Woman sues pit bull owner, others

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LIVERMORE – Tammy Sanborn has filed an 11-count civil lawsuit against Peter Drown Jr. asking the court to award her family damages and costs associated with an attack on the their animals by Drown’s dogs.

The lawsuit filed by the former Livermore woman on behalf of herself and children also asks the Androscoggin County Superior Court to prohibit Drown, his father, Peter Drown Sr., and Wilbert N. Peart, all of Livermore, from going near the Sanborn family or their residence and harassing them.

Peter Drown Jr. admitted in court in July 2007 that two of his pit bulls attacked 11 of the Sanborn’s show goats on Nov. 15, 2006, killing two of them and injuring the others.

Sanborn shot and killed the pit bulls when she discovered them in her barn on Botka Hill Road, a neighboring street to Drown’s residence on Goding Road.

The court ordered Drown to pay $1,200 in fines in that case and in 2006 ordered him to pay more than $700 in fines for other dog-related incidents including injuring and killing the Sanborn’s livestock and poultry.

The suit claims damages suffered by the Sanborns include loss of milk, a $607 veterinary bill for shots, property damage, cut timber, additional veterinary bills, lost goats, lost show chickens and laying hens, lost eggs, the cost of medications, needles and syringes and goats lost as a result of miscarriage. Out of pocket expenses total at least $13,400 and doesn’t include the value of cut trees, emotional distress or punitive damages, costs or interest, or attorneys’ fees.

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Drown was unavailable for comment Tuesday, and attempts to reach the elder Drown and Peart were unsuccessful.

The lawsuit claims that the family was harassed with threats, property damage, stalking, breaking into their home and poisoning of their animals among other incidents, that increasingly became worse.

The claims cited in the lawsuit are two counts each of civil trespass and statutory claim for damage to livestock, and one count each of injury to agricultural products, common law claim for damage done by a dog, assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, defamation, and violation of the Maine Civil Rights Act.

The latter refers to Sanborn’s teenage daughter who spearheaded an effort to strengthen the state’s and Livermore’s laws concerning dangerous dogs.

The suit claims that Peart assisted the younger Drown to intentionally interfere with the teenager’s rights in her attempt to draft and pass the ordinance by physical force and violence, damage to property and the threat of physical force and violence against her family, particularly her mother.

The suit also states the elder Drown did nothing to stop the men and allowed his son to stay on his land despite the acts of intimidation and violence in which he was engaging.

Peter Drown Jr. had filed a suit against the town claiming that the dangerous dog ordinance voters approved in 2007 was invalid due to procedural errors. The court has since dismissed that suit on Drown’s request, according to Livermore Administrative Assistant Kurt Schaub.

Sanborn and her family now live in an undisclosed location in Maine.

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