The lone survivor of a small plane crash in Westhampton Beach that took the lives of two other people Sunday is a Kew Gardens, Queens, attorney who specializes in animal law.
Richard Rosenthal, 61, is the self-proclaimed “dog lawyer,” according to his website. He is also a member of “Pilots N Paws,” a volunteer organization in which pilots use their own planes to fly animals out of emergency situations, according to a website called The Lexus Project.
Rosenthal and his wife, Robin Mittasch, founded the project in 2010, which they say on their Facebook page is a nonprofit law organization dedicated to helping dogs facing death or incarceration as a dangerous animal.
“We want every dog brought to safety and we will try to help,” the Facebook page says.
Voter registration records indicate the couple lives in Huntington Station. His wife, interviewed at Stony Brook University Hospital, said they are formerly of Oceanside.
Rosenthal’s legal website says he works on pet custody cases and animal ordinance laws, and defends suits brought over dog bites and attacks, veterinary malpractice, and dangerous dog proceedings. In an interview with Rosenthal in September 2016, he said he also litigates cases in which police officers shoot dogs.
Rosenthal estimated then that he helped to save 200 dogs from being euthanized in the past five years.