Earlier this month a dog was mortally wounded at an automotive garage in West Tisbury when another dog escaped from a vehicle and attacked it. The owner of the aggressor dog subsequently took that dog home, shot it, and buried it, according to town officials. No charges are pending from the dog slaying as it’s lawful for a dog owner to euthanize a dog in Massachusetts, according to West Tisbury police.
No further action is planned, Animal Control Officer Anthony Cordray said, because the accused animal is deceased. Whatever comes next, if anything, is likely to be a civil matter, Cordray said.
At about 9 am on July 13, according to a report, a Deutsch Drahtarr (a breed of German hunting dog), in the vehicle of Scott Bermudes, leapt from that vehicle and reportedly attacked a dog belonging to the owners of Mid-Island Repair, John and Janet Belain. Their dog, “Ronald,” a small 15-year-old male Sheltie, suffered severe wounds to the stomach. Ronald was later taken to Tufts Veterinary School where he underwent “extensive” surgery but ultimately didn’t survive.
At the scene, a report states that “Mr. Bermudes grabbed his dog, put it in the car, and drove away.”
When Cordray reached out over the phone to order the dog, “Nika,” quarantined for rabies, he was told the dog, which was licensed to Bermudes’ wife, was “euthanized.” Cordray and West Tisbury Police Chief Matt Mincone said they understood Bermudes shot the dog.
When Cordray asked over the phone if he could get a tissue sample to ensure the dog didn’t have rabies, he was told the dog was already buried.
When Cordray went to the Bermudes residence, he was told by Bermudes’ wife Cynthia, to leave the property and talk to her husband’s lawyer. Cordray subsequently got two calls from Scott Bermudes, according to a report, instructing Cordray to contact Bermudes’ lawyer though no name for a lawyer was given.
Chief Mincone told The Times his department believes Bermudes’ shot the dog by his barn which would put the discharge of a firearm outside a 500-foot radius of an occupied dwelling and therefore not illegal. Chief Mincone also said Bermudes is licensed to have firearms so from a police standpoint, nothing unlawful has occurred.
Scott Bermudes did not immediately return a message seeking comment. The owners of Ronald could not be reached.