Updated June 12
A white German shepherd named Ranger who allegedly bit two women near the Black Dog Tavern in Vineyard Haven will have a dangerous dog hearing before the Tisbury select board. Ranger allegedly bit a woman on the buttocks on May 26, and another woman on the thigh on May 28. Ranger has recently been returned to his owner, Andrea Peraino, after a rabies quarantine, according to Tisbury Animal Control Officer (ACO) Kate Hoffman. Hoffman said the hearing has not yet been scheduled, but she has submitted the paperwork.
Peraino told The Times she was “absolutely filled with remorse” over Ranger’s behavior. “I can’t imagine being on vacation with your family and having this happen to you,” Peraino said. “I’m devastated over it. And honestly, there’s nothing I won’t do for those women.”
In the years she and her boyfriend, Brooke Douglas, have lived upstairs, Peraino said, nothing like this has ever happened. Peraino said Ranger escaped from a door on the second story of 20 Beach St. Extension, due to a faulty latch. She described that door as leading from a part of the building she and Douglas had only recently spent time in, as they’d been living in another portion of the second floor.
“We’ve completely sealed off that side of the house, and we have a builder coming to do a very secure three-way entry point,” she said. “We obviously take full responsibility, because it’s our fault that that entrance was not secure, and, quite frankly, we weren’t aware it wasn’t secure until this happened. So it’s very unfortunate,” she said.
Peraino said Ranger is 4½ years old, leash-trained, and a good dog but an anxious one.
“He has anxiety problems,” Peraino said. She added she believed Ranger was bolting to the beach a short distance away and bit the women in passing — that he was not specifically trying to get at them, but was scared by what he may have perceived as an impediment to him getting to the beach.
Ranger was under home quarantine on May 28, according to an ACO report, when he escaped the building and allegedly bit a woman. The victim stated, “she was parking her bike when the dog ran up and bit the back of her leg,” according to an ACO report. “The dog then ran away, with the owner chasing it.” The victim was treated at the scene by Tisbury EMS.
On May 26, Peraino told Hoffman, “Ranger broke out of the door and bit someone,” a report states. A woman suffered puncture wounds on her buttocks and leg, a report states.
Peraino was fined $25 for an unrestrained dog and $25 for an unlicensed dog, following the first attack. After the second attack, the dog was no longer allowed to be quarantined at home. The Tisbury ACO took custody of Ranger.
“We’re willing to go above and beyond,” Peraino said. “There’s no step I’m not willing to take — we’re not taking this lightly in any sense.”
Peraino made it clear the Beach Street Extension location isn’t ideal for Ranger, and she and Douglas are looking for a new place to live, but the current housing market hasn’t made it easy.
Peraino said Ranger is slated for a five-week behavior modification program that will start at the end of June: “Ranger is also going to a behavioral vet specialist at Tufts,” she said.
“Veterinary behaviorists are trained to address the relationships between an animal’s health, environment, experiences, and its behavior,” an American College of Veterinary Behaviorists webpage states. “They have extensive knowledge of psychotropic medications, their uses, potential side effects and interactions with other medications, and are licensed to prescribe them when indicated.”
Peraino said it’s possible Ranger could receive prescription medication for his anxiety. She said if all the steps she and Douglas plan to take aren’t successful and they feel Ranger has become a safety threat, they “would surrender him to a German shepherd rescue center.”
Peraino remains optimistic the interventions will make a difference, however, and said she will do whatever it takes to make things right. “There really isn’t anything I won’t do, including for those women,” she said.
Updated with additional details from Ranger’s owner.
Where is the Dangerous Policeman Hearing, for those officers unlawfully snatching citizens off the streets and taking them to jail?
As the owner of this dog and this being the most devastating situation for myself and my home, “Peraino couldn’t be immediately reached for comment” is curious to me, nobody reached out to me. I see words I didn’t use and no context whatsoever about how this tragic incident was able to happen, this article is entirely vague, devoid of many pieces of important information and skewed heavily in one direction. I want it known that I have submitted a request to speak to you on your website, I think the truth is essential always but certainly in a situation of this severity.
How do you write an entire article about someone, a woman who runs a successful local business no less, without even trying to get her side of the story? This is not journalism, this is basically slander and libel. No one is trying to pretend the dog didn’t bite anyone and she is taking the necessary steps to ensure this won’t happen in the future…but you wouldn’t know that because you didn’t do YOUR JOB as a reporter to find the full story.
Shawn. Not unlike the articles the last three weeks regarding Maciel &Sons. A Business for thirty years servicing the Island .Hard working men and having to be harassed in this way.
I have known Brooke Douglas since 1987, and I have had the pleasure of knowing Andrea since she moved to the island. They are an entrepreneurial young couple doing their best to be part of this community, and I have met Ranger many times to my absolute pleasure. This unfortunate accident is what it is: an unfortunate accident about which i am sure they are devastated. With all the rampantly loose dog incidents on this island – biting of people and other dogs, chicken/duck/sheep killings, dog harassment, people harassment, dogs getting hit by cars, dogs being lost, and sometimes forever etc. – I hope they are not being singled out for what was clearly an accident. Bottom line, despite this very unfortunate incident, I am confident that Andrea is a responsible dog owner, unlike many people, and I hope she will be treated as such. Did anyone at the Times speak to her directly before this article was published? This article sounds like a pretty one-sided report to me, and that is never a great thing.
It was well known, a few years ago, that an admittedly very friendly ginger cat was allowed to roam unsupervised throughout that area, it’s home at 20 Beach Rd Ext.
We used to call it “The Mayor of Beach Rd”.
In any case, two different animals, but the cat was spending it’s days stalking birds and wildlife.
Seems nothing changes down at the harbor.
I am glad that the Times updated this article and that Andrea was able to share her side of the story. I am very hopeful that Ranger, Andrea and Brooke will be allowed to move forward together. This has been such a crazy year, not only for people, but for domestic animals – the isolation has proven to create all sorts of separation anxiety and behavioral issues across the board. Thank you for the update.
As a helpful hint, it appears in the picture on that Ranger has a collar. Would suggest a harness instead. You will have greater control over the animal as it seems to be almost dragging Mr. Douglas down the stairs.
Please allow these people to do as they said, they obviously are deeply saddened by what happened and took full responsibility. Unlike another person that said, they would put their dog down for roaming, rather than build an enclosure. Personally, some one that makes such a statement should not be allowed to have a pet.
Good luck with the dogs therapy. Hopeful the behavior modification and not drugs will solve the problem.
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