Bosco bit a cop in Pelham, New Hampshire. The police say he is a vicious dog. And he needs to die. Many others say this is a pure vendetta because Bosco embarrassed the Pelham Police and Bosco's actions have not nearly risen to the level of death penalty.
Bosco got loose from his yard. No one denies that if he had stayed in a fenced yard, Bosco would not be in this trouble.
The cop stopped when he saw Bosco by the road and tried to pick him up to get him into his car. Bosco did not know the man who was trying to pick him up and Bosco perceived it as a hostile act. So he defended himself the only way a dog can. He bit him.
On the hand. A single bite. The way any well behaved dog sends a warning to someone whom they see as a threat.
Now anyone with any knowledge of dogs knows that Bosco could have continued to bite the good sergeant, and had he wished, he could have mauled him. That is what truly vicious dogs do.
But Bosco bit him to say, "back away" and he stopped biting.
One could argue that the officer should never have attempted to move Bosco without the aid of the town Animal Control officer (who was in near-by Salem helping out at the time of the incident) or the aid of a catch pole.
Bosco should not have bit the officer. The officer should not have attempted to corral Bosco without the proper tools and the proper personnel. Both could have handled it better.
From the cop's stand point, it was all downhill from there. Bosco jumped onto the front seat of the police car, perched behind the wheel, and somehow managed to lock the sergeant out of his car! As Bosco sat smiling behind the wheel, several of Pelham's finest fumed and fussed from the sidelines, wondering what to do next!
Most observers found the scene amusing!
Not the Pelham police.
You can see Bosco posing for this photo in the middle of these men. I will let the gentle reader draw his own conclusions about whether these men look terrified at being so close to a dog labeled "dangerous" by the Pelham Police Department!
In fairness, this is not Bosco's first bite situation.
Bosco's family sells Christmas trees from their driveway in Pelham. A little over a year ago, a man and his daughter were shopping for a Christmas tree when Bosco allegedly bit the girl. I say allegedly because there is significant confusion about the incident.
The Pelham Police have been blasting Bosco for biting a little girl in the face. That is categorically not true. It was the girl's finger that was affected. If he bit her at all.
Because no one saw her get bit. Her dad was 30 feet away on another part of the driveway when the alleged incident occurred. Some who were present suggested she may have cut her finger on a saw that was present, and she was afraid to tell her father she had touched the saw. Those same people said that she was not crying or reacting, as one would expect if a large dog had just attacked her! There was no blood on the girl!
The insurance carrier for Bosco's family contacted the girl's father after the alleged incident... and he denied that she was ever bitten at all! The insurance company closed the case!
There is just too much confusion and conflicting information to even state categorically that Bosco actually bit the girl. But if he did, it was clearly not serious and certainly nothing like the Pelham PD and its chief are alleging!
Once again, one can argue that Bosco's owners should not allow him to mingle with Christmas tree shoppers, and you will get no argument from me.
But Bosco should not pay the ultimate price for these incidents.
Bosco has been invited to come live at Smiling Dog Farms' sanctuary, where he can live out his life in safety and peace. And the good citizens of Pelham, New Hampshire can feel safe, knowing that Bosco is over 1000 miles away living in a secure facility.
I will let the reader decide if the Pelham PD and its chief is really concerned about Bosco harming anyone while living in our sanctuary, or whether it is purely "pay back" for Bosco embarrassing one of their officers by commandeering his car!There really should not be a need for a hearing. I talked to Pelham Police Chief Joseph Roark over a week ago. I told him that not only would we accept Bosco here at our sanctuary, but I also assured him that a well respected local rescue, Pets In Need, headquartered in Dracut, Massachusetts, would pick up Bosco and insure that he would be transported safely to the airport for his trip to Texas. The police would not have to release Bosco back to his family, so there would be no worry about him getting loose again.
The chief led me to believe he was seriously considering this option. That is why I did not write this story a week ago. I thought I was negotiating in good faith with the chief. It is now clear that the chief had no intention of resolving this except by demanding the death penalty for Bosco.
Bosco has a highly regarded attorney, James P. O'Rourke from the Gleason Law Office in Henniker, New Hampshire. He will argue for Bosco's life before the judge on Monday.
John Collins, a writer for the Lowell Sun has written some fair and responsible stories about Bosco. Here are the links to those stories: http://www.lowellsun.com/ci_17546034 and http://www.lowellsun.com/todaysheadlines/ci_17563752 .
What You Can Do...
First Thing Monday Morning...
(Remember... New Hampshire is Eastern Time Zone!)
Contact the town administrator, Tom Gaydos, at (603) 635-2040. Respectfully and politely tell him that it is unconscionable to kill Bosco when he has a sanctuary where he can live out his life, without posing a risk to anyone. Make it brief, professional and to the point. The police chief reports to the Town Administrator, so Mr. Gaydos needs to know that his chief has created an unnecessary mess. He should have allowed Bosco to come to sanctuary.
Email the local newspaper at http://www.lowellsun.com//writetobacktalk. Again, keep it polite, professional, respectful and to the point. The shorter your post, the more likely it will get printed.
I am hoping that we can let the decision makers, like Town Administrator Gaydos, and the general public, through the Lowell Sun, know there are many people around the nation supporting Bosco's right to live.
And when those of you who do the Fall leaf tours through New England travel to that region, you may want to remember Bosco's treatment by the city of Pelham, NH and just pass on through their town without stopping. Spend your tourism dollars in other New England communities. Send a message to Pelham, New Hampshire that there are consequences for killing dogs who have better alternatives.