The West Tisbury selectmen this week ordered the owner of a Husky to restrain her dog after an incident where the dog killed a chicken.
At a public hearing Wednesday, the selectmen learned that on May 4 the dog owned by Marina Sharkovitz killed a chicken owned by neighbor Angela Aronie on Otis Bassett Road. According to animal control officer Joan Jenkinson, this was the second time the year-and-a-half-old dog, Kota, had killed a chicken but it was the first time a formal complaint had been filed.
Mrs. Jenkinson recommended the dog be put in a penned-in area when outside. She also recommended the dog be muzzled and leashed at all times when outside and not in the pen.
“We just don’t have any patience for livestock killing in this town and it happens a lot, more than we’d like to talk about,” Mrs. Jenkinson said. “This breed in general we’ve had trouble with the livestock . . . and once they do it they don’t stop going back to the property.”
Mrs. Jenkinson recommended a dog run be built until a fenced-in pen is ready. The run is not to be used once the pen is ready. Ms. Sharkovitz also must notify the animal control officer if she moves to another town.
“I hate to use the word euthanasia, give this dog one more chance with her to keep the dog home,” the animal control officer said.
The chickens roam freely in the Aronie yard, Mrs. Jenkinson said. In a written statement, Ms. Sharkovitz said the chickens frequently wandered into her yard.
“We really do not ever want to leave her outside at any point and when we do take her out she’s always on a leash or with her collar,” Ms. Sharkovitz said at the hearing. “I don’t want my dog killing any animals any more than they do. She’s still a puppy and not a vicious animal.”
Mrs. Aronie requested that the dog be put down.
“We’ve been dealing with this for a year and it makes me super sad to have to do this,” she said. "I understand and respectfully waited. In all honesty I have said please get your dog under control, we cannot go through this again.”
Selectman Richard Knabel noted the number of incidents involving dogs and livestock continues to rise.
“To quote Yogi Bera, this is deja vu all over again,” he said. “We don’t like to see dogs come in a second time, although we’ve certainly had to deal with that situation as well.”
The selectmen voted 2-1 vote to accept Mrs. Jenkinson’s recommendations. Selectman Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter 3rd dissented.
“I will vote no as I usually do in these matters, I think dog owners should be held to a higher standard,” he said. “These are becoming more frequent as backyard farms resume across the Island and the country...I think we need to set an example. I also think you’re inviting some of this upon yourself by allowing free ranging chickens in your yard.”