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Vicious Dog Hearing To Be Held Friday for Pitbull Who Bit Girl

A vicious dog hearing will be held this Friday to determine what will happen to a pitbull who bit a 5-year-old Portsmouth girl.

A vicious dog hearing will be held this Friday for the  on the arm two weeks ago. 

The public hearing will take place at 9 a.m. at Town Hall. 

Two weeks ago, police were called to an Island Avenue home for . 

A 5-year-old girl was dropped off at the residence to see her mother, who happened to be at the house visiting. When the girl began playing tug-of-war with the pitbull, the 1-year-old puppy bit her arm. 

A 26-year-old neighbor, Wyatt Joaquin, witnessed the attack and ran to help the girl. He also received minor injuries during the attack. 

The girl sustained serious injuries to her arm, but has since been treated and released from the hospital. The dog has been ever since. 

By state law, in the event a dog officer or law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a dog is vicious, the ACO or police chief will hold a hearing for the purpose of determining whether or not the dog in question should be declared vicious. 

On Friday, a three-member board will make that call, as well as determine the next appropriate steps as outlined in the state statute. 

Members of the board will be one person appointed by the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA) chairman; a member appointed by the Portsmouth police chief, which is Deputy Chief Major Jeffrey Furtado; and a third person appointed by both the RISPCA and police chief.

This third person will be the Newport animal control officer (ACO). 

The town of Portsmouth is currently without an ACO. The town has not filled the vacant position since . 

Julia Carty June 20, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Pitbulls are notoriously high drive dogs. This incident is probably a case of "possession" not aggression! It is easily preventable and a correctable behavior. The adults in this situation should be reprimanded...not the dog. He was doing what comes to him naturally!
T June 20, 2012 at 01:43 PM
I hope for the sake of the kids in that neighborhood that the dog isnt allowed back..not because its a pit i would say this about any dog!!!!
Jane Wolk Wheeler June 20, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Exactly. People should be required to understand the nature of the breed they are taking on and how to train that breed properly!
Unbelievable June 20, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Any one know why the town still does not have an animal control officer? I thought they put a 60 or 90 day limit on how long they would take to resolve the "analysis of the position and salary level" or re writing the "job descriptions" on the unclassified jobs. That was back in January! It's been 6 months now! and 9 months since the town's animal control officer retired!
East side June 21, 2012 at 02:21 PM
This is a great process. This dog should not be around people.
JimR June 21, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Kudos to the young man that jumped the fence and pulled the dog off. I haven't seen Wyatt since he was 12 but it sounds like he turned into a fine young man who should be rewarded for his efforts.
Barry Stone June 21, 2012 at 07:28 PM
This town needs a dog officer. Sandy maybe you can put your detective hat on and find out when one will be hired???

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