Highgate Community Weighs In on Vicious Dog Attack

By Alexandra Leslie | aleslie@nexstar.tv

Published 10/26 2016 11:40PM

Updated 10/26 2016 11:40PM

Highgate's Selectboard held a public hearing Wednesday night to discuss reports of vicious dog attacks in the area.

It started Friday, when a St. Albans woman reported to police she was attacked by three pit bulls.

Kelly Fiorini, along with the owner and other members of the community voiced their concerns about why this can't happen again.

"I feel sorry for Mike, because I don't want to take his pets away from him, but it's just really, really, really scary," said Fiorini.

Fiorini says when she got out of her car to meet a friend on Park Street Friday night, three pit bulls came charging at her. She was bitten multiple times.

"The brown one got my stomach and the black one got my arm," said Fiorini.

She says, had the owner not intervened, and had she not been wearing layers, she could have been dead.

Her mother, Kathleen Cook, told dog owner Michael Kelly how the whole situation has left her shaken up.

"I've had animals, dogs, all kinds of animals all my life. I get a phone call from Kelly's husband, telling me my daughter's on her way, by ambulance, has been attacked by three dogs. don't know the severity of her injuries, and all I can think is, I don't want to lose another child," said Cook.

The owner claims his dogs haven't had a problem until his third dog Tyson, a rescue, was brought into his home.

"I feel really bad about it. But if this was any other dog, would we be having this hearing right now if it was a different kind of dog?," asked Kelly.

Since the attack, the dogs were put under mandatory ten day quarantine at the owner's Park Street apartment.

The dogs must be under his supervision at all times during that period, but some community members say that still isn't enough.

"You might be going to a funeral because some child gets mauled by these same dogs. So think long and hard when you make this decision on what to do with these animals," said one community member. 

The Selectboard will have a private hearing and visit the apartment where the attacks took place.

A decision on what to do with the dogs may be known as soon as Thursday.

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