Greenfield Recorder – Following alleged breaches, Whately Selectboard bans owner from licensing dogs for 5 years
2 mins read

Greenfield Recorder – Following alleged breaches, Whately Selectboard bans owner from licensing dogs for 5 years

WHATELY – Following a litany of alleged violations of the 2023 Dangerous Dog Order and Conditions, the Selectboard has ordered the owner not to license the dog in Massachusetts for five years.

Police Chief James Sevigne Jr. describes “numerous incidents” in which Denise Donohue allegedly violated a selection board order requiring her dog, a boxer named Miles, to be confined to her property after multiple residents alleged that she had entered their property, often with the dog off a leash.

On Monday, Sevigne told Selectboard that the Whately Police Department had received several complaints from residents, as well as reports of incidents in Sunderland, Holyoke and Northampton that occurred between July 4, 2023 and May of this year, culminating in the seizure of a dog on May 29 after “impeding traffic” in the city for an hour and 45 minutes.

“The order is that the dog should not leave your property, period,” said selection committee chairman Fred Baron, emphasizing that this also applies to other cities. “It is up to us to deal with this because it is a violation of our order.”

Donohue said most of the alleged incidents occurred near her home and emphasized that Miles is an old dog who “isn’t out to get anyone.”

Baron said he was willing to give Donohue “the benefit of the doubt” when it came to violations in her neighborhood, but she was allegedly violating the order outside of Whately as well.

According to Kyle Dragon, regional animal control officer, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Regional Dog Shelter is caring for Miles, but he is “more or less quarantined” because he is not vaccinated and is “too unstable” for staff.

“The shelter did not want to put individuals at risk,” Dragon said, adding that the Turners Falls shelter would not agree to rehome or relocate the dog because of its behavior.

Due to the nature and number of violations, Baron and fellow board members Julie Wagoner and Joyce Palmer-Fortune voted to bar Donohue from issuing a dog license in Massachusetts for five years, which is permitted under Chapter 140, Section 157 of the Massachusetts General Law. Donohue intends to appeal the decision.