Updated April 20
Two dogs that were deemed dangerous by Oak Bluffs selectmen, a decision supported by both a clerk magistrate and a judge, are dead.
Rosie and Sasha were euthanized on Thursday evening, Oak Bluffs town administrator Robert Whritenour confirmed.
“The selectmen were put in a difficult position,” Whritenour said, noting that there was no way to protect the public if the dogs were allowed to remain with their owners. “It’s just unfortunate all the way around.”
On April 13, Edgartown District Court Judge Thomas Kirkman upheld the decision by Oak Bluffs that two pit bulls involved in a vicious attack on a smaller dog were dangerous and should be put to death. His decision followed a similar ruling by Dukes County Superior Court Clerk Joseph Sollitto.
The dogs, Rosie and Sasha, were euthanized by a veterinarian at Animal Health Care in West Tisbury, where they’ve been held during the legal proceedings, Animal Control Officer Patty Grant told The Times Thursday.
Kirkman issued his orders April 13 in separate cases involving Rosie, owned by Kaitlyn Seaton, and Sasha, owned by Hillary Seaton. The two decisions go through the facts of the case, and Kirkman indicated that his finding was limited to three choices — dismiss the case, find the dogs to be nuisance, or find them to be dangerous.
“Based on all the evidence in this case, I find Rosie to be a dangerous dog within the meaning of the statue and affirm the town’s order of euthanization,” the decision states. The other order has identical wording, except Sasha’s name is substituted for Rosie.
Fighting back tears, Kaitlyn Seaton called the judge’s decision unfair. “I’m going to miss my dog more than anything,” she said. “I did everything to fight for her life, and it wasn’t enough.”
Kaitlyn Seaton said she could have appealed to superior court, but it’s too expensive. She said she would not be at the vet when her dog gets euthanized. “I don’t think I could handle it right now,” she said.
Selectmen ruled on Dec. 12 that the dogs posed a threat and should be put to death.
On Nov. 24, the two dogs viciously attacked Toby, a 10-year-old cockapoo, owned by John Stevenson as he was walking the dog past the Seaton house on Worcester Avenue.
Toby had numerous puncture holes on his back, his front right leg, and his left hind leg. Much of the skin was torn off his back, and half of his left ear was bitten off.
Stevenson’s dog was taken to Bourne’s Cape Cod Veterinary Specialists for extensive emergency surgery, where medical bills in excess of $10,000 were wracked up, according to court testimony, to keep the dog alive.
In his ruling, Kirkman found there was credible evidence of other incidents involving the dogs as well.