PATERSON, N.J. — A Paterson police officer whose dog is facing euthanasia for biting a mail carrier is fighting to save his beloved pup's life.
Jose Galvan of Vernon and his wife Raquel got now-2-year-old Gabanna in 2012, shortly after losing their baby full-term, who they say helped them cope with the loss.
Gabanna could soon be euthanized, though, after a judged classified him as vicious for biting a mail carrier in September.
Galvan says his attorney filed an appeal earlier this week and is praying to soon have Gabanna back at home.
"This is the first incident of any aggression ever," said Galvan, who has been with the Paterson Police Department for 16 years.
"He's never went after anyone before."
The mail carrier had been instructed to stay off of the Galvan's property to leave packages at the mailbox — outside the home's invisible fence, Galvan said.
But in September, the mail carrier came onto the Galvan's property to deliver two packages on garbage pick-up day, because he didn't want them to be confused for trash, Galvan explained.
Gabanna ran out from the garage, biting the packages and the mail carrier's pinky finger and ripped the tendons out, Galvan said.
Once the mail carrier dropped the packages, Gabanna backed off.
"He didn't chase him," said Galvan of his dog.
The mail carrier walked to a neighbor's house to call the police and an ambulance, when animal control and police officers arrived at the Galvan's house, Galvan said.
Galvan's said his attorney, John McDermott, was able to reach an agreement with Wantage Prosecutor William Haggerty to change the classification from vicious to potentially dangerous. That would save Gabanna's life.
Gabanna is currently being quarantined in Franklin, and Galvan is hoping to have him home soon.
And so does the mail carrier.
"I ran into our mailman and he stopped me to say he's sorry," Galvan said. "The poor guy lost his finger... but he said he doesn't want the dog put down."