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February 22, 2013

Officials defend animal officer

Salisbury, Amesbury say allegations against Congdon unfounded

(Continued)

Boucher waived the fine for violation of the town’s leash law since it was a first offense, Harrington said. And according to Congdon’s report, Boucher returned the dog to Hinton without receiving payment out of consideration for the woman’s money problems.

“Tina felt sorry for (the owner), gave the dog Shelby back and said pay when you can,” Congdon wrote, adding payment “didn’t happen.”

The second incident came after neighbors complained about barking dogs left unattended outside.

According to Congdon’s report of that incident, two dogs, Hinton’s boxer and a pit bull, were found “soaking wet, tied on front lawn,” with no food, water or shelter, while they barked “day and night.” The dogs were taken to the kennel.

Congdon wrote that after the owners were told the condition the dogs were in was “borderline animal abuse,” the owner of the pit bull made improvements that impressed him. But the owner of the boxer never got in touch with Congdon or Boucher, so after 15 days, they found an adoptive home for the dog.

While Harrington and Kezer both refuted Hinton’s characterizations of Congdon, their support of the animal control officer was not included in the Fox 25 News report.

Harrington said that due to the blizzard earlier this month, he was unable to comment before the piece aired. The town manager said he was in an emergency preparedness meeting with town officials when the station first attempted to contact him on Feb. 7. He said he was unable to return calls after the blizzard because he was out of work with an injury after having fallen on icy stairs at home. Harrington returned to work on Feb. 14, the day after the report aired.

In Kezer’s case, Harrington said the mayor told the Fox News reporter that he hadn’t had any complaints about Congdon, but that comment was left out the piece.

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