These are the kind of stories that break your heart.

— Kenn


YONKERS, N.Y. — School officials blocked a diabetic boy from bringing his dog into school this morning, continuing a dispute between his family and the district.

Anthony Spataro, 8 and his mother Samantha Spataro tried to bring Dash, a black male labrador, into Paideia School 15 at 175 Westchester Ave., but the district’s executive director for pupil support services and special education Donna Martuge intercepted them.

Samantha Spataro said that Martuge told her that Anthony was welcome into the school to start the fourth grade, but he could not bring in the dog.


The Spataros have battled district officials for the past year for Anthony’s right to bring a service animal into school so it can monitor his blood glucose levels.

Earlier this year the state’s Division of Human Rights issued a determination that the Spataros had grounds to sue the district over the issue. The family said they will now head to court.

“We’re going to file an injunction,” said Samantha Spataro. “We didn’t want to go this route.”

Schools spokeswoman Jerilynne Fierstein said that Dash is not properly trained.

“The puppy is not a service dog under the existing service animals standards and guidelines,” said Fierstein. She said Dash is too young to have received the necessary training to detect glucose levels.