Dog hearing continued due to missing information

Aug 25, 2021

The Select Board heard some of the details of a dog bite incident from late July, but were unable to conclusively make a ruling on the case due to missing and contradicting information.

According to Animal Control Officer Eva Golden: Fred Olivieri was walking along the Weweantic River on July 27 when he was warned that a dog was loose. Some time later, Duke, a 1-year-old bloodhound owned by Gerald Robery, came running out from a wooded lot.

Olivieri and the dog had some sort of interaction, and Duke bit Olivieri’s hand. Olivieri was not present at the hearing, as his lawyer said he was in the hospital for an unrelated issue. Because no one else witnessed the bite, it’s unclear what happened.

According to animal control, while Olivieri was struggling with the dog, a neighbor came out and hit the dog with a piece of wood several times, separating the man and the dog.

Olivieri told officials that the dog was lunging for his neck, so he punched it in the snout, which led it to bite him.

Olivieri went to Tobey Hospital after the incident and began a course of rabies shots, although the dog was vaccinated for rabies — a fact that came out at the hearing when Robery produced a vaccination record.

A number of the facts of the case were disputed: the interaction between Olivieri and the dog, whether Robery spoke to Olivieri after the incident, or whether the dog had been reported to animal control for a different bite in the past.

“I can’t make a decision because I don’t know what really happened,” board member Alan Slavin said.

The board continued the hearing until Sept. 7. Until then, Robery has been ordered to keep the dog under control at all times.