HARRISON TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Matthew Zavarella walked out of District Justice Helen Kistler’s courtroom found not guilty on three summary counts related to a savage dog attack on UPS driver Ami Demi in August 2018.
Zavarella’s three attack-trained German shepherds mauled Demi as the woman was delivering a letter to Zavarella’s Penn Township residence.
Demi testified about the incident.
“I pulled up, beeped the horn,” said Demi. “The first dog came right at me. I said, ‘Oh my God.’ The dog ripped my calf open, it looked like a shark bite. The two other dogs followed. The attack felt like forever. I’m here to deliver a letter, that’s my job. His hob to make it safe for a delivery person to get that to him.”
Wednesday’s proceedings, however, centered on Zavarella violating the state’s dog containment statue.
Animal Control Officer Gary Hoffman argued Zavarella lost control of his dogs.
Zavarella’s defense attorney arguing the attack was terrible but Zavarella’s animals were on the premises, they never strayed from the property and the containment statue as never violated.
Judge Kistler ruled in favor of Zavarella, however, the matter is far from over. Lawyers for Amy Demi have filed a $50,000 negligence lawsuit against Zavarella.
All three of the dogs were put down after the incident.