Dog deemed ‘dangerous’ after attack severely injures Chihuahua

Nov 6, 2018

A 2-year-old pit bull must be muzzled and penned after Selectmen deemed it dangerous following a “horrific” attack that ended with another dog’s leg being amputated.

Following a hearing on Tuesday, board members told the pit bull’s owners they were fortunate that Wareham’s animal control officer didn’t recommend their pet be put down.

“Of all the dog hearings we’ve done this is the worst one I’ve seen,” said Selectman Patrick Tropeano. “I think you’re lucky [animal control] didn’t ask for euthanasia.”

Barry, the 90-pound pit bull owned by Pam and Michael Mavilla of Groton and Wareham, must now be muzzled when out of the house, be on a leash no longer than 3-feet long when taken off the property and be confined to a pen when outdoors at home.

An attack on an 8-pound long-haired Chihuahua named Captain Jack Sparrow, owned by Laura McCarthy of Wareham, prompted the restrictions. McCarthy recounted the Sept. 30 attack.

McCarthy said Jack was ripped from her arms by Barry during a walk when both dogs were leashed.

“He was yelping and trying to bite me because he was in so much pain,” McCarthy said about her dog.

Jack was taken to an animal hospital immediately, but had to have his right front leg amputated due to his injuries.

According to the veterinarian’s report, Jack suffered multiple fractures and deep puncture wounds.

Mavilla said the attack was uncharacteristic and expressed remorse.

“I am so upset over what happened,” she said. “I feel terrible and am trying to do everything I can to make this situation less painful. This has never been in my dog’s nature.”

Mavilla said she paid a $1,400 veterinarian bill to have Jack looked at, and she noted her homeowner’s insurance would cover additional costs.