Loose pit bull bites Tisbury man

Christopher Francis reported on April 21 that an unleashed pit bull bit him on the right calf while he was in his backyard on Martin Road, a few blocks from Tisbury School.

When Sgt. Timothy Stobie and Officer Joe Ballottee arrived, Mr. Francis told them that moments after the dog bit him he saw a man chasing after the dog, according to Tisbury Acting Police Chief Dan Hanavan.

“I think what happened was a friend went to the house to let the dog out for a walk, and he probably got away from him,” Chief Hanavan said.

According to the police officers’ report, by the time Mr. Francis walked a short distance to Foster Avenue where the dog lives with owner Richard Shepard, he could hear the dog barking inside, and the man he saw chasing the pit bull was gone, Chief Hanavan said.

The police officers called for a Tisbury ambulance to transport Mr. Francis to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital to have his wound examined, Chief Hanavan said, a standard procedure.

Tisbury police officers, who are trained as emergency medical technicians, respond to dog bite incidents along with animal control officer Laurie Clements. She was off-Island that day, the chief said.

Sergeant Stobie called Mr. Shepard and asked him to get the dog’s vet and vaccination records. Mr. Shepard was advised the dog would have to be quarantined at home for 10 days.

Ms. Clements followed up on the incident this week. She said the dog’s vaccinations were not up to date and that Mr. Shepard, who recently moved from Oak Bluffs, did not get a Tisbury dog license, as required within 30 days. In keeping with Tisbury’s bylaws, Ms. Clements said, since it was a first offense, she issued a warning ticket to Mr. Shepard.