Update on Star: The New York Pit-bull Shot By NYPD Police, Meets Her Number One Fan

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One man’s dream came true this week when he flew halfway across America to meet the dog that has changed his life and inspired his Facebook page entitled, “Star – The New York pit bull shot by police.”

Charlie Cifarelli founder of the Facebook Star page, finally meets his inspiration,

Charlie Cifarelli founder of the Facebook Star page, finally meets his inspiration, “Star.” Credits: Charlie Cifarelli

Charlie Cifarelli, is a native New Yorker who now lives and owns a successful recycling business in Nebraska. Cifarelli was just one of the millions that watched a viral video this summer of a pit bull being shot point blank in the head by an NYPD officer, and survived.

The public was outraged because the dog whose name would later be revealed as “Star,” was protecting her homeless owner that was having a seizure.

Cifarelli quickly turned his outrage into a constructive tool that is now called the “Star” page on Facebook; it has kept the public informed on Star’s recovery, and possibly saved her life.

Examiner asked Cifarelli what inspired him to create the Star page?

I was so horrified by her shooting and when I looked at Star and Lech (Star’s owner at the time) lying on the ground like no one cared. I saw Lech not being checked on even after Star was shot. I saw a man’s dog shot and screaming and even after she was no longer a threat no one checked on her or Lech. I had enough I was going to do something several days later I started the Star page.” Cifarelli replied.

“For me this would be so out of my comfort zone but for Star and Lech I felt it was necessary.” Cifarelli ended.

Cifarelli has stayed in touch with the officials in charge of Star’s recovery and releases the updates to the public on the Star page. But the one thing Cifarelli has been unable to do up to this point was meet the dog he affectionately calls “our Star girl.”

Ever since August when she was shot and almost died, I have had a desire to help her and at the very least rally those around me to know her story and support her. Since the moment I saw the video of her being shot I wanted to reach out and hug her and tell her I love her and she has people all over the world who feel as I do.” Cifarelli stated.

That finally changed this week for Cifarelli who was invited to meet the dog that changed his life.

In this exclusive Examiner interview, Cifarelli reveals his physical and emotional journey to meet Star.

This week, I left my home in Nebraska and some 12 hours later I would meet my hero dog “Star.”

“It was surreal I would go through several doors, a long corridor and a steel door along with a gate. The lights were dim I was a guest in this facility which treats animals with care, the way that all animals should live.

It was quiet with classical music being played. Instead of dogs that bark you could hear a pin drop. As I entered her large 20 x 20 room a rush of emotions entered me I was finally here I made it to see the dog who I have wrote about, talk about, I was even on the radio in the UK talking about her.”

“I saw Star!

“The words came out of me “Hey Star Girl it’s me Charlie.” “She sat for me and gave me that look with a wide smile, her trademark look. The lights were turned on for me and I literally hugged her for what seemed like an eternity. I hugged her for me and the whole world and realized how fortunate I was to be able to have this time with her. She has such a smooth coat and she is actually a little shy at first. I talked to her and I hugged her over and over again.”

I’m quite amazed at how well she has recovered.”

“Her sight seemed good as I played with and her toys she hears noises in the corridor outside her room. I spoke to her doctor a wonderful woman who has compassion and understanding of Stars injuries and her treatment to this point.”

I can’t over emphasize how much our Star Girl is loved by staff.

“She is walked four times a day. She has the best medical staff and hospital steps away from where she resides, and a kind soul who makes this all possible because he believes the animals that come into his care should be treated in the most humane capacity available. If anyone had concerns about Stars well-being let me put you at ease; I don’t know if there is a place that could do more or care more about Star.”

I spent time with our girl on the first day of my visit. When I returned the following day, Star knew who I was and there were more belly rubs, hugs and kisses. At some point the next day it was time for me to go. I had to say goodbye again like the first day of my visit, and I cried inside. I gave her a hug and walked away, not easy to do.”

“When someone sees her in person for the first time, you feel like you know her so well. I looked and saw the trademark dots on the back of her neck the dots by her nose. “

I have never slept so well after seeing our girl. I will always cherish the memories this dog has evoked in me and will always think about meeting her. This was something I thought could never have happened.”

