To The Editor:
This letter is in response to the coverage at the recent town meeting of the incident that occurred between two dogs, resulting in one of the dog’s death, Winnie. As the owner of the other dog Stella, whom we recently rescued, I felt it important to further represent myself and my family against the facts of what happened.
To begin with, Officer Adam Murphy’s quote, whether it was from the witness or not, about how this “larger animal out of nowhere just struck and grabbed a hold of the other dog” is factually incorrect. Furthermore, his comment about how we “just walked off”, was not even a quote that existed on the original witness account. That literally was never said, nor did it happen, and I did mention it at the meeting. A bigger, and important, part of this story, is how this all happened. What I talked about in my statement at the hearing is the fact that Ms. Hagan, Winnie’s owner, initiated contact and conversation with me about Stella and was making inquiries and comments about our dog, which turned into a full conversation and prompted me to walk over to them in the first place. There was no attack “out of nowhere”, not even from the witness statement, nor did she ever say that we “just walked off”, which makes me appear to be indifferent and callous, far from the truth. I was equally shaken by what had happened. As I said, which was covered in the article, the dogs were getting to know each other. I had no reason to believe that would likely occur.
The second bit of information important to mention is the other incident that occurred with our neighbor’s dog, who came to speak out on OUR behalf, not “somewhat in our defense of Stella”. This was not “another dog attack” by Stella, as Ms. Hagan’s mother claims, who has no factual information on the matter. This was a simple scuffle between two dogs that resulted with a nip on a leg, nothing more. As my neighbor said in his statement, we really don’t even know who started it, and it only lasted a couple of seconds. I think it’s important to recognize that bigger dogs don’t always have to be the aggressor and that there are far worse behaved and aggressive dogs in smaller breeds (NOT my neighbor’s dog, of course).
In no way am I not affected by what has happened, nor am I trying to brush off blame, but better understanding and people may see there’s more to this story. This dog lived her first 3 years of life in an enlarged chicken coop with mesh flooring, defecating where she slept and stayed, hosed down when necessary and used only for profit until she was no longer of any use. We’re just trying to give her a nice home for the remainder of her life and get to know her better. I am very sad for Winnie’s family that she is gone, I truly am, but Stella is also loved and cherished by our neighbors, family, friends, and even acquaintances she meets on the street. She is not the vicious dog she has been portrayed to be. This is a hard lesson learned, and we are taking the necessary precautions and steps to help her get better and keep everyone safe.
Jennifer MacDonald, Marion
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