A loose Old English bulldog that allegedly killed one miniature horse and injured another Saturday afternoon has the animal control officer from Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard, urging that the three-year-old bulldog be put down.
Animal control officer Barbara Prada said a tip led officials Sunday to Edgartown resident Adam Mahoney, the owner of Mugsy the bulldog, who admitted that Mugsy came home Saturday covered in blood and sporting scrapes and scratches after being on the loose. Animal control officials are holding Mugsy for 10 days as part of a state law mandating a quarantine in case of rabies.
Prada, who had inspected the dead horse Saturday, said that Mugsy had brutally killed his prey, and had attempted to do the same to the other horse, who sustained bite mark injuries to his necks.
Prada said animal control officers said Mugsy is a repeat offender: a year and a half ago, he chased after a baby calf, attacking and biting it.
Prada said that attack was on a different farm than the one yesterday.
“Edgartown is small town and there’s a lot of livestock, and he [Mahoney] lives in an area where there are several small backyard farms,” she said.
Prada said the owner of the miniature horses, Kirstin Davy, said she would pursue all avenues for disciplinary action, including suing Mahoney for the horse’s expenses. Prada said Davy could also submit a formal complaint to the Board of Selectmen, who can then issue punishments, which range from keeping Mugsy muzzled to putting the dog down.
“I’ve been an animal control officer for 31 years, and we haven’t seen something like this in a long time,” Prada said. “It has everybody in the community all wigged out.”
Prada said she recommended to Mahoney that he put the dog down, but also noted that his family showed mixed emotions about doing so.
However, “I assume because of what was done to the poor horse, the selectmen will rule it as dangerous,” she said.