“Ask me today if I believe in miracles, the answer is yes!

“Thank you Star.”

The Star page grows larger every day, but Cifarelli will always be Star’s number one fan.

News Link:http://www.examiner.com/article/star-the-dog-shot-by-nypd-meets-her-number-one-fan?cid=db_articles

Stars Facebook page:-https://www.facebook.com/StarTheNewYorkPitbullShotByPolice?ref=stream


“Shooting Star” by Sinthya Somorra – Video Tribute – Dog Shot By NYPD

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“Video about the dog named Star, who was shot by NYPD police;  she is alive & well. I really hope this girl finds a warm loving & caring family, someone who will love Star the way she loved her previous owner. There is nothing vicious about a dog protecting the person she loves; had the dog been a Chihuahua, things would have been very different!”

Published on 8 Sep 2012 by 

Star was shot by an NYPD officer in August 2012 while trying to protect her owner, a homeless man who had passed out on the street, as police approached him. She suffered soft tissue, bone, neurological, and eye damage from the gunshot to her mouth. 

She was brought to Animal Care & Control of NYC, which took care of her during the required waiting period. Her owner relinquished her to AC&C, at which point Fifth Avenue Veterinary Specialists was able to perform the necessary surgeries to remove her damaged left eye, remove metal fragments, and reconstruct the bone and soft tissue injuries to her head. The surgeries were paid for by a generous donation to AC&C’s STAR Fund (name unrelated to Star’s name). When she had recovered from surgery, she was transferred to the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, which transported her on its Wheels of Hope van to a rehab facility, where she will live until she is fully healed and ready for adoption. The Lexus Project assisted in Star’s excellent care.

To pitch in toward Star’s rehab care, make a secure online donation and mention “Star Recovery Fund” in the designation:http://www.AnimalAllianceNYC.org/donate. Thank you for your generosity!

Video produced independently by Sinthya Somorra. Thanks, Sinthya, for your dedication to Star’s cause!

Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals

Wheels of Hope of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals

Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C)

Fifth Avenue Veterinary Specialists

The Lexus Project

Star’s photo album




Photos: Star, The Dog Shot By Cop In East Village, Is Okay!

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“AT last…news on Star, who thankfully & miraculously is alive (despite some saying she was killed) & recovering well. I don’t think for one moment this dog was of a vicious nature, she was only protecting her owner, who was having some type of seizure. Witnesses who knew both the dog & owner stated that Star was often off a leash, now you couldn’t walk through the streets with a vicious dog off a leash could you? They also said that Lech & star were inseparable; since he rescued her, so I’m wondering why Lech Stankiewicz has not come forward to collect ownership, I wonder if the police have been in contact with him since he was hospitalized at the scene? I worry this devoted dog could end up somewhere she shouldn’t if someone doesn’t offer her a home!”

Almost two weeks ago the NYPD shot a dog in broad daylight in the East Village.

Here she is: Star the dog is improving, and recovering every day. (Courtesy of Animal Care & Control)

The dog, named Star, was found barking near her owner, who was passed out and was believed to be having a seizure on the sidewalk. One witness told us, “The dog was protecting the owner, that’s what it does.” When the NYPD arrived on the scene, Star continued barking and running around, and presumably believing she was dangerous, an officer shot herthere is graphic video of the shooting —and then pepper-sprayed her.

Via Eddie Huang.

Star miraculously survived the point-blank shot, and has been at Animal Care & Control since, but her status has been unknown—until now. This morning Richard Gentles told us that Star “is improving, [but] she’s still resting and not up for visitors at this time.”

Gentles tells us Star was officially released to Animal Care & Control yesterday at 8 p.m. “Her owner had until that day and time to reclaim her but since he didn’t ownership was legally transferred to AC&C.” Until last night, the AC&C couldn’t provide information because of this, but now that she has been released to them, they are free to place her and disclose her status. (Star’s owner is believed to be Lech Stankiewicz, who has not been reported to have been seen since the day of the shooting.)

