WAREHAM — Two dog-attack cases were heard by the Board of Selectmen this week with one being continued for the owner to be notified by certified mail of the hearing date, and the other leading to restrictions on two dogs for one owner.
In the case of Sandra Crossman’s dog, the certified letter sent by the town for upcoming hearings did not get sent out to her, noted Selectman Patrick Tropeano, who found that the note did not contain a stamp, but was attached to documents in the file.
“Officially, she was never really notified,” said Tropeano.
Neighbors came to the hearing to complain about a dog that was difficult for the owners to control, that charged at people and dogs.
Town Counsel Richard Bowen advised the board to continue the hearing rather than adjourn it, and provide the owner with a transcript of the testimony against her dog. The board voted to continue the hearing, 5-0, following notification to the owner. In the meantime, the board voted to allow the animal control officer, Cheryl Gorveatt-Dill, to impose any restrictions necessary until the board holds the continued hearing.
“There hasn’t been a conclusion reached tonight, but as a matter of public safety, the animal control officer can put restrictions on the dog,” said Selectman Peter Teitelbaum.
The second case, of Roderick Martin’s two dogs, resulted in restrictions on Martin’s dogs as “at risk.” Martin’s dogs were accused of charging people and dogs, and in one case, wounding another dog.
“This goes away, if two years go by without incident, it’s like this never happened,” said Selectman Tropeano.
After testimony for and against Martin’s dogs took up over an hour, Selectman Mary Bruce asked Gorveatt-Dill if both dogs “could just get muzzled? Because this could go on forever with no resolution.”
The board voted 5-0 to restrict Martin’s dogs with a gentle muzzle, a fence of at least four feet, and to being leash-walked only by people over the age of 18.