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Massachusetts dog bite case has Chelmsford barking

Two recent dog bite incidents in the Massachusetts town of Chelmsford have not only resulted in serious injury but also hearings before the town selectmen to determine what to do about the perceived problem. Both incidents concern the same pit bull and involve dog bite incidents on the owners’ property.

The family has lived in the town for more than a year and a half and has displayed Beware of Dog signs in their backyard. While the selectmen consider the matter, the family has been ordered to muzzle the dog, have the animal examined at the Lowell Humane Society and post more Beware of Dog signs in the front of their home.

The first attack occurred on May 1 when a neighbor came by for an arranged visit. The dog owner claims she was not able to get the animal leashed in time, and the dog bit the visitor on the hand, requiring seven stitches to close the wound. The second attack happened on June 12 as a couple, who had been hired by the homeowners to trim trees on the property outside a fenced area for the dog, was finishing their work. The homeowner let the dog outside, apparently thinking the workers had left. Instead, the dog attacked the female worker, and she received extensive tissue damage on her forearm as a result of the dog bite.

The town selectmen adjourned their hearing concerning the 70-pound dog until July 16. An animal control officer has already reported to them that a public safety issue exists. She has formally requested that the selectmen order the dog removed or disposed from the community.

As Chelmsford struggles with the appropriate measures to take to ensure the safety of its citizens, the two people injured must cope with recovering from their wounds. There is perhaps nothing much more frightening than being overpowered in a dog bite attack, especially an unprovoked one. Each injured victim in this instance likely has the option to turn to Massachusetts courts to seek monetary relief to reimburse them for their medical expenses and other damages, including pain and suffering occasioned by the disturbing incidents.

Source: Wicked Local Chelmsford, “Chelmsford selectmen considering dog’s future,” Molly Loughman, June 26, 2012