Edgartown selectmen order vicious dog restrained

Barry Nevin will need to restrain the dog with a harness and chain whenever the animal is outside of the house

Edgartown selectmen ordered a dog restrained for life, after a vicious dog hearing held Monday, April 23.

The order requires dog owner Barry Nevin to restrain Rocket, a mix of English bulldog and Labrador retriever, with a harness and chain lead whenever he is outside of her house on Bettencourt Way.

Helene Owens told selectmen that Ms. Nevin’s dog attacked her dog, Charlie, on Bettencourt Way on March 14. Ms. Owens said she was knocked to the ground trying to separate the two animals.

“The other dog was on top of Charlie with his mouth in a death grip around Charlie’s neck and ferociously shaking Charlie’s neck to break his neck and kill him,” Ms. Owens wrote in a statement submitted to the selectmen.

She asked that Ms. Nevin reimburse her for $138 in veterinarian bills.

Ms. Nevin said that Rocket is very large, but that he was just playing. “If Rocket had wanted to kill your dog, he’s so powerful he could have done it like that,” she told selectmen, snapping her fingers, “and you could never stop him. I have no intention of paying you. You’re harassing me.”

In her report, animal control officer Barbara Prada cited complaints about Ms. Nevin’s dog dating back to 2009. She recommended selectmen impose a $200 bond and order permanent restraint.

Selectmen Art Smadbeck and Margaret Serpa declined to impose the bond. Selectman Michael Donaroma did not attend. Ms. Prada said the issue of who pays the vet bills is a civil matter for a court to decide, should either woman file a complaint.

Even before the contentious hearing began, Ms. Nevin objected to television coverage of the meeting. Martha’s Vineyard Television routinely records all Edgartown selectmen’s meetings.

When Ms. Nevin asked that she not be videotaped, MVTV technician Jim Osmundsen told her to take up the issue with the station. “I’m hired to do a job, and that’s what I’m doing,” he said.

“You and the Nazis,” Ms. Nevin replied.

Mr. Osmundsen lodged a complaint about Ms. Nevin’s comment with the selectmen following the meeting.

In other action, selectmen heard a request from Flatbread Pizza Company owner Jay Gould to transfer a liquor license currently held by the owners of Nectar’s, formerly Outerland and before that the Hot Tin Roof nightclub. Mr. Gould said he intends to buy out the interest of Nectar’s, and continue music on a smaller scale.

Selectmen delayed a vote on the transfer while they research questions about the hours the licensee must remain open.