DAYTONA BEACH — Raquel Levy sought to salvage some good out of a bad situation which left four dogs and a cat dead, and an Ormond Beach police officer nursing some dog bites.
So Levy, a personal injury attorney, handed a $2,000 check from a $12,500 settlement to the ARNI Foundation, an animal shelter in Daytona Beach. Levy said the money will help save the lives of other animals.
“Every life is precious, every life is important,” Levy said after making the donation Tuesday. “All living beings feel pain. We all get thirsty, hungry and we all want to stay alive. It’s important to be able to be sensitive to life and each of us try to do our part to end suffering.”
The donation came from her and her client Bonnie Steinberg in memory of Steinberg’s three Chihuahuas named Channel, Ruby Sue and Lulu. The Chihuahuas were killed by a 5-year-old pit bull named Tank. Tank was supposed to be under quarantine after killing those dogs when it attacked a cat on April 28, 2014, on Byron Ellinor Drive in Ormond Beach.
When Ormond Beach police arrived, Tank attacked Officer David Labrie and bit him on the arm and the back of the neck. Another officer, Stephen Mills, shot and killed the pit bull. The cat also died. Labrie needed stitches.
Levy said Steinberg needed counseling after seeing Tank kill her three dogs. But Levy said they were making the best of the situation by making the donation.
“It’s an all-around tragedy that this happened and that four animals lost their lives,” said Levy, who owns the Atlantic Law Center in Ormond Beach and added that a fifth animal, the cat, also died. “But I think in life it’s important to note that every cloud has a silver lining and in memory of those animals we are donating the $2,000. From all this here we are saving the lives of probably quite a few animals.”
Getting a four-digit contribution was a great boost, said Nikki Linn, the director of ARNI. The shelter has about 100 animals evenly split between cats and dogs and providing medical treatment is costly.
“A lot of our animals are cruelty and abuse cases, so those animals take extra medical care,” Linn said.
One of those animals is Karma, a 1-year-old female lab/hound mix which arrived at the shelter on Jan. 14, 2014, said James Wise, a kennel/vet tech at ARNI.
“She was on her death bed when she got here,” Wise said of Karma. “She came in, she was all battered up, bruised up, chewed up real bad, scared of people, deathly afraid of dogs.”
Wise treated her for her injuries and her diabetes.
“She’s still a little unpredictable,” Wise said. “Her health is back to 100 percent and she’s one of the biggest loving dogs we have here.”
Languages Spoken: Spanish
|FL||Administrative - Not authorized to practice||2011||08/12/2015|
|Attorney||Atlantic Law Center||2011 - Present|
|The Daytona Beach News-Journal||Attorney, Ormond client donate part of lawsuit award to help animals||2015|
|The Daytona Beach News-Journal||One dog’s death leads to 12 dogs saved in Holly Hill case||2014|
|Nova Southeastern University - Shepard Broad Law Center||Law||JD - Juris Doctor||2001|
|Florida State University||N/A||BS - Bachelor of Science||N/A|