A Falmouth, MA judge ruled yesterday that one of two Rottweilers was deemed vicious and must be put down. The animal's owner dropped an appeal to save the dog after an animal behavior expert determined the dog was a danger to people.
The ruling stemmed from two separate incidences when Laura Warrens' two dogs escaped their enclosure and ended up on the Teaticket Elementary School grounds in Falmouth, MA.
In the first incident, 4-year old Sinbad and puppy Maya, both Rottweilers, escaped their enclosure, headed to the school grounds and jumped on a mother and her 4-year old child. The older dog ripped the pants off the child.
Two days later, both dogs escaped again and headed back to the school where a group of third graders were on the playground for recess. Three kids sustained bites along with a teacher's aid in that incident. The older dog was witnessed to have bitten two of the kids and the aide, however, no one witnessed which dog bit the third child.
Donna Coyne, the school's nurse testified, "One student didn't even want to leave the office for medical treatment, he was so scared."
Both animals have been held at the Falmouth Animal Control Kennel since May and have undergone behavioral risk evaluations. The older dog, Sinbad, was found to be a danger as it responded poorly and aggressively to a toddler doll used in the evaluations. Maya appeared to behave normally according to Amy Marder, the behavior expert.
Warrens has taken steps to upgrade her yard by fixing the fence which was the source of the dogs' escape, and adding a locking kennel.
After both incidences, Town selectmen ordered both animals euthanized. An appeal for the puppy remains in effect, however Warrens dropped the appeal for the 4-year old Sinbad due to the expert's findings. "I have said from the beginning, if there were any issues and people would be in danger, I would do the right thing," she said.
The fate of the puppy has yet to be determined by the judge.