Dog ordered euthanized after severely injuring animal

Jun 9, 2022

MARION – At a virtual hearing June 9, the select board ordered a Marion dog to be humanely euthanized after the animal severely injured another canine last month, four years after killing a dog in a separate incident.

Stella, a 130-pound female mastiff owned by Jennifer and David MacDonald, was deemed a dangerous dog by the select board in 2018 after killing another dog at the playground at Sippican School.

This designation, according to former Select Board Chair Norman Hills, called for a minimum of $100,000 of insurance coverage for the MacDonald family; that Stella be humanely restrained on the owner’s property and that she be humanely muzzled when leaving the owner’s property. 

On May 17, Stella attacked another dog, Milo, owned by Maura Quatrano, in Watertown, Conn. 

In emotional testimony, Quatrano described walking Milo through her favorite park when Stella bit him around the neck. Stella was not muzzled at the time of the attack, according to Town Counsel Jon Witten, who cited a Watertown police report of the incident.

“I listened to Milo cry,” said Quatrano, through tears. “I frantically tried to open the dog's [Stella’s] mouth. I was screaming, I was kicking, and nothing seemed to work. Milo was silent.”

Milo was freed, said Quatrano, by two passersby who wrestled the dog from Stella. “These men were fearless, they were selfless, and they did what they could,” she said. “When Milo was released he was limp and bloody. At that time, I did not know if he was alive. My husband and I left Milo at the hospital that evening.”

Milo has made a partial recovery, Quatrano reported.

“We want to express our severe regret for the incident that happened in Connecticut to Ms. Quatrano,” said David MacDonald. “We can empathize with the situation and how she may feel, on some level.”

MacDonald, who represented his wife in the hearing, claimed that Jennifer took action to stop the attack and went immediately to the Watertown Police to report the incident. Following the incident, Jennifer offered to pay half of Milo’s medical bills, her husband reported.

The select board had three options, Witten said. They could take no action on the matter, amplify the conditions of a 2018 ruling that established Stella as a dangerous dog, or order that Stella be euthanized. 

Following testimony, the board unanimously voted for the third option. “I'll make a motion,” said Hills. “Albeit unpleasant, but I recommend that she be humanely euthanized.”

The select board presented a written order calling for Stella’s euthanization at a public meeting held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 14. 

At that meeting, Town Administrator Jay McGrail said the order will be brought o the Marion Police Department, who will then deliver it to the MacDonalds. The order will also be delivered by certified mail, McGrail said. 

This “starts the clock’’ on a 14-day appeal period, McGrail said. They have 14 days starting June 14 to appeal the order. 

Several efforts to reach the MacDonalds for comment were unsuccessful.