Police Seek Help ID’ing Dog That Attacked Woman
By Scott Shurtleff
GROTON -- Police are seeking the public’s help with identifying the owner of a large dog that authorities say attacked a woman at the Bird Sanctuary near Groton Place Saturday morning.
The 24-year-old woman reported being bitten by the dog after being surrounded and knocked to the ground by as many as three dogs. Allison Starcher said, according to the account given to her friend Mayra Lockett, that while she was jogging along the trails, three unleashed dogs encircled her and knocked her to the ground. One of the dogs bit her before the owner could pull it away.
Starcher says the man laughed then left immediately after the attack. The man, who may have had as many as three dogs, is described as being about 60-years-old, wearing camouflage and an orange hat. According to reports, the brown and white “pitbull,” along with two other dogs, attacked the woman about 10:30 a.m.
“We are not breed experts so can’t say for sure what kind of dog it is,” said Lockett, who is unsure if the other two dogs belong to the man or if they simply joined in the frenzy. Starcher told police that she first saw the man talking with a couple, at quite a distance, when the dogs approached her. She thinks the other dogs may have belonged to the couple.
Other residents also reported seeing the man and the dog earlier in the day and that the dog was acting aggressively. According to the victim’s statement to police, one dog bit her through her shirt, puncturing her flesh. Lockett took Starcher, who is staying in Groton while temporarily working in Wilmington, to Emerson Hospital where doctors cautioned about rabies, according to Lockett.
“All we want is for the man to step forward so we can verify that his dog has had all its shots,” said Lockett. Starcher suffered a single puncture wound but doctors say that is enough to transmit rabies so the dog needs to be identified and tested within ten days. The woman is not from the area and will depart the state Friday.
Groton Animal Control Officer George Moore is asking residents to call with tips on the dog or its owner, stating that an “investigation is still underway.” Moore can be reached at 978-273-3651, or those with information can call Groton Police at 978-448-5555.