The euthanization of Piglet and Pretty Boy was put on hold when the owner, Luis Torres, said he was appealing the decision through the courts. But on Monday, the city's attorney, Gregg Corbo, said Torres had agreed to having Piglet put down and for Pretty Boy and the third dog, Crook, to be surrendered to the rescue organization and removed from the state of Massachusetts.
"The rescue organization has stepped up ... the dog Piglet will be euthanized and the other two dogs will be rehabilitated as they see fit," Corbo said, adding that Furry Friends rescue will indemnify the city to any claims agains the dogs once they have them. "They truly believe those two dogs can be rehabilitated."
The dogs were the aggressors in at least three attacks, including a child visiting the home on Northern Lights Avenue, and a woman who was bitten when the dogs were running loose outside. Crook had participated in only one of the attacks and the owners were given the option to have an experienced trainer assess him for possible rehoming as long as the dog was removed from the city of North Adams.
The trainer, who is affiliated with the rescue, determined that both Crook and Pretty Boy had the potential for rehabilitation. Since the rescue uses foster care rather than a shelter, the dogs will go with home with him.
Animal Control Officer Carrie Hoholdt said she agreed with him that Piglet seemed to be the main aggressor in the three situations.
"I felt the same way he did regarding the three dogs ... one was the aggressor and the other two were pack mentality," she said. "They believe training will help but if it doesn't, they'll have to do what they have to do."
Torres was ordered to turn over Piglet to be euthanized on Tuesday. Loholdt said she was working her veterinarian to get the family's other two dogs in to be fixed and vaccinated. The "mother" dog is scheduled to be spayed on Aug. 3.
Pretty Boy and Crook will remain at the family home for the time being. Corbo, of KP Law, the city's solicitor, explained that the state of Connecticut requires a 10-day notice before the animals can be transported. However, no boarding kennel will accept any of the dogs because they are not licensed or vaccinated. The committee had ordered the dogs kenneled but Torres said he could not get anyone to vaccinate them because many veterinarians are scheduling out by weeks because of the effects of the pandemic.
Corbo said the rescue will cover the costs of vaccinating and licensing Pretty Boy and Crook.
The committee was most concerned with any liability to the city since one of the dogs had already been designated as dangerous. Corbo reviewed the contract to be signed that states "Furry Friends is accepting the dogs at its own risk and that the city is making no representations or warranties as to health or disposition of these dogs."
The rescue has already provided proof of insurance, he said, and the dogs will be chipped and photographed so if they some how come back into the city, the animal control officer can identify them.
When asked if the contract specifies keeping the animals out of state, the Corbo said no.
"It does not say the commonwealth of Massachusetts but it does say the city of North Adams and, under the agreement, the two remaining dogs are required to be microchipped," he said. "And if both dogs are found in the city of North Adams at any time for any reason, they can be seized by the police or animal control and euthanized."
While the dogs are in the city, they will have to be kept under the restraints previously spelled out by the committee: kept at the home, and muzzled and leashed when leaving only for veterinary visits or removal.
"Any violation of those terms or another bite during that period, the dogs will have to be turned over to the city to be euthanized," Corbo said. This can also occur if the rescue for whatever reason backs out on taking the dogs.
In signing the agreement, the owners agree to relinquish all three dogs, to dismiss any further litigation and to have their remaining dogs properly vaccinated and licensed. If they take in more than three dogs again, they will get a kennel license. They are also not elegible for any compensation.
The committee agreed to approve the contract, authorizing Chairman Jason LaForest to sign it on their behalf, and to refer to the mayor's office for final execution. Corbo said once all parties sign, the notice can go to Connecticut to start the 10-day clock.
"I felt that the committee was moving into a management phase ... a bit beyond the purview of this committee," said LaForest. "I would suggest to refer this to the chief of police for management beyond this agreement and that he and animal control office and mayor work with Mr. Corbo."
The committee will meet again on Monday, Aug. 17, at 4 p.m. for an update on the situation.
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A generation or so ago, people didn't just retire from work – many of them also withdrew from a whole range of social and communal activities. But now, it's different: The large Baby Boom cohort, and no doubt future ones, are insisting on an active lifestyle and continued involvement in their communities and world.
So, what should you know about this "new retirement"? And how can you prepare for it?
For starters, consider what it means to be a retiree today. The 2020 Edward Jones/Age Wave Four Pillars of the New Retirement study has identified these four interrelated, key ingredients, along with the connected statistics, for living well in the new retirement:
Health: While physical health may decline with age, emotional intelligence – the ability to use emotions in positive ways – actually improves, according to a well-known study from the University of California, among others. However, not surprisingly, retirees fear Alzheimer's and other types of dementia more than any physical ailment, including cancer or infectious diseases, according to the "Four Pillars" study.
Family: Retirees get their greatest emotional nourishment from family relationships – and they will do anything it takes to help support those family members, even if it means sacrificing their own financial security. Conversely, retirees lacking close connections with family and friends are at risk for all the negative consequences resulting from physical and social isolation.
Purpose: Nearly 90 percent of Americans feel that there should be more ways for retirees to use their talents and knowledge for the benefit of their communities and society at large. Retirees want to spend their time in useful, rewarding ways – and they are capable of doing so, given their decades of life experience. Retirees with a strong sense of purpose have happier, healthier lives and report a higher quality of life.
Finances: Retirees are less interested in accumulating more wealth than they are in having sufficient resources to achieve the freedom to live their lives as they choose. Yet, retirees frequently find that managing money in retirement can be even more challenging than saving for it. And the "unknowns" can be scary: Almost 70 percent of those who plan to retire in the next 10 years say they have no idea what their healthcare and long-term care costs will be in retirement.
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The class of 2020's saying is "Time 2 Make History," something this class has certainly done already: the first Drury class go fully online for learning, to have a drive-by graduation, and to have two graduations.
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Instead of talking about the challenges the global pandemic has created for the class, the country, and the world, Harrington talked about some of the class's successes and thanked all those who helped along the way.
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