Dog that attacked Rumford teens is euthanized

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RUMFORD — The dog that attacked two teens and their mother Wednesday on Erchles Street was euthanized later that day, Police Chief Stacy Carter said Friday.

Carter said in a news release that after completing a preliminary investigation, the dog was identified as an 8-year-old Staffordshire terrier, which is one of several breeds considered pit bulls.

The dog had not been licensed in Rumford and there were no records of rabies vaccination, according to the release.

Carter said the dog was surrendered to the town and was euthanized with consent of the owner, Eric Burns, 44, of Rumford.

The dog was taken to the Maine Health Lab where it was tested for rabies. The test was negative and the teens and their mother, and the hospital were notified.

Carter said there have been previous reports of the dog running at large, and Burns has pending charges related to those reports in Rumford District Court.

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The pending charges are related to a May case in which the dog was running at large and unlicensed, Carter wrote in an email Friday.

The chief said the investigation was ongoing and was being reviewed by the Oxford County District Attorney’s Office for possible charges.

“There will be new charges for this current case,” Carter wrote, adding that penalties will be at the discretion of the judge.

Police got a call at 10:25 a.m. Wednesday from an Erchles Street resident, who said a dog was attacking a neighbor and not letting go of her leg, Carter said.

Alicia Mitchell and her daughters, Vicki and Ashley, live in one side of an Erchles Street duplex, while the dog was staying in the other side of the duplex.

Alicia said the dog left its residence through a broken door, and then through a broken fence.

The dog bit Vicki, 17, then bit Ashley, 18. The mother attempted to intervene and was also bitten.

The teens were taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston and treated for leg injuries, with Alicia undergoing a second surgery Friday, according to her mother.

According to a Rumford ordinance on domestic animals, “no dog may be kept within the town limits of Rumford, unless the dog has been licensed by its owner or keeper in accordance with the laws of the state of Maine. Dogs must be current with all required shots under Maine state law before they will be licensed in the town.”

Dogs also are required to be leashed when not on their owners’ property or in vehicles.

Each violation of the town dog ordinance is subject to a fine of between $25 and $100 for each day it exists, up to a total of $2,500. Each violation is also subject to all court costs incurred by the town for prosecuting a violation.

Alicia Mitchell of Rumford, right, stands next to her daughter Vicki, 17, at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston on Thursday. Alicia was bitten on her leg by a pit bull when she tried to intervene as the dog attacked Vicki and Vicki’s sister Ashley, 18, in Rumford on Wednesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

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