Dog owner pleads not guilty in goat killings

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LEWISTON – A Livermore man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that his dogs killed two of his neighbor’s goats and injured nine last November.

Peter Drown Jr., 40, of 137 Goding Road, made his plea at the 8th District Court in Lewiston. His trial is set for the spring.

It is the third time in nearly a year that Drown has faced charges linked to his dogs. He paid more than $700 in fines and surcharges in 2006 for attacks on neighbors’ animals and poultry.

In the most recent case, two of Drown’s pit bulls were shot by Tammy Sanborn when she found them in her barn after her family’s 4-H show goats had been attacked Nov. 15. Drown’s home is near Botka Hill Road where Tammy and Gerald Sanborn and their children live.

Drown said after court that the Sanborns’ goats are not well cared for, including not being fed, and they put out distress signals that attract his dogs and others. He also said he has been investigating the matter and has eyewitnesses to what happened.

Tammy Sanborn, who was in the courtroom with her husband and some neighbors, said outside the room that her animals are well fed and cared for, have won awards in 4-H shows, and have traveled to schools for demonstrations. She also said there were no problems with her goats, which are kept in a penned area.

Drown said there was no reason to shoot his dogs with a hunting rifle because all Tammy Sanborn had to do was yell at them, and they would have stopped.

“I’m not an irresponsible animal owner,” he said.

Drown said he considered just paying the fines for the four charges he faces of being the owner of dogs that run loose and injure or kill livestock, but then nothing would be done about the Sanborns’ goats.

“I might plead guilty to this,” he said, holding up a paper that he said was the DA’s offer of $1,000 in fines for the four charges, “but I want something done about her goats I just feel if I let it go nothing will change I don’t plan on getting out of it cold turkey. I want to do what’s right for the neighborhood.”

“My heart is broken that he’s once again getting away with allowing his dogs to kill,” Sanborn said. “Maine law doesn’t protect families.”

According to Livermore’s records, Drown has two dogs registered, including one that was shot. He’s also caring for a third dog registered to his late brother, Mark, who died last year.

Drown said he has changed his dog area and put up a 10-foot deer fence and 400-square-foot kennel.

“It cost me $5,000,” he said.

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