TELL US: Should Shelter Animals Get Public Hearing?

Should shelter animals, owned by the town, get a hearing or should the current policy of the animal control officer being able to deem them dangerous and then taking action stay in place?


Last week, Mansfield residents voiced their opinions concerning the euthanization of a pit bull, named Rocco, who was deemed dangerous by animal control officer Jeffrey Collins.

The current law states any pet in the shelter is by definition owned by the town. Selectmen chairman Olivier Kozlowski said that the board can't direct the police chief or the animal control officer to take any action concerning animal issues.

If the dog is owned by a citizen, there is a hearing held by the selectmen before a decision is made.

During a recent Mansfield selectmen meeting, selectman George Dentino said that since the town owned the animals, the town should, by the civil board, be able to decide as to what to do with the animal.

“When the town is the owner of the dog, it should’ve come to the highest authority of the town, the board of selectmen, and have the board weigh in,” Dentino said. “There was no second chance… you can’t do anything about Rocco, fortunately or unfortunately, I believe unfortunately. There are places that take these dogs that are non-kill that try to train them. I don’t enjoy the fact that there wasn’t thought put into this.”

What do you think?

Should the town hold hearings for all animals deemed dangerous by the animal control officer?

Or should the current policy stay the way it is with animal control officer, answerable to the police chief, being able to take action on animals owned by the town without a hearing by the board of selectmen?

Tell us in the comment section:


Louis Andrews December 19, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Drop it would you. You leave decisions like this to professionals, not politicians. The facts are that the Mansfield Animal Shelter is one of the best run is the area. Rarely is an animal put to sleep. In the several years I have been involved with the shelter I have seen the thoughtfulness that goes into every animal. No animal is put to sleep on a whim, and there is no bias against any breed! ! In the case of Rocco there was more evidence of his behavioral problems that Ms. Buote knows or is willing to acknowledge.There were other events that confirm the correctness of the humane officer’s decision.
Louis Andrews December 19, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Also,it's the law. Our by-laws clearly define the process in these matters. If you don't like it change the law. But under no conditions should the "higher authority" be involed.
Anne Burke December 19, 2012 at 02:22 PM
I believe this decision was made by Jeff Collins and Chief O'Neil as the law requires. To involve the selectmen who are not animal or safety officials with the proper training and background to make an informed decision means that mistakes WILL happen. No one but Mr Collins and Chief O'Neil know all the intimate details of this sad situation. As for involving others, it would become a court of public opinion. Honestly, opinions are just that. Decisions need to be factually based. I also believe this issue needs to be put to bed. Enough with the childish drama!
Louis Andrews December 19, 2012 at 03:21 PM
You are absolutley correct. I am disappointed the patch.com chose to bring this sad situation back in the limelight.
karen whitaker December 19, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Leave life or death descisions to the officials. Keep the public out of it. The End.


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