PEPPERELL — The Board of Health decided to table a discussion on next steps to take regarding the welfare of two horses and upwards of 22 dogs at a Heald Street residence.
Animal inspector Robin Hebert reported that the Animal Rescue League determined that the horses located on the property were “not placeable” and recommended euthanizing them.
“They told me the animals weren’t bad enough to seize,” said Hebert.
Hebert told the board that the barn roof leaks, the paddocks are muddy, and the fencing is falling down. In addition, the Animal Rescue League cited the owner requiring that the horses be examined by a veterinarian and be properly fed.
According to Hebert, the Animal Rescue League officer requested that the town’s Animal Control Officer get in touch with them about the dogs on the property. A kennel license is required when more than four dogs are kept on the premises.
Board member Philip Durno questioned whether the dogs were licensed and had current rabies vaccinations.
Hebert noted that there was no kennel license and the dogs were not current on their rabies vaccinations.
“Some of them might be current because some of them might have a three-year shot. I don’t believe that they’re all current,” said Hebert.
“The house is gross. Standing at the door, you can smell the urine,” said Hebert.
When asked if Hebert’s observations of the conditions inside the home warranted an inspection by the town, Health Agent Kalene Gendron said, “I can’t just walk on somebody’s property because of hearsay. I need a formal complaint to actually go on the property and look into the matter.”
“She read into the minutes that she smelled urine at the front door. Is that not a complaint,” asked board member John Marriner.
A motion was brought to a vote to have Gendron inspect the home for possible “unsanitary conditions.”
“I do have a problem with officials knocking on people’s doors on hearsay,” said Chairman Alfred Buckley.
“We do have an official complaint,” said Durno, who noted that a town official had already made the observation.
“Do you people understand how long these dogs have been there, and in the house most of the time,” he said.
Durno noted he had received many verbal complaints over the years, but agreed to withdraw the motion until further investigation on the status of the animals could be completed ahead of the next meeting.
“I think we’re just kicking the can down the road,” said Marriner.