I did not abuse Letty


To the Editor:

Tashmoo beach has offered a relaxing daily experience for my dog Letty since her early years. On September 3, while driving in Vineyard Haven, I pulled over on Spring and William to pick up a friend. Upon coming to a stop, Letty jumped from the bed of my truck. I went to retrieve her. Once she was safely placed back in the truck I disciplined her. She was seated prone in the bed of the truck. With her body down, I used verbal commands and hand gestures to convey my order. I never physically made contact with Letty. After pointing sternly from Letty to the bed of the truck and giving the commands to stay put, I walked to re-enter the vehicle and drive off.

The eyewitness in question who accused me of beating my dog was 200 feet behind me which, in my opinion, is an impossible distance and angle to accurately gauge what happened. Letty was laying down with the rear door closed and up. Standing five feet directly behind the vehicle can make the sight of the dog difficult when she is in a down position. This lady cannot look through or around me, nor did she ever walk up to my vehicle to validate her assumption. Authorities were called to the scene, and I was issued a court date without them ever inspecting Letty or investigating the notion that a mistake in judgment had occurred.

I believe the lady’s intentions were in the best interests of Letty. There has been no harm done to Letty, and I still have her with me.

That said, my reputation and name has been ruined. The description of me as being immature and irresponsible has embarrassed all associated with me and my family. I challenge the thought of immaturity by offering my volunteering experience with police officials as evidence of a community oriented young man who cares for the welfare of others. I directly worked with detectives to prevent child pornography. The police know my character.

Heather Fulp knows my character. She sold Letty to me only after she got to know me as a person, to make sure I would have the time and attention needed to care for her. She had so much trust in me that I was able to obtain Letty without payment upfront. Her belief in me was based on my reputation and her personal experience with me as a person. Ms. Fulp would never have sold me Letty if she believed I was capable of being cruel to anyone. She took special care in placing Letty.

Letty had a mammary gland tumor. Letty and I beat the cancer. Heather Fulp and I talked at length about the special attention Latty would need. Out of two litters, a total of 24, Letty was special to her.

I have been on Martha’s Vineyard for more than 10 years. I graduated from the high school and now work in landscaping. Letty is the most important aspect of my life, and thus I value the opportunity to care for her. This is a case of a mistaken belief that a crime was happening. I only ask that people open themselves up to the thought that perhaps a mistake was made. In the end, I want everyone to know that I love Letty and the Island I reside on. As a Brazilian, I value the beauty, rule of law, and code of conduct towards animals and children alike. I just ask to keep an open mind.

Fernando Freire