PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — “Nikko” or “Helo” as he’s now called has been given a life sentence.
“Ultimately, the main goals here were to be able to provide a sense of security and protection to the public and to allow Helo to be able to live the remainder of his life, ” says defense attorney Pam Amicarella.
Helo will be sent to a life-long dog sanctuary out-of-state.
In February, the 18-month-old Husky killed 3-day-old Howard Nicholson on the living room floor of his McKeesport home.
The newborn’s mother, Brandy Furlong, 21, left the baby in a carrier with the Husky and a Pit Bull loose in the house while she went upstairs to use a bathroom.
“This was a compromise and I am glad that it is over and I think it re-focuses the true tragedy which is the loss of an infant and the people responsible for the loss of that infant,” says Deputy District Attorney, Laura Ditka.
The agreement was reached between the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office and attorneys for the dog.
The Husky will be transferred to a 100-acre dog sanctuary staffed by volunteers and trainers. The sanctuary will accept all responsibility.
The dog will never be permitted to be adopted by a private family or an organization and will never be returned to Pennsylvania.
The neglected condition of the dog who was new to the home weighed in Judge Edward Borkowski’s decision.
“If that was the reason this dog is not the one paying the price,” Amicarella said.
William Uhring, of Churchill, who adopted the dog after the tragedy, received threats.
“He thought it was best if he relinquished control of the animal in order to spare the animal’s life,” defense attorney Ryan Mergl said.
The Husky will be transported from a Monroeville shelter to the unidentified sanctuary next week.
The baby’s mother is still facing charges of endangering the welfare of her child and harboring an animal that results in the death of a person.
Dog Expert Testifies During Hearing In McKeesport Husky Case (4/5/12)
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