Edgartown selectmen said this week that an American Staffordshire terrier involved in a dog fight should be considered dangerous, and they ordered that the dog be bonded and must be muzzled when off its owner’s property.
Ramune, a rescue dog belonging to Damon Burke, was involved in a July 6 fight with another dog who lived in the house. That dog, a pit bull/hound mix named Tommy, was euthanized by his owner last week.
Assistant town animal control officer Jennifer Morgan responded to a call that was later cancelled regarding the dog fight. Both dogs were severely injured and were taken to a veterinarian, animal control officer Barbara Prada said, and were later placed in mandatory 10-day quarantine.
Ms. Prada said that in late May, the two dogs got into a fight while they were being walked together. In that case, she said, Tommy started the fight. But in the later incident, it was unclear who the aggressor was.
“I’ve been having a lot of trouble with this issue,” she said, noting that there were conflicting statements. “I was unable to come to a recommendation.”
Ms. Morgan said she felt Ramune was a dangerous and aggressive dog.
“The events in Edgartown are that my dog unfortunately was attacked by the other family dog twice and injured very badly both times,” Mr. Burke said.
Last year in Oak Bluffs, selectmen ordered Ramune muzzled and bonded after she attacked a Jack Russell terrier. The dog’s leg had to be amputated. The owner of the dog in that case, Joseph Jims, told Edgartown selectmen that he felt Ramune was dangerous to other dogs, though not to humans.
But Mr. Burke’s aunt, Amy Wales, the owner of the dog that was euthanized, said that she felt her dog was the catalyst, and Ramune is otherwise a friendly dog.
“We need to protect our community,” selectman Michael Donaroma said. “There’s just not enough evidence here to put a dog down, I don’t think. It happened on private property and we don’t know who started it.”
In other business, the selectmen approved signing the notes on a loan for construction of the new Edgartown library. The loan for $4.9 million will be issued on August 5.
Town administrator Pamela Dolby said that the state historic preservation commission has approved the transfer of the Edgartown Lighthouse to the town of Edgartown. That decision will be sent on to the National Park Service, she said, and “hopefully we’ll be hearing soon that we’re the owners of Edgartown Light.”