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Pittsfield Officials Look to Ease Dog Complaints on Giovina Drive

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Sam and Dakota's reign of terror on Giovina Drive has come to an end.
The two, 10-pound or so Yorkshire terriers have been terrorizing the neighborhood for too long and the Animal Control Commission is now calling for it to end. The two dogs must now be leashed and attended at all times, and must be muzzled while off the property. 
"If they do these things, there should be no more issues with the dogs," Animal Control Commissioner Earl Persip said on Wednesday when the issue was brought to a hearing.
Animal Control Officer Joseph Chague said there have been at least two incidents of the dogs chasing neighbors. The first incident happened in December when one of the neighborhood's children were walking his family dog when the two pounced and attacked that dog.
"The dogs chased him back to his house and actually attacked his dog in the process," Chague said. 
Chague said it isn't known if the attacked animal suffered any injuries but that there hasn't been mention of veterinary bills or civil actions. 
On Jan. 13, a second, similar incident happened. The dogs were again running free and attacked somebody walking their own dogs. 
"Both these incidents were videotaped by owners of both these dogs," Chague said, adding that the first neighbor had instructed her son to take video if it happened because it wouldn't have been the first time. 
Michelle Kroboth had her dog attacked by the two dogs. She said the dogs approached her and, quickly, the male jumped at her dog. She added that the dogs are often just let outside to roam the neighborhood and even at like 4 a.m. they will be outside barking, waking the neighbors up.
"There is no regard for the neighborhood," she said. "They are never leashed and it is constant."
Chague said both incidents led to citations, both of which owners Lisa and Douglas Crocker have appealed. Chague said the first citation was upheld while the second appeal is still pending. 
Police Officer John Virgilio said both times he attempted to speak to the Crockers but was greeted unkindly.
"That conversation kind of ended with him storming back into the house and yelling at me," the officer said of his first interaction with Douglas Crocker. 
Virgilio said there is a dog run on the property but it is covered with snow and does not seem to be used. At the same time, there are dog prints in the front yard. He believes the Crockers are just letting the dogs out without a leash and they then take off on their own. 
"It is really concerning, the report that I read, especially the way the owners of the dogs acted toward a police officer," said Kevin Morandi, who chaired Wednesday's hearing.
The commission ultimately deemed Sam and Dakota as nuisance dogs — stopping short of deeming them dangerous dogs — and placed those orders on them. Should the family break those orders, police can issue fines and the Animal Control Commission could come back and demand further measures.

Tags: animal control,   dogs,   

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BHS Diabetes Education Program Launches Weight Loss & Lifestyle Change Program

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Health Systems Diabetes Education Program has implemented a Weight Loss and Lifestyle Change Program for those with Medicare, with new classes beginning in November, at multiple locations across the Berkshires.

The program is aimed at adults 18 and older who have a diagnosis of pre-diabetes by a blood test within the past year. To be eligible for this program, participants must have a need to lose weight, with a Body Mass Index of 25 or higher. The program involves 16 weekly classes over the first six-month period, and six monthly sessions over the remaining six months, for a year-long program. Participants must also be willing to log food that they eat and their activity minutes. This program is covered by Medicare.

To apply for the program, call 413-395-7942. A representative from the BHS Diabetes Education Program will take down information and complete the pre-diabetes risk assessment questions. A lifestyle coach will then contact eligible participants to discuss the program and confirm acceptance.


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