Thursday, October 22, 2009

Retort of a Sort

On a site--which shall remain unnamed--a perpetuator of rumor, actually has half a truth: He says "I don't know but I found out a lil tidbit of info.. Adam voted to kill a dog a few years back for attacking sheep? Ain't that a boloney slap in the back of the neck on Mimi and Crew."

Read the Minutes yourself, and you will see the difference in the facts and how it is distinguishable.
AUGUST 4, 2005

Chairman Perkins called the meeting to order at 7:01 PM.

Selectwoman Brunelle, Selectman Andrews, and Selectman Bond were present.
Selectman Wiksten was absent.


Public Hearing – Dog Complaint

Chairman Perkins read the Town’s Bylaw on ‘Dog Complaint Procedures’. It included the duty of the Board to hold a hearing regarding a complaint within ten (10) days after the date the dog(s) is apprehended.

Chairman Perkins opened the hearing.

Bill Wyatt, Animal Control Officer, was present. He told the Board of the incident that occurred on July 29, 2005 at approximately 4:50 PM. Mr. Wyatt told the Board he had received a call from Desk Officer John Graham regarding dogs attacking sheep at 319 Miller Street.

Mr. Wyatt said he went to the location at which Officer Costa was already at. He and Muriel Duphily, the complainant, told him that the dogs belonged to a neighbor, and had taken off running down the street.

Mr. Wyatt went to the driveway of 299 Miller Street, home of Thomas Stevens, where he observed a small terrier dog with blood all over its mouth, face, neck, feet, and backside. He took the dog into custody and called BCI to take photos.

Mr. Wyatt said he and Sgt. Batista, who had arrived on the scene, noticed a pitbull behind the house with blood on it. He said he struggled to apprehend the dog, which was scared and aggressive. He finally captured the dog using a rabies pole.

Mr. Wyatt said there were no collar or tags on the dogs.

Peter Brow, and his son Matt, arrived on the scene and stated that the pitbull, which is also part boxer, belonged to him. He stated that the other dog belonged to Thomas Stevens, who later arrived to ID the dog.

Muriel Duphily, the complainant, was present. She told the Board that the scene was “like a war zone”.

Ms. Duphily said a half hour prior to arriving at her house, she had passed her cousin who had been there with three (3) small children. She said the dogs were a clear and present danger to those children.

Ms. Duphily said both dogs should be put down because they were both involved. She said the pitbull had been observed at the Stevens’ house for over a year.

As of Tuesday, other dogs belonging to Mr. Stevens also had not been licensed or vaccinated.

Ms. Duphily said Mr. Stevens “doesn’t believe in leash laws, kenneling, or tying a dog up”. She said his dogs coming onto her property has been an ongoing situation.

Chairman Perkins asked for graphic details of the event.

Ms. Duphily told the Board how she observed the small terrier with a sheep on the floor of the barn, shaking it by it neck with blood flying.

To her left, Ms. Duphily observed the pitbull with two (2) sheep cornered. She saw the dog bite the jaw of one of the sheep, hearing it break. The dog then bit the ear off the other sheep. Ms. Duphily said she screamed and hit the dogs with a 2x4.

Ms. Duphily said that three (3) sheep were killed. Two (2) remain.

Ms. Duphily notes that other dogs owned by Thomas Steven were present on her property on Sunday when a news crew was there to do a story.

Matt Brow and Thomas Stevens were both notified of the hearing, and were present.

Mr. Brow told the Board that he has been away for 10 months, and “had different people watching” the dog while he was gone.

Selectman Bond asked who was watching the dog at the time of the attack.

Mr. Brow said he wasn’t sure.

Selectman Bond asked if Mr. Brow’s dog was licensed and had a rabies shot.

Mr. Brow said no. He said the dog had been previously licensed in Lakeville over a year ago.

Thomas Stevens apologized to the Duphily’s. He said the facts are compelling, but said it was not possible for his 18 pound terrier to kill a sheep. He presented pictures of the dog with his children.

Mr. Stevens said he agreed the dog was off the leash, and it was probably menacing the sheep, but said there was no evidence that it had caused any damage. He said it was anatomically impossible, noting the dog does not have fangs.

Mr. Stevens said the pitbull does not reside at his house. He explained that Mr. Brow’s mother lives with him, and the dog occasionally visits with Mr. Brow’s brother.

Chairman Perkins noted pictures from BCI showing blood on the terrier.

Mr. Stevens said anyone in the proximity, including Ms. Duphily, would be spattered with blood. He admitted that his dog could’ve “nipped” at the sheep, but could not hurt a 100 pound full grown sheep. He said the dog was observed pulling at the sheep’s nap which is very thick. He said there is no evidence it punctured the skin.

Selectman Bond asked Mr. Stevens how many dogs he owns.

Mr. Stevens said four (4).

Selectman Bond asked how many were licensed.

Mr. Stevens said all are licensed now, but weren’t at the time of the incident.

Selectman Bond asked how many dogs were up to date with their rabies shots as of July 29th.

Mr. Stevens said one (1). He said that “the little one” had been quarantined because it had been bitten on the neck by another animal. He said the dog must be vaccinated after quarantine.

Selectman Bond asked if the dog was out of quarantine on July 29th.

Mr. Stevens said yes.

Selectman Bond asked about leashing the dogs.

Mr. Stevens said he has been good neighbors with the Duphily’s, noting that Willy is godfather to one of his sons.

