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from Maine Today (Kennebec Journal Online)


Dog-bite victim will not press charges

March 12 2002

WATERVILLE — A woman who was bitten several times Saturday by a dog on Morrill Avenue has decided not to press charges against the dog's owner, according to police.

Deputy police Chief Joseph P. Massey said police got a call at about 1:30 a.m., Saturday from a Morrill Avenue resident that a woman had been bitten by a dog.

Sgt. Daniel Ames and Officer Nick Nadeau responded to the home, where they found a woman who was very emotional and intoxicated, according to Massey.

The woman, Nathalie Ayotte, of 633 Congress St., Portland, told police she had pain in her arms, and they helped remove her leather jacket, Massey said. Police noticed bites on both forearms, as well as around the elbows, he said.

"They observed several punctures to both arms," he said. "They (the officers) radioed for Delta (Ambulance) and Rescue."

Massey said the officers were told Ayotte and her boyfriend, Peter Ouellette, also of 633 Congress St., Portland, had been at a local bar where they had had an argument. They took a cab to Ouellette's mother's home on Morrill Avenue, where the argument continued, Massey said.

"Peter Ouellette's dog, Zeus, a Rotweiller-mix, attacked her," he said. "She said after she was attacked and bitten, she left and went to (another Morrill Avenue home), where a resident called police."

Ayotte also complained of pain in the left side of her head, and officers saw scratches on her face, Massey said.

Ayotte was taken to Thayer Unit, MaineGeneral Medical Center, at her request, he said. She was treated for dog bites and later released, he said.

"She told the officers she had never been attacked by the dog before, and had never seen it act in this manner," he said.

Ayotte declined to press charges, according to Massey. Police notified the city's animal control officer, and that officer checked to make sure the dog had had its shots, which it had, Massey said.

"We could summon him (Ouellette) for possession of a dangerous dog, but we have a reluctant witness," he said.

Massey said police have dealt with some severe maulings by dogs in the city over the last several years, including one in which a child was mauled by a pit bull terrier in a van at Elm Plaza.

"One time, we were getting so many of them that on a couple of occasions I petitioned the courts to have dogs destroyed, and was successful," he said. "Dogs have always been, and continue to be, a serious threat in the city, and there are just too many dog owners who are not responsible, who end up with breeds of dogs that are vicious by nature. I am not blaming the dog or the breeds of dog. It goes back to being a responsible owner."

Massey said some people obtain dogs without learning of their history, and later, the dogs attack and hurt people.

"I'm a dog lover and I have a dog myself, and I don't fault the dogs," he said.

Copyright © 2002 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.

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