PERU — Peru resident James Bigos is concerned with public safety being compromised by loose dogs at homes near Worthley Pond, and frustrated at the response by town officials.
Bigos’ 14-year-old daughter was attacked by a pit bull in April while riding her bike around Worthley Pond on the East Shore Road. He mentioned that he contacted the state police, who took pictures of the softball-sized hole ripped out of his daughter’s shorts and the bruise to her thigh.
Fortunately, Bigos said, his daughter was able to jump behind her bike away from the dog as the owner came out from behind the camp and got the animal under control.
“The lady told my daughter, ‘The dog’s done this before,'” Bigos said. “I was so upset when I heard that.
“This was an attack of a dog on a child,” he continued. “What more important priority could you have than public safety?”
Bigos contacted the town’s animal control officer, Dan Carrier, to complete the paperwork for the attack. However, despite leaving a detailed message on Carrier’s answering machine, and writing a letter to him, Bigos was unable to obtain a response.
Bigos added that he has since settled the matter with the pit bull’s owner, who has tied the dog up when it is outdoors and paid a sum of money for damage to his daughter’s clothing.
At the June 8 selectmen’s meeting, Bigos, Carrier and the board met to discuss the dog issues. According to the meeting minutes, Bigos said that he pays taxes for animal control services and incidents such as the pit-bull attack are a public safety hazard.
Carrier pointed out at the meeting that he had solved some of the problems with dogs at large running about and doing damage to Bigos’ and other residents’ properties. As for the pit bull attack, he stated that it was his understanding that the state police had handled the case and Carrier had unsuccessfully tried to contact them.
Additionally, Carrier mentioned that he has requested the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office and state police forward copies of any reports when they handle Peru dog issues. Also, he added that he had often returned Bigos’ phone calls, with no answer.
Bigos disputed Carrier’s account, and said he feels like the incidents have been kept in the dark. He also took exception to the way the minutes were worded.
“There’s so much stuff that was left out,” Bigos said.
Attempts to reach Carrier for comment were unsuccessful.
James Pulsifer, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, emphasized that town officials have responded to the dog issues and have tried to be as accommodating as possible.
“It was discussed in detail,” he said. “We gave him (Bigos) the opportunity to bring up anything he wanted to and everything he complained about.”
Bigos pointed out that he had sent several e-mails to selectmen, adding that they had never responded. Pulsifer stated that this was true and stressed that the selectmen don’t handle town issues through unsolicited e-mail.
A former selectman did, in fact, respond to Bigos’ complaint. Not long after the dog attack, Rodney Jamison visited with him, Bigos said. He credited Jamison for being concerned about the incident and taking the time to talk to him.
When asked to cite other examples of dog problems, Bigos noted that neighborhood dogs were urinating on his new shrubs and killing them. He noted that he had returned one dog to its owner on two occasions.
“I like dogs. That’s the reason I brought it back twice,” he said.
Bigos said that he took issue with the way the selectmen treated him.
“‘You are trying to point a finger at me at the ways I tried to get ahold of you’ is what I told them at the meeting,” Bigos said.

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