Three dog night: Select Board hears three dangerous, nuisance dog cases

Sep 7, 2021

The Select Board heard the facts of three allegedly dangerous or nuisance dogs at its Sept. 7 meeting.

First, the board heard about Dawn Gilbert’s dogs, which allegedly bit a man on his calf when he walked by the home in January. According to Animal Control: The two boxers escaped their electric fence surrounding Gilbert’s property and one bit the man on his calf. 

This is the second time Animal Control has been told that one of the dogs bit someone, and others have said the dogs, which bark from the front yard, are scary.

A photo of the injury was submitted to the Board, who were unimpressed — member Patrick Tropeano said the mark could have been a scratch from a dog’s paw.

Gilbert said she had since replaced her electric fence. 

“I love my dogs, and I don’t want this to ever happen again,” Gilbert said. 

After much discussion, the board decided that Gilbert should put up a sign of some sort so passersby know there is an electric fence containing the dog, and an adult should be in control of the dogs at all times. The board will revisit the issue in three months.

The second hearing was about Calvin Carnes’ three barking cane corsos. 

Carnes first appeared before the board in 2019 following earlier noise complaints. Animal Control Officer Cheryl Gorveatt-Dill said that the earlier hearing followed complaints from neighbors along the entire length of Carnes’ street and a number of people showed up to testify. 

The 2021 hearing, by contrast, followed complaints by only three neighbors closer to the Carnes household, and were about more limited barking — showing an improvement, Gorveatt-Dill said.

Gorveatt-Dill said that Carnes followed most but not all of the board’s mandates after the last hearing: There are still areas where the dogs can be outside and see passersby, and barking is continuing for more than 20 minutes at a time.

Anthi Frangiadis, who lives across the street from Carnes, said that the dogs seem to bark mostly when the family is out of the house — even throwing themselves against a window.

“If I’m here, the dogs are definitely not going to be barking for more than thirty minutes,” Carnes said. “I do respect my neighbors, and I certainly don’t want to disturb them at one or two o’clock in the morning.”

Carnes said the hot summer may have contributed to the barking, as his house is not air-conditioned and the large dogs may be uncomfortable in the heat.

The board ruled that Carnes should abide by the conditions previously set, and make sure all three dogs wore bark collars. The board will revisit the issue in one month.

Finally, the board returned to the hearing about Gerald Robery’s bloodhound, which allegedly bit a man walking along the Weweantic River on July 27. The board opened that hearing on Aug. 25, but continued it due to confusion about the facts of the case.

Gorveatt-Dill told the board about an earlier incident in which a man was allegedly bitten by Robery’s dog in June. The man told Animal Control that the dog approached him in a driveway. He held out his hand for the dog to sniff, but the dog nipped him. Deeming the dog unfriendly, the man turned away — at which point the dog bit his calf.

Robbery at first claimed he had been unaware of the incident, as his mother had dealt with the immediate aftermath, but later seemed to acknowledge that he had been told about it.

The board ruled that he should get the dog neutered, trained, and securely contained or under control at all times.