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HARVARD — Selectmen at their May 17 meeting rendered a final decision from the dog hearing they held a couple of weeks before. The MacLeans’ two Labradors, having killed livestock on several occasions, will be banished if they are caught running loose again.

At the hearing, Animal Control officers Paul Willard and Ann Bamford told the board that two Labrador retrievers owned by Douglas MacLean of Littleton Road had been on a two-year bird-killing spree, raiding farms and chicken houses all over town.

One resident said the dogs killed two pairs of his prized pheasants. In a recent incident, the dogs killed 15 chickens.

Willard issued two restraining orders. After the second order was violated, he brought the matter to the selectmen. His recommendation was to banish the dogs from town if the owners could not keep them at home.

Selectman Tim Clark drafted the board’s decision. He ran it by town counsel, who made revisions, before presenting it to his colleagues.

The document provides a procedural summary and a history of the complaints, including the dog officer’s reports and testimony at the hearing and spells out the order in detail.

The gist of it is that there are three adult dogs at the MacLeans’ home, none of which are licensed and two of which killed fowl, Clark said. Of the four incidents, only one resident was compensated. The pheasant owner told the board MacLean paid him for the first set of pheasants, but not when it happened again.

The losses are not the selectmen’s purview, but a “civil matter,” Clark said.

Selectmen determined that the dog owners violated the restraining order, failing to keep their dogs on their property, as ordered. But they didn’t banish them yet.

The order selectmen signed last week gave the owners two weeks to get a license for their dogs and no more chances if they get out. The dogs must be restrained from becoming a public nuisance and from killing livestock. They must be kept on the MacLeans’ property at all times unless leashed and with their owners. One more violation gets them banished.

Having previously discussed compliance and fencing options, selectmen decided it was not up to them, but the owners, to decide how to keep the dogs in check.

Now, they wondered if “evidence” was needed that the dogs had been relocated, if it comes to that. Clark said the problem isn’t the dogs but their owners’ failure to control them. As an extreme measure, Selectmen have the legal right to kill the dogs, he said.

“I don’t think we want to go that route,” Selectman Bill Johnson said. “We really want them (the owners) to comply. Let’s leave it at that.”

If they don’t, the dogs will be banished from town.