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Northfield Selectboard votes to euthanize dangerous dog – The Recorder

Staff Writer
NORTHFIELD — After nearly two hours of testimony and deliberation on Tuesday, the Selectboard voted to euthanize a dog that reportedly attacked the owner’s mother.
“I’m concerned about the … unpredictability and the rapid escalation of the dog’s behavior at not only the present time but going forward,” said Selectboard member Barbara “Bee” Jacque. “I believe the real concern is danger and liability going forward.”
Resident Patricia Kinsella appeared before the Selectboard to recount the events that led up to her son’s dog biting her arm and her chest. The dog, a 4-year-old pit bull/terrier mix named Rio, was in her care for the weekend while her son was in Boston.
According to Kinsella, when she was bending over to open a container of kibble, the dog attacked her and latched onto her left forearm. Although she was able to pull Rio off her by grabbing his collar, the collar broke and Rio lunged again. She was eventually able to call 911 and she was taken to the hospital.
Regional Animal Control Officer Kyle Dragon said Rio’s personality can change quickly and he has been flagged at the shelter as “dangerous.”
Kinsella’s son, Rafael, said he recalled instructing his mother not to feed the dog or touch his food. According to Rafael, Rio had never attacked any other humans, nor been aggressive to other dogs.
“He’s a rescue, so he’s really attached to me,” he explained. “Usually, I’m the only one who feeds him.”
After questioning Rafael Kinsella about his relationship with the dog, the dog’s history and the extent to which he has shown “food aggression” in the past, Selectboard Chair Alex Meisner and members Bernard “Bernie” Boudreau, Sarah Kerns and Jacque voted in favor of Rio remaining in the custody of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Regional Dog Shelter to be euthanized. Member Heath Cummings abstained.
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“I believe we have enough here to determine a humane euthanization of this animal,” Meisner said. “I believe the facts found are that of a disturbing nature and one where I don’t think there is any reasonable alternative in moving forward in any other direction.”
According to Meisner, Rafael Kinsella has 10 days to appeal the decision in Greenfield District Court.

Reporter Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne.

06-09-2024 5:01 PM
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