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Decision on Plainfield dog euthanasia order not expected for weeks

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HARTFORD– There has been no decision made yet on whether two Rottweilers involved in an attack on a home health care worker will eventually be put to death.

After listening to hours of testimony Thursday, a Department of Agriculture officer will spend the next few weeks reviewing evidence before issuing a preliminary decision on whether to euthanize two dogs suspected of mauling Lynne Denning, 56, of Canterbury.

“She’s not living the life that she wants to live and she will never liver the same life again,” said Denning’s daughter Bridgette Labrecque

On Thursday, the dog’s owner, Jenna Allen of Plainfield, who is facing criminal charges in the case, challenged the ruling to euthanize her dogs in front of a state hearing officer.

Bruce Sherman, director of regulations and inspections for the state Department of Agriculture, will forward his decision to the department’s commissioner, who is charged with making a final call on the case.

“I don’t know what they’re going to decide, but the way I look at it, it’s an easy decision,” said Tony Denning, Lynne Denning’s husband.

Kristan Maccini, an attorney for the Town of Plainfield, questioned police and animal control officers as the town fought to uphold the euthanasia order for two Rottweilers, Phoenix and Malaki, who police say brutally attacked Denning in December 2014 while  she was working as a health home care aide at the home of  Jenna Allen.

Planfield Police Detective Paul Glaude, who responded to the scene of the attack, was called to testify during Thursday’s hearing.

“I observed the most horrific injuries, non-fatal, horrific injuries, I’ve ever seen in my 15 years,” Glaude said.

Denning,  not at Thursday’s hearing, was working at Allen’s home on Putnam Road in Plainfield during the attack. Allen’s boyfriend, Corey Beakey, was also home at the time.

Denning was sitting in the home’s living room with Allen’s grandmother with one of the Allen’s six dogs, when a Rottweiler named Phoenix attacked her.

“I felt like a rag doll,” according to Denning’s recorded testimony to police. “I was choking on my own blood.”

Denning suffered life-threatening injuries, having pieces of flesh ripped from her face, including her entire nose ripped away, along with cuts and bites all over her body.

Four of the dogs were later released back to Allen after police said they could only prove two of the animals, Phoenix and Malaki, took part in the attack.  Allen’s lawyer, Anthony Spinella, argued that police are still unable to prove exactly which animals attacked Denning.

“One of these dogs, whoever did this, should be held responsible, but the evidence isn’t there to tell us which dog what it was,” Spinella said.

Allen and Beakey, both turned themselves in to Plainfield police last month. Allen was charged with second-degree reckless endangerment, two counts possession of a nuisance dog and five counts failure to comply with dog license requirements. Beakey was charged with second-degree reckless endangerment.