Dangerous dog hearing delayed by tech issues

Apr 22, 2020

The Board of Selectmen had a dangerous dog hearing scheduled for their Tuesday night meeting, but due to technical difficulties, two of the members were unable to hear some of the testimony and the vote was delayed.

Selectmen Patrick Tropeano, Peter Teitelbaum, and Mary Bruce held the meeting from the Town Hall Auditorium while Jim Munise and Alan Slavin joined via video call.

Those giving testimony were in the auditorium, which is so echoey that it was nearly impossible for the Selectmen and viewers at home to hear or understand what was being said by the witnesses.

The board heard testimony from Garry Buckminster, the director of the Department of Natural Resources, about an incident on March 31 in which two American staffordshire terriers were loose and attacked a chihuahua that was being walked on a leash by its owner. The chihuahua’s injuries were severe enough that it had to be humanely euthanized.

The terriers had also been involved in a previous altercation, as had another dog previously owned by the same person.

The owner was cited for two counts of failure to license a dog, two counts of failure to attach tags to a dog’s collar, two violations of the leash law, and two counts for having a dog on the beach.

Buckminster recommended that the Board of Selectmen order the dogs to be euthanized due to the severity of the attack.

Because not all the Selectmen could hear the testimony, the hearing was continued to give them time review the audio recording of the testimony.

Until the hearing can be decided, the board voted to approve a series of conditions the dogs’ owner must follow to keep the dogs and others safe, including making sure they are under control at all times and wearing a muzzle outside the house.

The hearing will be continued at the Board’s next meeting on April 28.