By Kelsey Durham
Dog owners on a quiet block in Little Neck are battling with a neighbor they say has caused a trio of attacks on their pets by failing to put his family’s dogs on leashes.
Neighbors of Sheldon Rosenblum, owner of a house on Westmoreland Street, said three incidents have occurred on their block since 2011 in which smaller dogs were left with serious injuries, some requiring surgery, after being attacked by one or more of Rosenblum’s three pitbull mix rescue dogs.
The most recent altercation occurred July 12, when Little Neck resident Lynn Wilson said her Yorkie was attacked by the man’s unleashed dogs while out for a walk with Wilson’s daughter and her boyfriend.
Despite neighbors claiming his dogs are running loose in an unfenced yard with no leash or collar, Rosenblum said his dogs — two of which he said belong to his son — are usually kept on leashes and said the incident with the Wilson family’s pet was an unfortunate accident that occurred when a leash broke and his dog got free.
“The dogs are never let out loose and what you’ve got is an uncorroborated allegation,” he said. “There was an incident when the dogs went at each other and it’s unfortunate, but it is what it is.”
Wilson said her daughter, Ashley, was walking the family’s dog, Shamrock, past Rosenblum’s house when his unleashed, uncollared dogs ran to the front yard and attacked the 7-year-old Yorkie. The small pup has needed more than $5,000 worth of medical care to date, including surgery, dozens of stitches and weekly trips to the animal hospital, which the family says they still make three times a week more than a month after the attack occurred.
Since then, the Wilson family has been pushing to get Rosenblum to restrain his dogs in some way whether with a fence or with leashes.
“I don’t even like going outside around the block,” said Ashley. “I’m afraid to go out and walk around knowing the dogs could be out.”
Before Shamrock was attacked, Wilson said another neighbor’s dog experienced the same treatment from Rosenblum’s dogs about four years ago, and a Lhasa Apso named Molly, owned by nearby resident Barbara Schreiber, was the second victim after she was attacked in 2011 and required nearly $4,000 worth of medical care due to injuries sustained from the dog bites.
But Schreiber said the issue she and other neighbors have with Rosenblum is not about the money: It is about the safety of the neighborhood.
“We just want to do something before this happens again to the next person,” she said. “It could be a little kid next and the dogs will rip them apart.”
Wilson and Schreiber both filed police reports after the attacks occurred, but they said they were told by the 111th Precinct that no citations can be given for unleashed dogs unless police see it themselves.
Rosenblum said any incidents that have happened with his dogs were “unfortunate” accidents and that neither he nor his pets are purposefully creating problems for anyone in the neighborhood.
“I’m a dog lover and I don’t ever want to see any dog hurt,” he said. “We’re not looking to hurt anybody, but the issue is that they do not run loose.”
Both Schreiber and the Wilson family said they are not interested in seeing Rosenblum’s dogs being taken away, but instead said they simply want him to control them before anyone else gets hurt.
“Obviously the guy loves his dogs and we love our dogs, too,” said Michael Wilson, Lynn’s husband. “But if you love your dogs that much, keep them confined.”
Reach reporter Kelsey Durham at 718-260-4573 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.