I was shocked at the recent wanton killing of an entire flock of 18 beautiful laying hens on Depot Road.

The culprits were two neighborhood Brittany Spaniels who have reportedly killed livestock before and apparently often run freely throughout the area.

Harvard is a right-to-farm community and livestock are an investment. This recent incident should make the dogs' owner take responsibility for the carnage and keep them locked up or contained before they harm other animals or possibly a child. But if they ever get free again, I urge the Board of Selectmen to take swift and strong action against the owner and these unsafe animals so this kind of massacre is not repeated.

When I looked at our bylaws, I was surprised to learn that we don't expect dog owners to control their dogs at all times. It seems a dog has to be deemed a public nuisance before any consequences are imposed. Perhaps it is time for Harvard to join other towns like Acton, Concord, Carlisle, Lexington, Maynard and Weston and strengthen our bylaws. If nothing else, perhaps our fine structure can be improved and dog incidents become cumulative instead of reset every calendar year.