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Prosecutors ask for dogs in Lexington attack to be put down

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Posted at 6:30 PM, May 04, 2022

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — After public outcry, county prosecutors filed a motion this week to have two dogs put down that were involved in an attack that injured a woman in Lexington.

The attack launched a petition from members of the community who were frustrated that the dogs’ owner, James Pelfrey, had been cited multiple times for prior alleged dog attacks. Prosecutors said that Pelfrey had been found incompetent to stand trial previously, so most of the cases were dismissed and Pelfrey continued to have the dogs.

The most recent attack in March left Sarah Bogusewski with 30 bite wounds. After she learned that Pelfrey’s dogs had allegedly been involved in multiple attacks, she and other neighbors began demanding answers.

Recently, the charges against Pelfrey were upgraded in connection with Bogusewski’s case. Previously, Pelfrey was charged with two counts of violating the city’s nuisance involving an animal ordinance. Pelfrey now faces two state charges of harboring a vicious animal.

In the motion filed this week, prosecutors asked the court to order the dogs involved in Bogusewski’s attack be put down, and that Pelfrey be prohibited from owning any dogs as he awaits trial.

“They should have acted quicker,” said Andy Mead, president of the Southern Heights Neighborhood Association. “I know they have a big workload, but incompetent to stand trial – he should have been incompetent to own dogs they should have realized that a long ago and done something about it.”

During a hearing Wednesday, Fayette County Circuit Court Judge T. Bruce Bell set a hearing next week to determine what will happen with the dogs. Pelfrey’s attorney brought up the question of his competence to stand trial, but Judge Bell said that the dogs were a separate issue.

“The dogs, I can find out and determine whether or not they're vicious dogs,” Judge Bell said. “Either take them away or kill them. I hate to do that, I love dogs but that's the thing that's going to have to happen. If they're vicious dogs they can't be running around this community.”