LANCASTER, N.Y. (WIVB) — News 4 is hearing from Lancaster Police on an incident involving a dog who attacked a woman several weeks ago.

This incident is raising questions on whether that dog should be put down, something animal activists hope to stop.

Police paint a much different picture of that incident than what animal activists have been saying. And, there’s still no timeframe for when this situation will be resolved.

There’s controversy in the neighborhood about Bandit, a 4-year-old Alaskan Malamute.
Animal activists call him a reliable service dog — others call him a terror.

“The whole neighborhood is terrified of this dog,” said Eric Major, the Lancaster Police Department’s Animal Control officer. “The dog’s jumped through their windows before that incidents that they didn’t necessarily report to the police.”

But activists say Joshua Gilley, who suffers from a seizure disorder and owns Bandit, desperately needs him for medical reasons.

“This is a man with a disability who needs his dog back home with him, this is having a negative impact on his health,” said Christine Townsend, a director for Against All Oddz Animal Alliance.

Five weeks ago, Bandit managed to get out of Gilley’s home. Police say Bandit went a block away and attacked a woman who was trying to protect her daughter from Bandit.

The victim in this incident does not want to speak about what happened. But on Wednesday, police off-camera showed us pictures of her bite marks and they are graphic. Animal activists are working to save Bandit’s life.

Lancaster Police say putting Bandit down is still an option. But, that will be a decision made by a judge.

Bandit remains in the care of Lancaster Animal Control, he’s been there for a month, after police got a court order to seize the dog. A court hearing on this matter was adjourned and no new court date has been set.

Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.