PERU — Dog owner Steve Fuller said that his dogs are not vicious, and they haven’t attacked anyone.

“It is not a vicious dog attack if no one is bitten,” he said. 

Fuller admitted that the dogs do bark at strangers and are protective of their property and the stock on his farm, but they have never bitten anyone.

“They are more likely to lick you than bite you,” he said. 

The dogs appeared to be well-trained and were very friendly once they were introduced to the reporter. They did bark, however, when he drove into the driveway. Fuller said that the dogs and livestock are always locked up when no one is at home.

He said that he had no objection to people running on his property and has offered to lock up the dogs if the runners call and tell him when they want to use his property.


Fuller said that his “posted” signs have been up since last year.

There have been several incidents over the past two years where joggers or dog walkers have unexpectedly come out of the woods on the closed road. The dogs barked but stayed on his property, according to Fuller.

Fuller’s residence is the last house on Stage Coach Road. The section of road behind his house has been abandoned for many years. Fuller believes that there is no public easement over the abandoned road and that the abutters own the old roadway.

The town is seeking records to indicate when and how the road was closed and whether or not the town kept a public easement.

Supporting his claim that there is no public easement is the fact that his neighbor, Jim Gallagher, has built a large pond across the old road bed with the knowledge of a past selectboard. The present selectboard is trying to find records indicating exactly how this was permitted.

Gallagher has complained about Fuller’s dogs acting in a threatening manner when he walked his small dog along the old roadway.


Another complainant is David Briggs, a runner who occasionally runs a three-mile course that includes the abandoned part of Stage Coach Road.

Gallagher said that last year, his two sons, former athletes at Dirigo High School, were threatened by the dogs while running. Being forewarned, he said that he had obtained pepper spray before running the route.

Gallagher said that one time when he ran by Fuller’s property, the dogs viciously attacked and would have bitten him if he had not used the pepper spray.

Recently, he said, one of the dogs chased him down the road to a neighbor’s house, where he drove the dog off by throwing rocks. He said he discussed the dogs with the neighbor and expressed that he might have to kill the dog to prevent being bitten.

The neighbor said he would be doing the neighborhood a favor by killing the dog, since he terrorized the neighborhood, Gallagher said. The nieghbor had also said that Fuller’s dog had come into her yard and killed her small dog.

This incident was investigated by Animal Control Officer Sue Milligan and a state trooper. No charges were filed.

He said that Fuller’s land was not posted, but that he used the half of the road bed furthest away from Fuller’s property in case Fuller did own to the center of the old road.

Milligan said that it is never OK for a dog to bite. She has issued Fuller a warning, telling him that the dogs need to stay on his property and not chase people. She said that she cannot finish her investigation until the town clarifies the status of the old Stage Coach Road.

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