EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


November 23, 2013

Some cheers, some jeers for locals newsmakers

JEERS to whoever is responsible for the savage shooting death of Jaycee, a 9-year-old German shepherd, and the “dognapping” of Sophie, a beagle, from the Methuen MSPCA animal shelter. The perpetrators likely had completely different motives, but both crimes were extraordinarily senseless. Jaycee was let out by her owner in Plaistow last week. When she failed to return as usual, a search began, only to end with the discovery of the dog’s body next to nearby railroad tracks, killed by a single gunshot. The motive for the killing is a complete mystery, though Deputy Chief Kathleen Jones said police have some leads. Her owner called Jaycee a “sweetheart” who would never have bothered anyone. A Facebook page has been created, “Justice for Jaycee,” to solicit tips that could lead to the killer. We would love to see the shooter exposed, shamed and punished. We want the same for the couple that stole Sophie from the MSPCA shelter, though we have more understanding of what they did. The 60-something man and woman made off with the beagle a week ago Saturday but returned her a few days later when the story made headlines and surveillance photos were released. Police believe they know who the dognappers are and say charges are pending. The couple may have been motivated by their love of dogs and desire to own a pet, but this obviously was not the way to show that love.

HOLIDAY CHEERS to the Haverhill License Commission, which made the right call when it rejected a request to open an outdoor “beer booth” during the Dec. 7 Downtown Christmas Stroll sponsored by the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber was well-intentioned when it asked an outside vendor to sell beer from 5 to 9 p.m. and share the revenue with the Chamber to help pay the expenses of the popular holiday event. But we don’t think the idea was fully thought out. One of the purposes of the stroll is to being people downtown to support local shops and restaurants. But clearly sidetracking strollers to a beer concession would steer them away from those businesses — including many that sell beer themselves. The License Commission also frowned on the idea of strollers wandering the streets with beers in hand during an event geared toward families, though the Chamber said it planned to set up a “designated drinking area.” Offering refreshments to strollers isn’t a bad idea, but hot chocolate and cider would be better choices.

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