WEST BATH, Maine — A disabled Air Force veteran who faces losing the “emotional support dog” he calls “the sunshine of my life” said at noon Wednesday that he’s “cautiously optimistic” that a district court judge will approve a proposal by the district attorney to return the animal — purchased as a wolf-hybrid — to him under strict conditions.
“We are not seeking euthanasia,” Sagadahoc County Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Liberman said late Wednesday morning. “We are seeking a very strict confinement order. We’re asking that the dog is permanently in a secure enclosure at all times except when necessary to get veterinary care or to comply with a court order.”
Liberman said statute defines such an enclosure as a locked, fenced-in area or structure at least six feet high to prevent entry by a young child, with a secure top, bottom and sides.
On Monday, West Bath District Court Judge Beth Dobson found 61-year-old George Boynton of West Bath guilty of three civil violations including keeping a dangerous dog, but not guilty of keeping an unlicensed wolf-hybrid.
Boynton’s neighbor testified that on several occasions last fall, Boynton’s son, Marc Boynton, had been walking the dog, Myriah, off a leash when Myriah became aggressive and, on one occasion, had bitten his beagle-mix on the scruff of the neck.
Veterinarian Julie Greenlaw, who lives in the same neighborhood, testified Monday that she went to the neighbor’s home after the most serious attack and found a “raised area … that was sensitive.”
Greenlaw also said that Boynton’s pet had previously “chased” her while she was running and “made me a little uncomfortable.”
Announcing her verdict on Monday, Dobson said that while the dog’s behavior warranted her being classified as “dangerous,” she noted, “It was certainly one of the lesser dangerous dog [findings].”
On Monday, Boynton’s attorney, Randy Robinson, argued that Boynton had been duped into believing the dog was a wolf-hybrid when he purchased her through Uncle Henry’s magazine. Boynton told Dobson that he was in touch with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife on several occasions to try to register what he thought was his wolf-hybrid, but was told “they’d get back to us.”
Boynton told Dobson on Monday that he no longer believes the dog is a wolf-hybrid.
He said Wednesday that he has been deemed 60 percent disabled by the federal Veterans Administration and while he uses a wheelchair, is not confined to one, so was able to walk into West Bath Town Hall after court on Monday and register Myriah as a domestic malamute mix.
A hearing on Myriah’s fate is set for 2 p.m. Wednesday at West Bath District Court.
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