Thursday June 14, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- Pittsfield Police Chief Michael J. Wynn has issued an order deeming three dogs -- pit bull terrier mixes -- that attacked a 9-year-old boy on Tuesday to be "vicious animals" and has given the owners 10 days to appeal the decision or "dispose" of the canines.

Two days after the attack that left Perrin Petell with 35 dog tooth punctures and a portion of his scalp torn off, the boy's father, Anthony Petell, told The Eagle that Perrin is doing "pretty good" but is still shaken up.

Around 9:30 p.m. Monday, Perrin and his mother, Jes syca Petell, were walk ing into the rear entrance of a multi-family home at Ed ward and Mal colm avenues when Perrin opened the door to a common hallway. The three dogs burst out, dragged him down the stairs and continued their attack.

Perrin was treated for his injuries at Berkshire Medical Center and released. Anthony Petell said the family returned Wednesday to have the doctors change Perrin's bandages.

It was still unclear who pulled the dogs off of the boy. Police Capt. John Mullin said that the dog owners, Lori Rohde and Adam Pollack, both 42, were there at the time of the incident.

Rohde told police it was only two dogs that attacked, but Jessyca Petell said all three were involved.

The three pit bull terrier mixes, an adult male, a 6-month-old male, and a pregnant female, are under quarantine for 10 days at the Eleanor Sonsini Animal Shelter in Pittsfield.

Animal Control Officer Jo seph Chague said Wednes day that any dog that bites a human or other animal is automatically quarantined as part of a rabies protocol. All three have up-to-date rabies shots, said police.

The victims' parents said they had heard from neighbors about other problems involving these dogs.

But Chague said if there were other issues, they were never reported to the police.

"I have no documentation," he said.

If Pollack and Rohde dispute the chief's order, the case would go to Central Berkshire District Court for review by a judge or clerk magistrate.

If the chief's order is upheld, the dogs would be "restrained, removed or disposed of as necessary," which could consist of a plan other than euthanasia. But Captain Mullin said the animals would likely have "limited shelter options" because of the vicious animal designation.

If the owners failed to abide by the order, they could be punished by a fine of up to $25 for the first offense and $100 for a second or subsequent offense, or by imprisonment of up to 30 days for the first offense, and 60 days for a second or subsequent offense, or both.

The investigation into the attack is still ongoing, Mullin said.

Anthony Petell said he would like to see the law changed to allow for criminal prosecution in cases like this.

This isn't Pollack's first issue with pet ownership. In 2007, he was charged with multiple felony counts, including assault to rape, in connection with a domestic incident that allegedly ended when he was attacked by his pit bull terrier.

"You guys better shoot that dog or I will," he allegedly told the police at the time.

A Pittsfield Police officer shot the dog four times, killing it.

The charges against Pollack were later dismissed at the request of the alleged victim.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
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