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Wolf hybrids on trial for biting woman
Tuesday, July13, 2004
 

AUGUSTA (AP) -- Two look-alike wolf hybrids from the same litter are being
held at an animal shelter, while a court decides whether both should be
euthanized after one of them bit a Sidney woman on the calf.

Though state law calls for only the animal that bit Laura Charest last
Thursday to be killed, the dogs' owners, the woman who was bitten and
investigators have been unable to determine which dog was the attacker.

Attorneys say Laura Charest suffered a puncture wound to her calf.

She was in District Court, along with Augusta's animal control officer, to
show why the animal should be not euthanized, in accordance with the
statute.

State law calls for the "immediate destruction of certain animals,"
including wolf hybrids, suspected of having rabies if the animal bites a
person.

The wolf hybrids were removed from the home after Charest reported the bite.

http://www.wmtw.com/Global/story.asp?S=2032209

 


      Wolf hybrids in jeopardy after bite

Wednesday, July 14, 2004 

Associated Press


      AUGUSTA - Two look-alike wolf hybrids from the same litter are being
held at an animal shelter while a court decides whether both should be
euthanized after one of them bit a Sidney woman on the calf. Though state
law calls for only the animal that bit Laura Charest to be killed, the dogs'
owners, the woman who was bitten and investigators have been unable to
determine which dog was the attacker. And the Minoty family has begun a
fight to keep their pets alive.

      The biting incident occurred Thursday on Eight Rod Road in Augusta,
where Larry Minoty and his wife, Casey, rent a mobile home from Tim and
Laura Charest of Sidney.

      The Minotys kept their 18-month-old wolf hybrids, Polar Bear and Foxy
Lady, on a tethered leash that allowed them to run in the back yard of the
home, said Roger Katz, an Augusta attorney representing the family.

      "Ms. Charest went over there and my clients were not home," Katz said.
"She went around the back where the run is, and the two white dogs were out there. One ran up to her and bit her in the leg."

      Katz said Charest suffered a puncture wound to her calf. She was
treated for the dog bite but had not begun a rabies regimen Monday when she was in District Court along with Emery Toulouse, Augusta's animal control officer, to show why the animal should not be euthanized in accordance with the statute.

      State law calls for the "immediate destruction of certain animals,"
including wolf hybrids, suspected of having rabies if the animal bites a
person. The wolf hybrids were removed from the home after Charest reported the bite.

      "Emery (Toulouse) brought an order to show cause why these dogs
shouldn't be destroyed pursuant to the statute," said Katz, who maintains
both dogs should remain alive. "There's no reason to suspect these dogs have rabies."

      Katz said the animals are distinguishable only by size - one is
slightly larger than the other. The hearing was reset for Thursday.

      "No one has been through this before," Katz said. "There is no history
of unprovoked attacks. The Minotys feel terrible about it. The dogs were
defending their territory when approached by a stranger."

http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/news/state/040714hybrids.shtml

 

 

 Wolf hybrids euthanized to test for rabies

      By BETTY ADAMS, Blethen Maine News Service

Friday, July 16, 2004


      AUGUSTA - Two 18-month-old wolf hybrids were killed Thursday so their
brains can be tested for rabies. One of the animals bit a woman last week.
An Augusta District Court judge ordered the animals destroyed after a
two-hour hearing Thursday in which a lawyer for the owner of the animals
sought to have them spared.

      "I want to see my dogs. I want to see my dogs," Helen Minoty, the
dogs' owner, said after Judge Michael Westcott's ruling.

      Polar Bear and Foxy Lady, a male and female from the same litter, were
taken from Minoty's home July 8 and placed in quarantine.

      They were chained behind the Minoty home when one of the animals bit
Laura Charest of Sidney on the inside of her knee. Charest and her husband
own the property where the Minotys lease a trailer.

      Charest said she went behind the Minotys' home last week to look for a
trash can after Larry Minoty called to complain about trash in the front
yard. She said one of the animals bit her after the other one began barking.
She received four stitches, a tetanus shot and antibiotics.

      Dr. Robert Gholson, state public health veterinarian, said wolf
hybrids are treated differently from dogs with regard to rabies
vaccinations, because it is not known whether the vaccine is effective on
the breed.

