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Police: No charges filed in dog attack

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    Contributed photo Gage, a 80-pound pitbull mix, (right) was shot by a neighbor after he attacked another dog in Earlton, police said.
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    Contributed photoGage, a 80-pound pitbull mix, was shot by a neighbor after he attacked another dog in Earlton, police said.
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    Amanda Purcell/Columbia-Greene Media A view from the Perell’s yard where her dog, Gage, was shot after he allegedly attack the neighbor’s dog.
September 19, 2018 07:35 pm

EARLTON — No charges are expected to be filed in a tragic dog attack in the town of Coxsackie that left a man and a woman with dog bites and one dog dead, state police said Wednesday.

Joseph Sheshene was walking his 4-year-old golden retriever, Charlie, on Sugar Loaf Road around 1 p.m. Monday when another dog — a pitbull-mix named Gage that lived next door — got loose and attacked, he said.

Joseph tried to get between the two dogs to stop the attack, but was bitten, he said.

Sheshene’s wife, Jennifer, heard a commotion and ran out to see what was happening. She told her father, Clinton List, to grab his gun before leaving the house just in case, she said.

Jennifer tried to pull Gage away from her golden retriever and was bitten on the finger, she added.

“He [List] takes his gun out and the lady [Jennifer] says ‘Shoot him and shoot him,’” said Stacey Perell, Gage’s owner. “Once they pulled the gun out, that was it.”

Gage did not bite Joseph until List pulled out his gun, Perell said. List is a former New York City Transit Authority police officer and licensed to carry a pistol in Greene County, Joseph said.

Gage “went crazy” at the sight of the gun, Perell said of her late pitbull-mix, adding he bit Joe’s hand and would not let go.

List shot the dog in the head four times, Joe said, before it let go of his hand.

“The man shoots my dog with the guy’s hand in my dog’s mouth,” Perell said. “They could have shot the guy’s hand.”

Perell pulled her dog away when List took out his gun, she said. Joseph and Jennifer said Perell stood by and did not move to help.

“My whole yard is fenced in,” Perell said. “I really don’t know how he [Gage] got out.”

The Sheshenes saw Perell’s front gate open, they said. Joseph was not on Perell’s property when Gage attacked, he said.

The Sheshenes received medical treatment for their bite wounds by Coxsackie Ambulance EMTs, state police Senior Investigator Pete Kusminsky said Wednesday. Joseph went to St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany and was diagnosed with a chipped bone, he said. His arm was cut up, swollen and bandaged Wednesday.

“I had to get X-rays this morning,” Jennifer said. “My thumb might be broken.”

Charlie, who weighs 112 pounds, has several puncture wounds on his neck, Joseph said, adding no bite marks were found on Gage. Gage, 5, weighed about 80 pounds, Perell said.

Joseph has spoken to a lawyer about medical expenses, but is not looking for compensation for pain and suffering.

“This should have never happened,” he said.

State police do not anticipate charges will be filed in connection with the incident, Kusminsky said Wednesday. Gage was taken for rabies testing and state police are waiting for the results.

“The dog officer in Coxsackie could not find any up-to-date shot records,” Jennifer said. “The dog had to be sent to the veterinarians for rabies testing. The last shots Gage had gotten expired last year, according to the dog officer. We are waiting on the results to see if Joe, my dog, Charlie and myself are infected with rabies.”

Perell wanted to tell police her side of the story, but said police would not allow her to.

“It was a horrible situation,” she said.

Police have gone to Perell’s house a few times to respond to complaints about Gage, Jennifer said. The dog was inside her yard’s fence when neighbors have complained in the past, Perell said.

“My dog was not viscous,” Perell added. “My dog only had a problem with this dog and the guy down the road with a husky. He only had problems with two people on my road.”

Perell purchased her house on Sugar Loaf Road last November. Since Monday’s incident cars have stopped by Perell’s house and people have yelled insults and curses out the window, she said.

“They shout, “Why don’t you go rent another house?’” Perell said. “But I am upset my dog is shot.”

To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to, or tweet to @amadnajpurcell.