“Racist dog” slasher sentenced to 15 months in jail

A Yonkers man who admitted to slashing a so-called “racist dog” and causing the dog to lose an eye was sentenced today to serve 15 months in jail.

The sentence for 59-year-old Andrew Owens was part of a July 15 agreement in which he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of aggravated cruelty to animals.

He declined an offer to make a statement before Westchester County Judge John Colangelo carried out the sentence.

Owens used a 9-inch knife to attack his neighbor’s companion animal, a 4-year-old German shepherd named Jenna, who was leashed outside her home at 705-707 Nepperhan Ave.

The knife left a deep gash in Jenna’s face, and her right eye had to be removed.

The SPCA of Westchester County, which investigated the case, determined the slashing was unprovoked. An SPCA detective said Owens taunted the barking dog and charged at her. Owens later claimed that Jenna bit him a year earlier and told authorities he cut the animal in retaliation.

The day after Jenna was slashed, her owner, Paul Tocco, told The Journal News that Jenna had it in for Owens — and other minorities, for that matter.

“The dog reacts to black people, Hispanics, anyone who is not white,” Tocco said. “She always barked at him (Owens). He was well aware the dog didn’t like him, and he knew to stay away from her.”

After Tocco’s comments were published, he was bombarded by interview requests and calls from friends and customers. In the face of criticism, he backed off his initial statements, saying the dog does not dislike minorities. Others who know and love Jenna came to her defense, saying she’s no racist and, in fact, has many black and Hispanic friends.

Owens, a handyman at Valley Oil on Nepperhan Avenue, will serve his sentence at the Westchester County jail in Valhalla rather than state prison because the incarceration is for a definitive amount of time and not a range of time.

Owens is under a permanent court order to have no contact with Tocco, and by proxy Jenna.