Owner of dogs that mauled singer in Penn Township could face charges
The owner of the dogs that attacked a Westmoreland County singer last week in Penn Township could face charges, according to Hoffman Animal Control, which is overseeing the case.
Amy Demi, 41, of Hempfield, a UPS driver and member of the band Switch, was delivering a package to a Durst Road home on Aug. 28 when she was attacked by one or more of three German shepherds on the property, according to Penn Township police.
Police Chief John Otto said Demi suffered serious injuries. Her boyfriend, Bob Armstrong, said Demi returned home from the hospital Thursday and is recovering. He didn’t comment further about her condition.
Under state law, any dog that attacks a person must be “confined in quarters” for at least 10 days.
Officials ordered the dogs’ owner, who has not been identified, to keep the animals in the house at all times. They are only allowed outside to relieve themselves, and only under close supervision, according to a Hoffman Animal Control employee.
Hoffman Animal Control staff will meet with Demi before deciding to move forward with charges, a representative for the company said.
State law says that anyone who has been attacked by dogs, or anyone acting in their behalf, can file summary charges against the owner. Armstrong said he and Demi haven’t yet talked to anyone about that possibility.
If the owner is found guilty of harboring a dangerous dog, he or she will have to follow a strict set of guidelines if they want to keep their animals
According to the state, the owner of a dangerous dog must:
- Keep the dog confined with a warning sign on the property.
- Pay restitution to victims of the dog attack.
- Implant a microchip in the dog identifying it as dangerous.
- Have the dog spayed or neutered.
- Get at least $50,000 in liability insurance payable to those who may be injured by the dog in the future.
- Pay a $500 yearly registration fee to maintain a state database of dangerous dogs.
The owner may also choose to have the dogs euthanized, according to Hoffman Animal Control.
Demi has been with Switch for 12 years, according to longtime drummer Rocco Gaudino.
“She’s just a fantastic singer, and a great performer,” he said.
Demi has had multiple surgeries for her injuries from the attack.
“We were all shocked and certainly concerned for her well-being,” Gaudino said. “We’re looking forward to her getting home and having a very successful recovery.”
Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jacob at 724-836-6646, [email protected] or via Twitter @Soolseem.