Bentley and Kole, pit bulls owned by Danielle Jones of Winslow, were ordered euthanized after they escaped a fence and killed a dog walking on the sidewalk with its owner. Jones said the dogs escaped while she was walking them and are on the loose. Credit: Courtesy of Danielle Jones

The executive director of the Waterville animal shelter has resigned after two dogs deemed dangerous by a Maine court escaped, the Morning Sentinel newspaper reported.

The president of the Humane Society Waterville Area board of directors told the Sentinel Lisa Smith has stepped down from the executive director post because she “feels that she’s made the humane society better and that it’s time to let somebody else take it into the future.”

“We’re going to be looking for some new leadership and we’re going to be working very closely with all our partners, with the towns and everybody to make sure that they understand our commitment to serving them and the community,” board President Michael Brown told the newspaper.

The resignation came less than a week after two pit bulls ordered to be euthanized escaped while under the oversight of the shelter.

The dogs, Bentley and Kole, were deemed dangerous by a court and ordered to be put down after they escaped their owner’s fenced-in yard, then killed a Boston terrier and injured its owner while they were on a walk in Winslow.

On Tuesday, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court upheld the lower court’s ruling in the case, and the dogs’ owner subsequently went to take the condemned dogs on a walk from the shelter. She later returned to say the animals had escaped their leashes and police have been looking for the dogs ever since.

Police in the area have said they’re skeptical the dogs escaped by accident, with Winslow Police Chief Shawn O’Leary telling the Sentinel he believes the pit bulls’ disappearance was the result of “a coordinated effort” aimed at saving them from being euthanized.

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Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.