Attacks on jogger prompt Selectmen to order another dog euthanized
By K.B. Sherman, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – Just two weeks after the Shrewsbury Board of Selectmen judged a dog to be dangerous and ordered it to be humanely euthanized, the board was again faced with a similar situation at its Oct. 22 meeting.
According to Amelia Tibert of 3 Smith Road, on Sept. 17, she was jogging on a trail through the neighborhood when a large grey dog burst from the door of a nearby home, raced up to her, jumped onto her back, and repeatedly attacked her, biting her on the back and chest. The dog's owner came out of the house to retrieve the dog but neighbors had intervened to separate her from the dog and she was taken to the hospital, where she received medical treatment. On Oct. 3, Tibert was again on the jogging trail when the same dog ran from the same house and again attacked her. Tibert testified that she has since turned to using an indoor treadmill for running as she is afraid of the dog.
Shrewsbury Animal Control Officer Leona Pease confirmed Tibert's accounts of the two attacks and testified that she had counseled the dog's owner, Lynn Redmiles, 21 Lakeside Drive, to have the dog “Preston” euthanized. She then ordered the dog quarantined for 10 days.
Redmiles testified that she had tried to find another home for the dog but failed. She stated repeatedly that there had been no earlier such incidents and that the dog was “good with her three children.”
Pease added that while the dog was being boarded, the 60- to 70-pound, four-year-old dog had shown no more signs of aggression. Finally, Pease recommended that the dog be controlled with a series of fences, gates, crates, and muzzles.
After seeing pictures of the bites Tibert sustained and hearing that a neighbor veterinarian had described the attack as “one of the most vicious he has seen,” the board unanimously declared the dog to be dangerous. That done, the board had to determine the dog's fate. Finding another home was ruled out due to a law passed in 2012 forbidding towns from “banishing” dangerous dogs to other towns.
Pease stated that the dog might be trainable but its behavior when alone could not be counted upon. Town Manager Daniel J. Morgado countered that the law did not provide for behavioral training as a way of dealing with a dog judged “dangerous.” The viciousness of the unprovoked attacks and the severity of the bites made the board leery of taking a chance on the dog's future behavior.
Despite pleas to save his life, the selectmen decided that Preston was simply too dangerous and voted unanimously to humanely euthanize the dog.
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