WATERVILLE — Police are continuing to investigate an incident in which a man was sent to the hospital after being attacked by his pet pit bull.

The incident occurred Friday morning at 84 Front St. According to police Chief Joseph Massey, the man’s injuries were “horrendous” but not life-threatening. He reportedly suffered bite marks and puncture wounds to his legs and arms, and Massey described “pieces of flesh” hanging from his legs. The man, whose identity police have not released, reported being attacked by the dog after trying to get it to go outside to relieve itself. However, Massey reported the man as being evasive with his answers and probably not telling the whole truth.

“We just don’t think what he told us was exactly what happened,” Massey said the afternoon of the attack.

Deputy Chief Bill Bonney said as of Tuesday, Animal Control Officer Christopher Martinez still was continuing his investigation into the attack. Because the owner has not been charged with anything, his name is not being released.

“There’s nothing new,” he said. “It’s still under investigation at this time.”

Lisa Smith, director of the Humane Society Waterville Area, said the dog remains in quarantine, as mandated by the state, for observation. She said the dog, a male pit bull named Shogun that she said appears to be a young adult, is friendly and easy for the staff to work with.

“We have seen nothing but a well-behaved, friendly dog at the humane society,” Smith said.

There is a question about whether the dog is vaccinated properly, but again, the owner was reported as having been evasive in his answers about where the dog came from. Massey had said the man told police Shogun originally had been purchased by an ex-girlfriend, but he didn’t know where she was or how to reach her. He said she had all the information on the dog’s licensing and if it had received all its shots and vaccinations.

Smith said the animal shelter has not been able to find any health or vaccine records about the dog yet. She said because of that, the shelter staff was working under the assumption Shogun had not received the appropriate vaccinations.

“We haven’t been able to show otherwise,” she said.

Smith said since they are holding Shogun for Waterville police, it will be up to the police to decide how to proceed once the 10-day quarantine period ends. She also said the dog appeared to be healthy and hadn’t acted aggressively. She said once word got out the dog was at the shelter, it was flooded with messages from people claiming to know the dog had been abused. But she said when Shogun arrived, he didn’t appear aggressive or skittish toward humans and didn’t have any signs of abuse.

“He was healthy and in good shape,” she said. “He seemed very friendly.”

Bonney did report the man had marijuana in the apartment, but said since it is now legal to possess and consume recreational marijuana, this did not warrant charges.

Friday’s incident is just one of many higher-profile dog cases in recent months. On Tuesday lawyers debated the fate of a husky named Dakota, a dog that had been ordered to be put down after it had gotten loose twice and attacked other dogs, killing one. Gov. Paul LePage issued a pardon for Dakota, sparking a debate on the legality of issuing pardons for pets. In late February, a dog that had been acquired only recently by the Fairfield Police Department bit its handler’s infant daughter. The dog ultimately was returned to the company it came from, with the company owner saying the handler should not have taken the dog into the house in the first place.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253

[email protected]

Twitter: @colinoellis

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