      "When a wolf hybrid is licensed, it does not have to be immunized with
canine rabies vaccine," Gholson said, adding that owners of wolf hybrids are
given handouts saying that if one of the animals bites someone, it will be
euthanized so the brain can be tested. Gholson said there is no other way to
tell whether the animal had the rabies virus at the time of the bite.

      If the euthanized animals are free of rabies, Charest will be spared
the rabies treatment.

http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/news/state/040716hybrids.shtml

 

     
 Augusta dogs are destroyed
 
Friday, July 16, 2004
      By BETTY ADAMS
      Staff Writer


      AUGUSTA -- Two 18-month-old wolf hybrids were killed Thursday so their
brains can be tested for rabies. One of the animals bit a woman in the leg
last week.

      An Augusta District Court judge ordered the animals destroyed after a
two-hour hearing Thursday in which a lawyer for the owner of the animals
sought to have them spared.

      "I want to see my dogs. I want to see my dogs," Helen "Casey" Minoty,
the dogs' owner, said as she left the courthouse after Judge Michael
Westcott's decision.

      "My daughter rode my male around like a pony two days before they were quarantined," she said tearfully. "Now I have to try to explain to her that
my puppies aren't coming home."

      The cream-colored malamutes, brother and sister from the same litter,
were taken from Minoty's home on Eight Rod Road last Thursday by Emery
Toulouse, the city's animal control officer, and placed in quarantine at a
Kennebec Valley Humane Society shelter.

      Polar Bear and Foxy Lady were chained behind the Minoty home when one of the animals bit Laura Charest of Sidney on the inside of her knee.
Charest and her husband own the property where the Minotys have leased a
trailer since March.

      Charest said she went behind the Minotys' home last week to look for a
trash can after Larry Minoty called her home to complain that trash was
strewn around the front yard.

      She said one of the animals bit her after the other one began barking.
She received four stitches, a tetanus shot and antibiotics in the emergency
room shortly after being bitten.

      Paul Rucha, assistant district attorney, asked why she didn't
immediately start with rabies vaccinations.

      "My understanding of the law was they were to be put down to be
tested," Charest said. She said she was concerned about receiving the
treatment because of "pain, side effects and cost."

      She held her head in her hands as Dr. Robert Gholson, state public
health veterinarian, discussed rabies symptoms in animals.

      Gholson said wolf hybrids are treated differently from dogs with
regard to rabies vaccinations, because not enough studies have been done on the effectiveness of the vaccine on wolf hybrids.

      "When a wolf hybrid is licensed, it does not have to be immunized with
canine rabies vaccine," Gholson said. He also said owners of wolf hybrids
are given a handout saying that if the animal bites someone, it would be
euthanized so the brain can be tested.

      Gholson said there is no other way to tell whether the animal was
shedding the rabies virus at the time of the bite.

      "Rabies is fatal," he said. "If I'm infected with rabies and I start
to show signs, I'm going to die," he said.

      If the euthanized animals prove to be free of rabies, Charest would be
spared the rabies treatment, which can be painful.

      Rucha told the judge the state law is explicit in saying "wolf hybrids
must be euthanized and tested."

      Roger Katz, the lawyer representing Minoty, said at the hearing that
both animals should not be killed when only one bit Charest and neither
animal showed symptoms of rabies. Charest, however, could not distinguish
between the two similar animals.

      "In the case of human twins, if you knew one of them shot someone and
you didn't know which one, no one would suggest we should be locking both twins up for the rest of their lives," Katz said. He said if the animals
were destroyed, "We'll know we're euthanizing one innocent pet."

      Westcott cited the statutes governing wolf hybrids. "The emphasis is
placed on the protection of the victim of a bite from a wolf hybrid," he
said. "The only way I can assure the safety of a human is euthanasia of both
dogs."

      "We have dogs," Westcott added. " I'm not unaware of the love of dogs
and the attachment to families."

      The Minoty family visited their pets at the shelter Thursday
afternoon, said Roxanne Brann, the shelter's executive director. She said
the wolf hybrids were anesthesized prior to receiving a lethal injection.

      Toulouse, took the dogs' heads to the state public health laboratory,
where they are expected to be tested today for rabies.

http://morningsentinel.mainetoday.com/news/local/823265.shtml

 

 

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