A complaint was filed on behalf of 69-year-old Pauline Kehoe by her husband, Robert Devino, after she was sent to the hospital June 18th from severe dog bites.
The two dogs who attacked Kehoe, both rottweilers, belonged to her neighbors Gretchen Kunze and John Bowes.
Documents say Bowes was walking the dogs, Clarence and Scooter, on June 18th. One of the dogs got loose and jumped on Kehoe, who was on her property. The other dog followed.
Kehoe was taken to the hospital after receiving bites to her neck, back of the head and hip. She was released from the hospital on June 22nd.
In a statement from her lawyer Jerome O’Neill, Kehoe says, “I am lucky the dogs did not sever an artery or I probably would not be here. My husband’s quick action in stemming the bleeding in my neck probably saved me.”
The selectboard had a hearing Monday after the complaint was filed. The main factors the board was tasked to figure out, according to state statute, was if the attack happened on the dog owner’s property, if there was medical attention required, and if the attack was provoked or unprovoked by the animals.
Milton Town Manager Donna Barlow Casey says a number of neighbors gave testimony about the times where the dogs were rough with other pets in the area.
“Many of the people involved did not report the incidents with their own dogs. So I think the general public should know it’s important to report incidents to police so that there’s a history,” Barlow Casey said.
Bowe and Kunze were not physically present during the hearing because they are currently overseas. They did submit written statements about the incident, presented on their behalf during the proceedings. Local 22 / Local 44 has reached out to the dog owners via email requesting an interview and have yet to hear a response.
After about 3 hours of testimony, the selectboard decided the dogs should be euthanized because of the attack.
“You have other neighbors that have had incidents with these dogs and you have a whole neighborhood that’s really terrified to walk down the road when these dogs are present,” Adams said. “So we have to weigh all of those things. we don’t take the decision to euthanized an animal lightly.”
The owners have 30 days to appeal the decision. Barlow Casey and the Milton’s Director of Administration and Community Services Erik Wells say they’ve heard the owners plan to do just that.
The Chittenden Superior Court could neither confirm or deny the proceedings.
Since the incident, the dogs have been housed in a kennel and will stay there until a final decision is made.