SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

February 14, 2013

Dog confined to yard after attack

WENHAM — Amy, the 5-year-old boxer who attacked a woman and her pug on Enon Road in October, is not allowed to be walked in that neighborhood again.

The decision by Animal Control Officer Stephen Kavanagh came after a public hearing last month “to consider a restraint of the dog or other action deemed necessary.”

Tracy Conley of 7 Hilltop Drive filed a complaint with Kavanagh after the attack, which took place Oct. 6. During the attack, Amy broke loose from owner Susan Lawson of 30 Hilltop Drive and went after Lola, Conley’s 20-pound pug.

Conley said Amy bit her several times on her left hand and back. The bites required a trip to Beverly Hospital, where Conley received seven stitches on her hand. Lola required five stitches for her bite wounds.

“There is no contention of this fact amongst the parties,” Kavanagh wrote in his decision. “While Mrs. Conley was trying to protect her dog, she was inadvertently bitten by Mrs. Lawson’s dog. I do feel Amy did not bite Mrs. Conley purposely during this encounter.”

Kavanagh said Amy will be required to go through “extensive training and rehabilitation.” He said Lawson must also purchase an appropriate leash and restraint, place locks on all fence gates, and have brackets installed in any low area of the fence where Amy might be able to jump out.

Conley said Tuesday that she is disappointed with Kavanagh’s decision and is looking into appealing it.

“My biggest concern is if the dog gets out,” Conley said. “What type of training is it going to take to make sure it doesn’t attack another dog or person?”

She said she’s not confident that any amount of training will make her feel safe in the neighborhood. While Conley said during the hearing that she thought Amy should be put down, she would feel comfortable if the dog was turned over to a rescue organization, she said.

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