WATERVILLE — The owners of two pit bulls that attacked and killed another dog last month are fighting a request that their dogs be euthanized.

Danielle Jones and Brandon Ross, the owners of the two Staffordshire terriers, which are a type of pit bull, denied charges of keeping a dangerous dog in Waterville District Court on Tuesday. The case is now scheduled to go to trial at a date yet to be determined.

A 60-year-old Winslow woman, Sharron Carey, was injured in the Aug. 30 attack on Lucille Avenue in Winslow, and her Boston terrier puppy, Fergie Rose, was killed after the pit bulls escaped a fenced yard and attacked.

“I watched my dog get murdered, and there was nothing I could do about it,” said Carey, who wore a brace on her right arm and appeared in court Tuesday along with her husband, Bill, and their attorney, Steve Blackwell.

“At what point do you realize you have a problem with these dogs?” said Blackwell, who said the dogs were also involved in a previous attack at another location in Winslow. “This is a serious issue, and it puts the neighbors in jeopardy.”

Jones and Ross, who appeared with their attorney, Tom Ferris, declined to comment outside the courtroom.

During the proceedings Ferris said they “absolutely” object to the dogs being euthanized. District Court Justice Valerie Stanfill said the case will go to trial. She is trying to expedite the time frame in order to preclude having a separate hearing on whether the dogs will remain in custody at the Humane Society Waterville Area, where they have been in quarantine since the attack.

The dogs are currently scheduled to remain at the humane society until the trial.

Sharron Carey has permanent nerve damage in her right arm because of the attack, and her husband said that he and his children are worried about the psychological impact the incident has had on her.

“She’s not sleeping. She’s upset emotionally,” he said. “It could be permanent. I don’t think anyone in this room would deal well with something like that.”

Keeping a dangerous dog is a civil violation punishable by a fine of between $250 and $1,000. The Careys have requested that the dogs involved in the Winslow attack, Bentley and Kole, be euthanized, but under state law a judge could also order that they be confined in a secure enclosure or securely muzzled in the future.

Winslow Animal Control Officer Chris Martinez said he was not surprised that Jones and Ross are fighting the move to euthanize the dogs and said there has been a great deal of community reaction to the case.

“My personal opinion is that I don’t want to see any animal be killed or euthanized, but at the same time I don’t think anybody in the community wants them back and I don’t blame them,” he said.

The case is the second pit bull attack in recent months in central Maine. In June, a 7-year-old Bangor boy was killed after being attacked by a pit bull in Corinna. No charges have yet to be brought up in that case, which remained under investigation as of the end of August. Penobscot County Sheriff Troy Morton said Tuesday that case is still being investigated.

Marlene Martin, who lives in the Lucille Avenue neighborhood where the Winslow attack took place and used to see Carey walking her puppy, was in the courtroom Tuesday and gave Carey a hug afterward.

“It affects everyone that lives in the neighborhood,” she said. “People have stopped walking around.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm


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