Mr. Stevens said farm life is different. He said people “deposit animals on farms”. He told the Board of an incident where Mr. Duphily had shot a dog that he had been nursing.

Mr. Duphily told the Board that he had shot the dog because it was chasing his sheep inside the pen.

Selectman Bond asked if Mr. Stevens was aware of the leash law.

Mr. Stevens said yes.

Selectman Bond noted that, under the ‘Rules and Regulations Relative to the Control of Dogs in Plymouth County’, “a person may kill a dog when it is out of the enclosure of its

owner or keeper and not under his immediate care in the act of worrying, wounding or killings persons, animals or fowls.”

Mr. Stevens asked Selectman Bond to define worrying.

Selectman Bond said a reasonable person would consider it menacing.

Selectman Bond noted that he had visited the terrier at the pound. He said it is a wire-haired terrier, which is an intelligent breed. According to, the dogs do have a temper and will inflict pain when it receives pain.

Mr. Stevens said he wanted to see evidence, besides the photos, that his dog did damage.

Mr. Stevens told the Board that he has done some “preventative maintenance”, and has constructed a fence around his barn to keep his dogs locked up. He said he is “doing his part to be prudent and responsible”.

Mr. Wyatt noted that the dog had been under quarantine because it had been bit by an animal of unknown origin. He said he had explained to Mr. Stevens that, when a dog is under quarantine, it must be vaccinated for rabies after 5 months. He noted the dog had not been vaccinated after the 6 month quarantine period.

Selectman Bond noted previous reports of Mr. Stevens’ dogs, including an April 25, 2000 report of dogs all over the area, November 14, 2002 the dogs were loose, unlicensed and without shots, January 7, 2003 a dog was shot, and January 9, 2003 a dog was chasing a jogger.

Mr. Wyatt noted that care and custody of a dig is proof of ownership of a dog in the eyes of the law.

Selectman Andrews said he was concerned with the terrier “nipping” a the sheep’s nap, explaining in the future it could be a child.

Selectwoman Brunelle said Mr. Stevens may be a “good neighbor”, but he is not a responsible pet owner. He has allowed his dogs to roam and destroy other people’s property.

Hearing no further comments, Chairman Perkins closed the hearing.

Motion was made by Selectwoman Brunelle, and seconded by Selectman Bond, to euthanize both dogs and to order both parties to make restitution to the Duphily’s.

Selectman Bond amended the motion, seconded by Chairman Perkins, to euthanize both dogs, order any additional dogs be restrained and licensed, and fine the owners as follows:

Failure to License

Mr. Brow $10.00
Mr. Stevens $20.00

Failure to abide by the Leash Law

Mr. Brow $10.00
Mr. Stevens $40.00

Failure to Vaccinate in accordance with MGL 140 sec 145(b).

Mr. Brow $50.00
Mr. Stevens $150.00

Vote on Amendment was 0 – 4.

Vote on original motion to euthanize the dogs was unanimous.

Upon motion by Selectman Bond and seconded by Selectwoman Brunelle, the Board
VOTED: To order any additional dogs be restrained and licensed, and fine the owners as follows:
Failure to License
Mr. Brow $10.00
Mr. Stevens $20.00

Failure to abide by the Leash Law
Mr. Brow $10.00
Mr. Stevens $40.00

Failure to Vaccinate in accordance with MGL 140 sec 145(b).
Mr. Brow $50.00
Mr. Stevens $150.00
Unanimous Vote.

Mr. Brow’s fines total $70.00, and Mr. Stevens’ totals $210.00.


Anonymous said...

Looks pretty different to me. Long history of violations and all the witnesses were there to be talked to.

Anonymous said...

So isn't there a conflict of interest here with MiMi?
Should she or shouldn't she be allowed to administer any decisions pertaining to dogs and farms?
Wouldn't her incident at least give the perception of bias with any similar animal attacks with her decisions?

AMB said...

I disagree. Mimi did not do anything wrong at the hearing, and she only expressed her experience and actually disclosed her "prejudice." The Chair is at fault, since her forced her comment into a motion. You cannot remove her experiences from her service as a Selectman, and she has a right to draw on them in her decision making process, as long as she does so relevantly and fairly. She disclosed and sat back without making a motion, until she was sandbagged by Pat who said "is that a motion?" Her only fault is that she was a deer in headlights when he said that, and she just reacted without thinking.

There are many things that I would blame Mimi for, and many failures in judgment, but she does not own this one--Pat Rogers screwed this one up, and the whole BoS is responsible for fighting against the imposition of WRITTEN rules for both legislative and quasi-judicial hearings.

Anonymous said...

Mr Bond
your comments are fair enough.
I respect your opinion but do not respect MiMi's. Was wrong in asking my questions. But then again, that is why I ask questions.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Bond,

I respect your opinion of Mimi's actions as a selectman. But in my minde, blaming the ability of the chairman to sandbag her doesn't excuse her of anything. If anything, it further strengthens my opinion that she is unfit to sit on the board. I think anyone who could be "puppeted" (is that a word?) by others isn't contributing anything positive to the town.

Besides which, I doubt she could've been sandbagged into a position or decision that would be in direct opposition to something she felt strongly about.

For example, do you think she could have been sandbagged into a motion to renegotiate the IGA?

I think not.

Thanks for letting me voice my opinion.