Since her arrival on August 13th, Gentles says they’ve “ensured that she has received proper veterinary care and attention.” Additionally, her medical bills, which have already amounted to nearly $10,000, will be paid for through donations to AC&C’s Special Treatment and Recovery (S.T.A.R.) Fund.

Once she is through recovering, they will “ultimately transfer ownership of Star and her continued care to the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals” (specifically AC&C’s New Hope partner, where homes are found for unwanted animals).

We will update once Star leaves the hospital and that happens. It’s expected she’ll be put up for adoption—but Gentles says no one has expressed interest in being her human (yet)!

News Link:http://gothamist.com/2012/08/25/photos_star_the_dog_shot_by_a_cop_i.php

Read this account of what happened:http://observer.com/2012/08/dog-shot-14th-street-08132012/

“We see this dog outside of KFC every day. It’s usually a nice dog. [The dog and its owner] don’t bother anyone. Everyone in this restaurant [Baohaus] knows this. If it was a cop from the neighborhood, they would know that guy. He’s there every day”



10-day Hold Ends On Star The Dog Shot By NYPD – Public Concern Continues

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“Thank goodness for this story, as I was going crazy trying to find out if the dog was actually killed at the scene or was taken to hospital…all reports at the time were conflicting, as I wrote in the original article below! I understand the cops were scared of the dog, but you don’t provoke it by kicking its owner…they should have got some chicken or a burger to distract it, while they attended Stankiewicz. Perhaps all the NYPD should have some training to deal with matters like this, so that next time, no guns have to be drawn!”

The 10-day hold ended today for Star the dogthat was shot last week by an NYPD officer and was taken to the NYC Animal Care and Control (ACC).

The end of the 10-day hold means, that if Star’s owner Lech Stankiewicz, did not come forward to claim her, she now becomes the property of ACC.

Star, shot by police

With ACC refusing to give the public regular updates and pictures on Stars progress like most rescues and shelters do; and conflicting reports surfacing on her survival and her emergency care; the public is wondering if this is shaping into a “good old fashion conspiracy.”

In one of the most bazarre stories over an animal case to come out of New York, Star the dog is quickly becoming a drama that should be labeled “the X-file.”

The day of the shooting the New York Observer took a statement from a police source that stated, “The dog died after the officer shot it a single time.” The next dayspokesman for ACC stated the dog is in “stable condition.” The police source was a little less optimistic, though and stated, “Last time we checked, it was still alive, though the prognosis wasn’t very good.

Anne Camperlino Dunleavy Cicchino, just one of the concerned citizens questioning the ACC, stated today, “Has anyone physically seen Star? Cicchino went on to state, “I don’t think anyone has seen her yet, and if she’s supposedly getting medical care at the shelter that in itself concerns me. Not even an attorney from the Lexus project has seen her? Are they going to tell us she didn’t make it but fought hard when they feel things have quieted down because they don’t want us to know now that she is already dead? What is the problem here with someone seeing her?”

Sinthya Sommora another concerned citizen that is trying hard to follow Star’s case, stated, “This has been a strange case, makes you wonder about the things that go bump in the night!”

Sommora went on to state, “Well the 10-day hold is over, so what next? Time to make some noise; we have waited and understood the legal part of this, being Star had a 10 day owner claim hold on her, but now what? Seek and You Shall Find!”

Sommora and Cicchino’s comments seem to sum up the public’s questions surrounding Star’s case.

The ACC’s silence and lack of proof of Star’s survival is making this a conspiracy in the public’s eye that could make it into an episode of the X-files; it is leaving them with the impression “I want to believe,” but the public wants “the truth.”

More Examiner articles : snippets from each!

The gun shot heard across the web-the shooting of Star the dog

East Village, NY, Lech Stankiewicz 29, described by his friends as a drifter from Poland, adopted Star who had been abused, from a local animal shelter. Stankiewicz and Star bonded quickly.

Stankiewicz is a known epileptic which is aggravated by his drug and alcohol use, according to his friends. People in the area knew to leave Stankiewicz alone when he was passed out, because Star is protective and aware of his vulnerable state.

