NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

May 16, 2014

Dog owners reminded to vaccinate their pets

The Amesbury Beat
Officer Tom Hanshaw

---- — Tickets are selling well and still available for the Relay For Life of Amesbury game with the Lowell Spinners on Sunday June 22 at 3 p.m. A portion of each ticket sold benefits the American Cancer Society, so we are hoping for a big crowd.

Retiring Fire Lieutenant and cancer survivor, Jim Kukene, will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch and we are planning a few special Amesbury activities as well. In addition, the Spinners will be giving away a special bobblehead collectible to the first 1,000 fans and hosting a free concert by Jimmy Needham following the game.

Tickets are $10 each. Contact me at thomash@amesburyma.gov or 978-388-1217 if you are interested. For credit card orders, contact Jeff Cohen directly at the Spinners ticket office, 978-805-5111 and mention the Relay For Life of Amesbury. The Spinners game is a great family activity, even if you are not a baseball fan, with plenty of fun for kids of every age.

Another scam popped up on the radar screen, which Det. Steve Reed asked me to pass along to readers. Fraudulent callers, claiming to be from National Grid, are contacting customers and threatening to have their electricity shut off unless an immediate payment is made. National Grid is advising customers to be wary of any caller who claims to represent the company and threaten an immediate termination to service. National Grid will contact customers who have past due balances to discuss payment options, but representatives will not make demands or threats. If you have questions or are skeptical of the caller, contact National Grid directly at 800-322-3223.

Occasionally, I will share a story of an incident, which happened in the city or area to give readers a sense of the calls police respond to. Recently I responded to an animal complaint, where a woman was approached and bitten by a neighbor’s dog. In Amesbury, we handle several incidents involving domestic and wild animals each month, and refer many to Lisa Young, the city’s Animal Control Officer. In this case, the woman was passing by on the sidewalk and the dog came towards her, biting her forearm with a significant puncture wound. The woman was quite shaken upon arrival at the police station to report the incident. During the course of the investigation by Animal Control, Lisa learned the dog was not licensed and was not up to date on vaccinations.

As a result, the woman who was bitten may actually need to undergo a series of rabies shots; a very painful and traumatic experience. In speaking with Lisa, she stressed the importance of licensing and vaccinating dogs. Some people feel they are saving a few dollars by skipping these requirements but it may be more costly in such an incident, considering fines, quarantine, medical expenses and civil liability. Lisa also asked I stress to readers the importance of staying away from animals; domestic or wild. Although one may seem friendly, he may still bite. It’s never a good idea to approach wild animals, especially when out at an unusual hour. Raccoons, possums, deer and foxes are usually out after dark but they do come out in the daylight, often looking for food for their hungry little ones. Questions about animal regulations can be directed to Lisa Young at 978-417-1055.

Officer Tom Hanshaw is the crime prevention officer for the Amesbury police department.