Wareham Selectman urges strict enforcement for dangerous dogs following euthanasia ruling

Mar 12, 2019

After Selectmen last week unanimously decided to, upon the recommendation of the Animal Control Officer, euthanize two dogs previously deemed dangerous, Selectman Peter Teitelbaum suggested the board needs to be more strict with the dates by which the orders must be fulfilled

“We need to start clarifying in the order by which date certain things have to be performed,” said Teitelbaum. “For example, if you have to install a fence in the yard, it has to be done by a certain time, if you need to get dog trained, you need to show the proof by a certain date.”

The two pit bulls to be euthanized, named Amelia and Jackson, had previously been deemed dangerous after they attacked a woman near the Papermill Cranberry Bogs last summer, causing severe injuries to her left hand and behind her right knee.   

After the attack, Selectmen placed multiple restrictions on the dogs, including increasing the height of the fence in the area that they were kept and ensuring that the dogs did not leave the property without leash and muzzle. The selectmen also ordered the owners of the dogs to provide proof of training back in June, but no proof was ever received.

A second attack on a neighbor’s dog earned the two animals their death sentence on March 5.

Teitelbaum said he believed that making orders more specific will help hold people accountable for their actions and will prevent lax owners from neglecting their animals in the future.

“It is very easy for us to have a hearing, issue order, and then everybody kind of forgets what the orders were,” said Teitelbaum. “It is not helpful if the dog owners are not held accountable about what they need to know.”

Teitelbaum closed his statement by reinforcing that the owners of the dogs will have 14 days to euthanize the animals.