Athol Selectmen order dog euthanized; owner vows to appeal

  • Recorder Staff/Domenic PoliLillie, identified on its dog license as a female retriever of mixed breed, lives here at 399 Unity Ave. in Athol with owner Eric F. Zewiey. The Athol Board of Selectmen ordered the dog to be humanely euthanized following two alleged biting incidents. Zewiey has until July 31 to file an appeal in Orange District Court.

  • Recorder Staff/Domenic PoliLillie, a female retriever mix, has been ordered by a vote of the Athol Board of Selectmen to be humanely euthanized after biting two people. Lillie's owner, Eric F. Lewiey has until July 31 to file an appeal in Orange District Court.

  • The Selectboard has ordered Lillie to be euthanized. Recorder Staff/Domenic Poli

  • Recorder Staff/Domenic PoliLillie, a female retriever mix, has been ordered by a vote of the Athol Board of Selectmen to be humanely euthanized after biting two people. Lillie's owner, Eric F. Lewiey has until July 31 to file an appeal in Orange District Court.

  • Recorder Staff/Domenic PoliLillie, a female retriever mix, has been ordered by a vote of the Athol Board of Selectmen to be humanely euthanized after biting two people. Lillie's owner, Eric F. Lewiey has until July 31 to file an appeal in Orange District Court.

  • Recorder Staff/Domenic PoliLillie, a female retriever mix, has been ordered by a vote of the Athol Board of Selectmen to be humanely euthanized after biting two people. Lillie's owner, Eric F. Lewiey has until July 31 to file an appeal in Orange District Court.

Recorder Staff
Published: 7/27/2017 8:55:06 PM

ATHOL — Lillie, a female retriever mix living at 399 Unity Ave., is much like any other dog. She jumps up to greet people, loves to play and isn’t shy about getting drool on your shoes.

But at least two people in town say there is another side to Lillie, a more dangerous side. According to Animal Control Officer Jennifer Arsenault, Lillie bit a woman on Feb. 11, 2016, and then a jogging 15-year-old boy on June 12, 2017. Arsenault said it has also attacked several other dogs.

It was on Arsenault’s recommendation that the Athol Selectboard last week voted to have Lillie humanely euthanized by a veterinarian, as allowed by state law. The vote came three months after the board deemed the dog dangerous and ordered it to be restrained at all times. Owner Eric F. Zewiey, 52, has until Monday, July 31, to file an appeal in Orange District Court. He said he planned to appeal by Friday.

Lee Chauvette, Selectboard chairman, said the recent vote stems from the previous restraint order not being honored. In response, Zewiey said Lillie accidentally got out of the house on June 12 after his 2-year-old grandson opened a door. Zewiey said Lillie likely thought she was protecting the home both times she bit people.

Lillie was patient with Zewiey’s grandson during a visit Wednesday afternoon — the dog had no reaction when the boy climbed on its back and pulled its tail. Two neighbors, who know Lillie by name, came over to pet her in Zewiey’s front yard.

Town Manager Shaun Suhoski said it is unfortunate that Lillie’s owner failed to follow the safety protocols the selectmen imposed after deeming the dog dangerous, but selectmen made the proper vote “to ensure the safety of residents and visitors to Athol.”


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