NY Daily News, Thursday, February 16, 1995
Hope it's not ciao for chow
By BLANCA M. QUINTANILLA and DICK SHERIDAN
Dally News Staff Writer
The heartbroken owner of a lost dog initially believed destroyed by a Brooklyn animal shelter clung to fresh hope yesterday after officials conceded they weren't sure his was the dog they had killed.
"It is possible" that John Gracchi's 6-year-old chow chow Ruffy is still alive, they said.
"The dog we destroyed Friday was a 2-year-old," said Cybele Fisher-Koppel, a spokeswoman for the Center for Animal Care and Control which last week shipped a stray chow chow found in Queens to the shelter.
CACC personnel are now combing city streets -- which Ruffy may still be roaming, she said.
"I'm just praying he's not dead," said Gracchi, 20.
Ruffy disappeared from Gracchi's Maspeth yard last week, leaping a fence and leaving his registration tag hanging from it.
After days of searching his 71st St. neighborhood, he filed a missing-pets report with CACC -- and was told that a man in his neighborhood had earlier found a chow chow and turned him in.
But at the Brooklyn shelter on Tuesday, Gracchi learned that the animal in question already had been put to sleep.
CACC officials apologized profusely, offering Gracchi condolences and other pets.
CACC, meanwhile, has been unable to produce Ruffy's remains for Gracchi's positive identification. "I believe he is no longer available," Fisher-Koppel explained delicately.
Manhattan Councilwoman Kathryn Freed yesterday called for a Department of Investigation probe into CACC and will schedule a hearing, said her spokeswoman, Nadya Garcia.
In addition, a coalition of animal groups has called for the resignation of CACC executive director Martin Kurtz.