says the dogs bit the owner will see that if the Mastiff mix or boxer bit him... he should have HUGE puncture wounds or a limb half ripped off..and I doubt very much that is the case.....if the dogs cannot go back home after this sideshow is over...I am sure a rescue will step up and take them...there are MANY rescues following this story...
FLMOM January 31, 2013 at 01:41 AM
Woo boo 110% agreed Lenny! I'm embarrassed to live here anymore! We are house hunting in other towns...this one is a JOKE!
FLMOM January 31, 2013 at 01:47 AM
FYI, any dog, any place, any time, on leash or not had the potential to bite. Whether it be to defend itself, be it scared, etc. just like humans, dogs have innate behaviors. I was jogging on the bike trail and was nipped by a dog who was ON LEASH! I totally understand where the feelings of this situation are divided but I feel if there are rules to follow when situations like this arise, the town has an obligation to FOLLOW the rules! Like most cases people take an emotional perspective...the town has neglected to follow the RULES and that is all I have to say. I will not argue this anymore on this Patch site, however I will continue to show my support for the dogs' return home whether guilty or not, the town needs to step up and follow the rules!
MBM January 31, 2013 at 02:15 PM
Again, Candi and FLMOM do not have the facts. The man was bitten very badly. Have you spoken to him? No, I did not think so. The FACT is the Yorkie was on a leash. Candi, you mention that the vet said that the Yorkie died of kidney failure. How would you know that? Did you speak to the vet? Are you saying the vet told you confidential information? The vet has not spoken publicly nor has he made an official comment so how would you know what the vet said? To set the record straight though, the Yorkie died of inflicted bite wounds. Period. We should give these 2 dogs a second chance? FLMOM, could you please stick to the subject at hand and not drag other borough issues into this forum such as the homeless man in the ShopRite parking lot. It is your right to move out of Fair Lawn but if you think it is any different in any other town, you really do need a reality check.
FLResident98 January 31, 2013 at 04:25 PM
Yes, please, let us stick to the facts. 1. Town entered into an agreement with Miss Alexander. 2. Miss Alexander upheld her end of the agreement. 3. Town reneged on agreement. There is really nothing else to discuss about this issue. The attack and the resulting death of the dog and injuries to the owner are a separate issue and I am sure it will be pursued by the party involved.
math January 31, 2013 at 05:01 PM
how many people has the homeless man attacke? answer- 0 how many people have cosgrove and wilson attacke? answer-1 1 > 0 by my basic math i believe the dogs are more of a threat than the homeless man you are scared of
BaylaBeagle January 31, 2013 at 06:23 PM
This wasn't a nip or a bite...it was an attack. A vicious attack that killed a dog and did great harm to it's owner. The town is doing what it's supposed to protect the interest of all it's citizens. If these dogs were to attack again the borough would have a very large lawsuit on its hands, and as a taxpayer I'm glad they are being extra cautious.
hypos January 31, 2013 at 08:24 PM
i hope the family gets the dog back after it is cleared up in court and the borough can not be sued incase of future accident with these dogs. the thing the bothers me is the outrage against the borough for making sure it handles this issue property. fact is a lot of people know this family and have been around the dogs before, if some random persons dog attacked and killed cosgrove or wilson there would not be this kind of support. i actually think it would be the complete opposite, if cosgrove or wilson were attacked and killed and Hope was bitten i bet 400+ would demand the dog never be returned to the owner.
FLMOM January 31, 2013 at 08:40 PM
MBM, Do not instruct me on what to voice. While you obviously have your own option so do I. And as for MATH, you are obviously ignorant. While YOU might not have had a run in or more with the Shop Rite guy, and it appears that you can do basic math, your assessment on who is more dangerous is ignorant.
FLMOM January 31, 2013 at 08:41 PM
Opinions *
Terry Brandes February 03, 2013 at 07:03 PM
I'm with you Chris, and also support Truinski! I am a responsible owner of 2 small dogs and, sadly, have had to resort to walking them with pepper spray in my pocket, at the ready. I would not hesitate to use it in a threating situation. There are just too many irresponsible pet owners around.
Dogman March 20, 2013 at 11:50 PM
Sounds like the town just wants to get into a lawsuit why would they listen to an idiot that knows nothing about dogs and has had issues in the past as far as the well being of animals can you say lawsuit well it's coming you idiot et


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