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Rochester dog facing euthanasia wins Top Dog award as owner awaits appeal

Rochester dog facing euthanasia wins Top Dog award as owner awaits appeal

OGDEN, N.Y. (WROC) — The pitbull in Ogden that’s accused of biting a jogger last summer has been crowned the Roc Top Dog.

This is the first year of the contest, put on by the Verona Street Animal Society and Three Heads Brewing. People entered their dogs and the public voted for their favorite, with each vote costing a dollar and going to Rochester Animal Services.

The winning dog, Vanessa, is in jeopardy of being euthanized after last summer's incident. Jeremy Wolf is anxiously waiting on a decision on the appeal he filed back in the fall regarding whether Vanessa will be released to him or euthanized.

Wolf said this weekend was a welcome break from the stress he’s been dealing with after the incident in July.

"She has a ton of supporters out there and 15,000 votes was enough to put her in the lead and this past weekend she was crowned the Roc Top Dog. It's truly heartwarming and amazing," Wolf said.

Vanessa is accused of biting a jogging neighbor last summer while being walked with another dog by Wolf’s girlfriend. Court documents say the bite required 18 stitches and the jogger is quoted saying she feared for her life. Wolf said there are two sides to the story.

"Vanessa found herself in a situation where she’s been accused now of a bite, so it’s just diligence, owner diligence," he said. "We think that the evidence is overwhelmingly on our side."

Vanessa's story has gained a lot of traction on social media over the past nine months.

According to the appeal, Wolf’s lawyer said the original decision was based off circumstantial evidence and that the jogger has no direct evidence as to which dog bit her.

Wolf said his main concern now is Vanessa’s well-being.

"Why is she confined during this time, why can’t we get her out to a sanctuary or some place where she’s not being confined to a cage 24/7 for months on end?"

He said while he considers himself a diligent owner, he’s putting even more safety precautions in place.

"We put up this large enclosure, 3,000 square feet of space for her to run free in a safe enclosed environment, we want to put a fence around it. We are taking steps to show we’re not just saying we’ll do things, we’re actually doing the things."

He said he’s not sure when the judge will make a decision but hopes he’ll rule in Vanessa's favor.

Full appeal brief:

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