EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

May 8, 2013

Police quarantine dog after it attacked child

By Doug Ireland

---- — DERRY — Police have quarantined a dog they say attacked a 10-year-old boy, biting his leg and arm.

The child, who needed stitches, was walking to a neighbor’s home shortly before 1 p.m. Sunday when the dog ran out from beneath a porch at 7 Richardson Drive, according to Derry police Capt. Vern Thomas.

The brindle pit bull, a 2-year-old named Mystique, attacked the boy in front of the home, Thomas said. The pet’s owner will likely face charges, he said.

“It charged at him and bit him,” Thomas said. “The child tried to run away and the dog bit him.”

The boy ran down the street to escape, Thomas said. The child did not require hospitalization, he said.

Although police are still investigating the attack, Thomas said the owner will likely be charged. He declined to comment further on possible charges, which could result in a fine.

“We will decide what charges are appropriate,” he said.

The owner was identified as Lindsay Hardy of 7 Richardson Drive. She could not be reached yesterday for comment.

Police are still investigating whether there have been past incidents involving the dog, Thomas said.

The dog was seized and is being held at the animal control pound, Thomas said. He said state law requires any dog that bites a human to be held for at least 10 days.

A decision on the dog’s future would then be made and the owner has a right to appeal that decision, he said.

Thomas said his department deals with many dog bite complaints every year. He said he couldn’t speculate what could happen to Mystique.

Some dogs that have bitten people have been euthanized, while others have been released to their owners or placed in other homes, Thomas said.

Sometimes, owners are fined, sometimes they are not, Thomas said.

Under state law, the fine for a dog determined to be “vicious” is $100 for the first offense and $400 for any subsequent offense that occurs within a year of the first incident.

Thomas would not allow The Eagle-Tribune to photograph the dog.

“This dog is very aggressive,” he said.