Chilmark selectmen agree on dog issue


Chilmark selectmen on Tuesday heard a vicious dog complaint regarding a 12-pound cairn terrier owned by Heather and Jordi Gude. The dog got loose on several occasions and killed several animals, including a cat owned by Joan Jenkinson, West Tisbury animal control officer and assistant Chilmark officer.

Dog officer Chris Murphy told selectmen the terrier got loose several times last year and was returned to the Gudes without incident. More recently, however, the dog had started killing animals.

On March 30, the terrier got loose and ran inside the Chilmark home of Ms. Jenkinson. Mr. Murphy said the dog has since been removed from town and placed in a new home in New York City.

“My recommendation to you is for the dog to be put down . . . I don’t take that lightly. I don’t know how to put it, but the owner of the dog is not being as careful or conscientious as they should be,” Mr. Murphy said.

Ms. Gude apologized to the selectmen and to everyone who had animals killed by her dog.

“She obviously has a taste for killing chickens, and I think she chased the cat in our yard to someone’s house, and we feel really bad about that. We had her placed in New York City, she is never coming back to the Island again,” she said.

Mr. Murphy recommended the dog be banned from town forever, and captured and euthanized if it were ever to return.

“If the dog stays out of town, and I believe it is, and it stays out of town then it’s a moot point. But this would give me some leverage I would otherwise not have, and save us from doing this again,” he said.

Ms. Jenkinson recalled the events of day her cat was killed by the Gude’s dog. She got a call around 3 pm from her husband about a small cairn carrier that may have been hit by a car and was coming up North Road, she said

She rushed home and went into her house to grab a leash, when the dog rushed inside.

“She flew into the kitchen,” Ms. Jenkinson said, describing the actions of the dog, “and then ran into the living room and grabbed my cat off its bed and broke its neck. It happened in, like, two seconds. That was very traumatic. It took me two years to earn the trust of that cat; he was a feral cat in the neighborhood, he was a great guy and I really miss him.”

Selectmen unanimously voted to accept Mr. Murphy’s recommendation.