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Bronx neighborhood terrorized by dangerous dog

PELHAM GARDENS, the Bronx — Dino Perillo of the Bronx went to great lengths to save his 11-year-old Shih-poo, Emmie. While he was walking her in his Pelham Gardens neighborhood a few months ago, another dog being walked came around the corner.

“Within two steps, (the other dog) was on top of my dog, “ Perillo told us.

Poor Emmie was almost disemboweled. Vet bills came to almost $14,000!

Perillo’s pet insurance paid just a fraction of the bill. He was getting nowhere with the owners of the attacking dog, or their homeowner’s insurance company, Met Life. He needed help and turned to PIX11.

So, we went with him to the home of his neighbors, Peter and Myriam Heisler, to ask about their dangerous dog. Myriam Heisler spoke to us through an upstairs window and admitted that sometimes even she and her husband fear their rescue dog, Mikaela.

Met Life had told Perillo that it “needed to determine whether or not our insured was negligent and therefore legally liable.”

One way to show possible negligence is that the Heisler’s knew their dog was dangerous and didn’t take proper steps to control it. And we found just the evidence the insurance company needed: two other neighborhood residents whose dogs had been attacked before Emmie was bitten.

“This dog came out of, I guess their garage, unleashed and attacked myself, my two dogs,” Sara Salerno told us.

And nearby, Bill Woods described how he saved his Pomeranian from Mikaela.

"I had to punch the dog. I literally had to beat the dog, pry its mouth open and get my dog out," Woods said.

The neighbors complain the Heisler’s dog is still being walked without a muzzle. They’re worried. They’ve tried to get the police involved. But Perillo said police told him it’s a civil matter. And Salerno – an ex-cop herself – said after she was attacked, she tweeted the local precinct and called 911, but police never responded.

There is some good news for Perillo. After we sent Met Life the proof of the Heisler’s dog’s violent history, the company promptly sent him a check to cover the rest of his vet bills — almost $14,000.

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