Johnny Rodriguez, who was visiting the Eye and Ear Infirmary nearby, said he and three other people alerted nearby police officers that Stakiewicz was in danger of being hit by traffic. “He was having a seizure, I saw him lying down on the ground and his head was twitching and shaking.”

The two officers who responded, called for backup and walked up to Stakiewicz, when the officers verbal commands failed to arouse Stakiewicz, the officers started lightly kicking him to jar him awake; the officers did not know Stakiewicz was having an epileptic seizure.

Two more officers show up to the scene and assisted in controlling the crowd that was forming.

Instead of calling the ambulance, they started kicking him,” said lower East Side resident Aida Feliciano.

“The homeless guy looked like he was having a seizure, the dog started acting defensive,” said Christian Pimentel, 21. “The dog started barking at the officer.”

“I told one of the cops, “Hey, that dog is growling, be careful, “ Rodriguez stated.

Alejandro Cararubia, 28, who works at a nearby restaurant, saw the shooting. “The dog barked and jumped at the cop. The cop shot her in self-defense,” Cararubia said.

After the officer shot Star in the head, the officer to his left proceeded to pepper spray Star, which caused her screams to intensify.

“Passersby on the block, including small children, began to cry at the sight of the bloodied animal,” Pimentel said.

The dog was just defending her owner and the cops shot her in the head,” said deli clerk Ines Pauling.

“If you kick the dog’s owner, the dog is obviously going to attack,” said Alan Crosby, 40, who saw the attack.

Star laid in the middle of the street with a bullet in her head and pepper spray burning her face and wound for over 10 minutes before a catch pole was placed around her neck and she was forced to her feet.

Stakiewicz received no medical aid for over 10 minute. Not one official came to his aid even after Star was shot.

Stakiewicz and the two officers involved in the, were taken to Bellevue Hospital for minor injuries. The officer received care for Tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

Stankiewicz was ultimately arrested on an open warrant charge

Lexus project releases update on Star the dog shot by NYPD

“Lexus project released this statement about Star earlier today; “We know that so many of you are concerned, worried and outraged about Star. This is an update and although I know you want more but please respect this is all we are permitted to say at this time. Star is very much alive and receiving medical care and holding her own. We will update as soon as we are permitted to. Thank you for your support and understanding”

The Lexus project was founded in 2009 after a high prey greyhound named Lexus was declared a vicious dog. Lexus sat on death row in a Rhode Island kill shelter waiting to be put down. Robin Mittasch read her story and asked her husband Richard Rosenthal, an attorney to motion for her release.

The Lexus project is now a law firm for dogs. They provide legal defense on a case by case basis for dogs they believe are improperly or unfairly facing dangerous dog designations or euthanasia.

Questions surround Star the dog shot by NYPD

” The next day, Richard Gentles, a press representative for ACC, told DNA Info.com “The dog is being provided medical care by the ACC and is in a stable condition at this time.”

Sasha Sabbeth, one of the many Star supporters that are concerned about the dog’s welfare and medical treatment, told Examiner, “I have been working fervently along with many others to find pit bull rescues that will assure that she is getting complete proper medical care. Star has had at least one bullet in her head now for five days.

“The rescue, Smilin’ Pit Bull, one of the rescues contacted by Sabbeth, was informed by an ACC contact, that he can’t pick up Star because she is not at ACC. The rescue had been told by his ACC contact that Star had been taken to an offsite clinic in their STAR program.”

When Sabbeth shared this information with her many rescue contacts, their reactions became split to this information. Some animal advocate and rescue groups believe that she is still at ACC and that ACC is using Star for their fundraising agenda depriving Star of the in depth medical care that she needs.

Others animal advocate and rescue groups believe that ACC might have her at an offsite clinic because she is such a high profile dog. “However, if it is true that Star is in an offsite clinic, it does not mean that she is receiving the high level, emergency medical care that she needs.” Sabbeth stated.

In other critical care animal stories, whether from abuse or accident, other shelters, rescues, and vet clinics, gladly share the progress and condition of the animal. With Star, there is suspicious secrecy, lack of cooperation, and insufficient information to make the public, confident that Star is being given every chance to recover from this assault. Sabbeth stated, “I am profoundly concerned, as are many around the country and perhaps the world who watch the news video and experienced the five minutes of unconscionable agony that this dog was forced to endure without help or concern from anyone.”

