West Tisbury selectmen discipline chicken-eating dogs

West Tisbury selectmen at their regular meeting on March 16 took action against two dogs owned by Bruce and Laura Marshard that reportedly got loose several times over the past year and killed several chickens at Nip ‘n’ Tuck Farm, owned by Fred and Betsy Fisher.

Selectmen approved a motion requiring the Marshards to keep their two dogs in the house or on an overhead run, and always on a leash when they are outside. They also asked the Marshards to post a $200 bond that may be returned after one year, as long as the dogs do not get loose again.

Assistant animal control officer Allen Healy said he has responded to several complaints about the Marshard dogs at the Nip ‘n’ Tuck Farm in recent months, including an incident on December 31, when the dogs killed one chicken.

Everyone involved, including the selectmen, the animal control officer, and Mr. Fisher agreed to the resolution.

Selectman Jeffrey “Skipper” Manter also warned dog owners to take precautions. “I have been on the receiving end numerous times over the years at my farm, from dogs out of control destroying livestock,” he said, “and unfortunately it’s usually a neighbor’s dog. And once they start, they repeat — that wonderful family dog that gets along great with children can do so much damage.”