Lancaster dog found dangerous after court hearing

LANCASTER, NY (WIVB) — A verdict has been reached in the case of Bandit, a helper dog who allegedly bit his owner’s neighbors.

On Thursday night Lancaster Judge David Stabler found Bandit to be a dangerous dog and caused serious bodily harm when he bit Jillian Durkin.

As of Thursday evening, there is no information if Bandit, a four-year-old Alaskan Malamute, will be euthanized or rehabilitated.

The verdict came after about a six-hour hearing in a Lancaster courtroom, with several rounds and fours between the prosecution, the defense and the judge.

Several witnesses were called to the stand, including Durkin, who testified that she was bitten by Bandit, and Joshua Gilley, Bandit’s owner.

During her testimony, Durkin said that she was bitten by Bandit. She said her son and a neighbor’s child were in her yard when Bandit approached them. She said she got between the dog and the children and grabbed his collar to pull him away. She said Bandit bit her and held her during the incident.

Her husband, Nicholas Durkin, also testified that he was bitten by Bandit in a previous incident and claimed that he saw the dog bit Gilley.

Also during the hearing, Katherine Gallagher, a dog training expert, testified that she had examined Bandit and believed he could be rehabilitated with the right training. She recommended a series of changes around the home and additional training to prevent further incidents.

Gilley, who last appeared as a witness, testified that he suffered traumatic brain injury and that the dog helped him get back to normal. Gilley said he suffers from seizures and Bandit is able to recognize and help them. He also testified that he had never been bitten by Bandit before, nor had he ever used it as a weapon.

The court claimed Thursday that the hearing was to determine whether or not Bandit was dangerous. His fate is still unclear.

Tara Lynch, originally from Buffalo, joined the News 4 team in 2022 as a reporter. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, NY, a News 4 sister station. You can follow Tara on Facebook And Twitter and find more of her work here.

Tom Vazquez

Tom Vazquez is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Tom Vazquez joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with Tom Vazquez by emailing

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