Essex looks into stricter laws after deadly dog attack

Published: Jul. 16, 2019 at 12:04 AM EDT
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An Essex woman whose dog was recently killed after being attacked by another dog is pushing for stricter penalties.

Susan Robinson says a pit bull-mix attacked her 10-year-old greyhound near the Five Corners. Robinson says the attacking dog was not on a leash.

"After Eddie's great racing career, it was hard to think that he died at the hands of another dog," Robinson said.

Eddie spent four years on the racetrack, competing in more than 80 contests. Robinson said he raced at the Southland Racetrack in Arkansas, which is the biggest and most prestigious track and only the top dogs race there. She says if they aren't winners, they don't go there.

Robinson says a dog came out of one of the houses, and the owner didn't have a hold on the collar.

"The dog saw our dog and ran right to him and just attacked him," she said.

The current penalty in Essex for dog-on-dog violence is $50.

"At least a thousand dollar fine just to begin with," Robinson said. "That would hurt people's pocketbook a little bit."

Now, Robinson is calling on the town to change the law.

"Our current ordinance addresses dogs biting humans but nothing that addresses dogs biting dogs," said Essex Select Board Chair Elaine Haney.

Haney says they haven't decided if they're going to raise the fine for dog attacks, but they want to make sure any new law reflects zero tolerance for dog violence.

"We're going to think about how we can send a message to all dog owners in the community," Haney said. "They have to make sure they're respectful of people's personal boundaries and they are still enabling their dogs to run free legally, without threatening other people who are approaching their dogs or other dogs that are approaching."

The select board will formally discuss the issue next Tuesday.

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