100-lb. Turners pit bull ordered muzzled after viciousness hearing

TURNERS FALLS — Biting a neighbor nine times in the head and legs and biting the foot of a man in a wheelchair brought an order that the owners of Ulysses the pit bull chain and muzzle the dog and walk him occasionally.

The Montague Board of Selectmen ordered the owners to take these actions following a viciousness hearing on Monday, stripping the requirement for a higher fence after the homeowner said she could not afford it.

Ulysses, described as a 100-pound-plus, uncontrollable but generally friendly dog capable of leaping the fence around the property, has apparently twice severely bitten people. The dog lives at 18 Winthrop St., and Roberta Billiel is the recorded owner, although it emerged from the hearing the dog is her daughter’s.

Police Chief Charles “Chip” Dodge III said the dog seriously bit a man in April, through the shoe and into his foot, and a woman in July.

The woman attacked in the July 27 incident said she has known the dog and the family for years and didn’t want it put down, but testified Ulysses attacked her, apparently trying to break her neck by pulling on her hair, after he got into her yard and she attempted to lure him with water so he could be re-captured.

After confused testimony from all sides, the board ordered Ulysses be kept on a chain leash when walked and at all times when in his yard, that he be walked occasionally — neighbors, owners and supporters said he is rarely walked and requires socialization — and that he wear a muzzle at all times when outside the house.

You can reach Chris Curtis at:
or 413-772-0261, ext. 257

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