“I have spent hours, and hours, contacting rescues, police, ASPCA and HSUS, as have many others as we are all looking for Star, attempting to get Star into the right medical hands versus being in the hands of politics and hidden agendas.” Sabbeth told the Examiner, “I feel as though I am wading through a strategy of smoke and mirrors mobilized by ACC with an End Game that is at Star’s expense. I don’t want Star to be another martyr as was the dog, Lennox, in Belfast, Ireland.

News Link:-http://www.examiner.com/article/10-day-hold-ends-on-star-the-dog-and-the-public-concern-continues?cid=db_articles


Disturbing video: Police shoot and kill a dog in East Village, New York

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New York, August 16, 2012:- A police officer shot a dog and killed it in East Village neighborhood of New York, when the animal attacked as he was trying to defend his owner who had suffered seizures and was lying on the floor.

A witness said he saw a person lying in the street suffering from convulsions and told the police.

The officers tried to assist the man, but the dog didn’t let them to approach to his owner, who was identified as Lech Stankiewicz, and he was a beggar known as Pollock.

The Pitbull breed dog called Star felt threatened and attacked one of the officers, who did not hesitate to shoot in front of a huge number of people walking on the site.

The dog did not die instantly, but it was shouting a few seconds to lose his life. People were shocked and reproached the officer why he did it.

News Link:http://m24digital.com/en/2012/08/16/disturbing-video-police-shoot-and-kill-a-dog-east-village-new-york/

More Detailed News – Viewer Discretion Advised re pictures:-

“I’m not quite sure which is correct regards the dog, above link says it died but in link below it says the following…”

“The dog survived the gunshots and is recovering at the Animal Care and Control facility on East 110th Street.”


NY – Cop Shoots Dog In East Village – Viewer Discretion is Advised

Published on 16 Aug 2012 by 

A man who witnessed the police shooting of a dog in the East Village yesterday says that the pit bull mix named Star first snapped at a woman before turning on police. “[The police] were telling people standing around to get back, but a lady was standing behind the passed out-guy got a little too close, so the dog nips at her.” Here’s video of the whole disturbing incident. [Warning: the graphic video below does show the dog getting shot.]: Johnny Rodriguez, who was visiting the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary nearby, said he and three other people alerted nearby police officers that the owner of the dog was in danger of being hit by traffic. “He was having a seizure, I saw him lying down on the ground and his head was twitching and shaking.” The two officers who responded called for backup (“I guess they didn’t have the training or something”) and the dog began growling as officers approached the man.

“I told one of the cops, ‘Hey, that dog is growling, be careful,’ because they were getting pretty close,” Rodriguez says. “I used to have a pit bull and that’s just how they are, they protect their owners.” Rodriguez thought that one woman had placed herself too closely behind the man as she was observing what was happening. “It grabbed her pants, but it didn’t bite her, then the dog starts running at the cop.”

Contrary to previous reports, Rodriguez, who lives in Bay Ridge, says that police used mace only after the dog was shot. “If they used it, I didn’t see it, I was there the whole time though.” You can see the officer on the right discharge his mace shortly after the dog is shot. Rodriguez says officers took him to the 9th Precinct where they uploaded his video “for evidence.” Rodriguez adds that he did not witness police kick the man or use physical force to attempt to rouse him.

“It’s a tragedy, but I may have done the same thing that the cop did. If you got a pit bull coming at you, I don’t know if you stand there and get bit or use your gun,” Rodriguez says. “The dog was protecting the owner, that’s what it does.”

Star is still alive and remains in the care of the Animal Care & Control facility on East 110th Street. Attempts to locate Star’s owner have been unsuccessful so far. The Local East Village spoke to friends of the dog’s owner, who police identify as Lech Stankiewicz, and they said that Star has a history of being overprotective of Stankiewicz.

“Most of us figured out that when he’s passed out, whether he’s overdosing or not, leave him alone,” the friend, Brandon Verna, said. “If he’s going to die, call an ambulance and have them deal with it because no one wants to get 

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