The town of Bridgewater, MA is facing a serious issue following the resignation of the town’s animal control officer and three serious dog attacks since mid-February.
Police say they are without backup when it comes to animal-related emergency calls since Eric Badger, Bridgewater’s Health Agent and part-time animal control officer, resigned from his positions back in February of this year.
“Right now, there’s nowhere to turn,” Police Lieutenant Tom Schlatz said. Without an Animal Control officer in town, “there’s a certain follow-up that’s not being done.”
According to the town’s officials, Bridgewater police has responded to three separate dog attacks over the last six weeks.
On April 9, a woman was attacked while walking her own dog when a 4-year old boxer, lunged at the woman’s dog. The boxer bit the woman in the leg, leaving puncture wounds on her calf. One week after that incident, on April 16, an 11-year old was bitten by a dog at a residence and taken to the hospital for injuries on her arms and wrists. On May 12, a Shaw Road resident called police after his 6-year old daughter was bitten by an American bull dog while playing with her friends.
In all three cases, police stated that they left messages with Badger, who later said he would not respond to the messages because he had already resigned from his post as animal control officer. Badger said that the animal control officer would step in in these incidents only if the dogs had not been vaccinated. All three of the dogs in these cases had been vaccinated, and will remain in their homes.
Badger, who received only a $100 stipend each week for responding to animal-related calls on an on-call basis, said he didn’t have a real budget to work with. He stated that he did not even have a crate to keep animals quarantined and in one instance, had to call upon the help of a neighboring town’s animal control unit for assistance.
Residents of the town, as well as officials, remain confused and frustrated about the situation.
Bridgewater police say that the size of the town makes having an animal control officer a necessity. The town’s police on average, respond to over 100 animal-related calls per year ranging from simple noise complaints, to dog bites, to road kill. Though the job has fallen in the hands of the town’s police force, officers maintain that they do not have the resources to respond to those types of calls.
If you have been attacked or bitten by a dog in Massachusetts and have suffered injuries, the owner of the dog may be held liable under MA law – Massachusetts is a strict liability state with respect to dog bites. The owner does not need to be negligent in order to be held responsible for the damages caused by the dog.
What to do after a dog bite
After getting the necessary medical treatment for your injuries, call the law offices of Altman & Altman and speak to an experienced Boston personal injury lawyer. For nearly 50 years our team of attorneys has been representing victims throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We understand that a dog bite is both a physically and emotionally traumatic event, and we will do whatever it takes to successfully recover any losses associated to your injury including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering. Call our office to schedule a free initial consultation. Our attorneys are available around the clock to answer any and all of your questions about your case.
Original Article from WCVB.com