Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Marblehead, MA - On Jan. 8, Carol Bouchat said Jessie, a German shepherd, attacked her while she was out walking her dog. The dog knocked her to the ground, tearing at her leg and sending her to Salem Hospital. The animal was unanimously ordered put to death in 10 days.
However, the owner Anthony Schepsis has taken the dog to New York in defiance of the orders of police Chief Robert Picariello. His lawyer, Jeremy Cohen, also claims that he will soon leave Marblehead. Ms. Bouchat likened his decision to move his dog out of town to Catholic bishops who moved dangerous pedophile priests from parish to parish.
Two other women described vicious attacks by Jessie on their dogs. Animal Control Officer Betsy Tufts called Jessie a "sleeper cell," involved in an incident in 2001, then quiet until a series of attacks in 2007. The selectmen are eager to warn New York about the dog. Cohen promised to give Jessie's specific location. Meanwhile, Chairman Harry Christensen said, Schepsis can be fined $25 for defying the board.
In a separate incident on Jan. 6, Geeno, a shepherd owned by Kenneth Harvey, got one vote for execution before selectmen accepted a suggestion to seek the opinion of a dog trainer. Geeno had bit the hand of woman as it attacked her smaller dog.
Officer Tufts quickly cast doubt on Harvey's story. While walking Geeno and a friend's dog, Harvey said he detached both leashes - a violation - because they had become entangled. Harvey's lawyer, David Smith, promised his client and Geeno would leave town in April. The motion to euthanize Geeno was defeated 4-1.
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