SEABROOK NH - "SOMEHOW" BY "ACCIDENT" 2 PIT BULLS ESCAPED THEIR HOME AND ATTACKED 3 PEOPLE OUTSIDE A STORE AT THE SOUTH GATE PLAZA
SEABROOK — After putting down his TWO PIT BULL TERRIERS for attacking three people at a US Route 1 plaza last week, Richard Janvrin said he apologizes to the victims and is devastated to lose his beloved dogs.
Janvrin's dogs, 2-year-old R.J. and Cash, were euthanized after they attacked two men and one woman outside the Market Basket and state liquor store at the South Gate Plaza at 380 Lafayette Road March 21. Janvrin pleaded guilty to two violation-level dog at large charges in Seabrook District Court Tuesday, for which he will pay a $248 fine.
"We apologize and we're very, very sorry," said Janvrin, 46, of 19 Boynton Lane. "I hope everything looks good for (the victims) in their future."
The dogs ran to the shopping plaza at approximately 7:30 p.m. the night of the attack and bit a man in the arm and leg, as well as another man in his leg, according to Seabrook Police Animal Control Officer Jeff Baillargeon. He said the woman was unharmed because her clothing took the brunt of the attack, preventing the bite from breaking her skin.
The two men were transported to local hospitals, one sent to Exeter Hospital, the other to Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Baillargeon said both are recovering despite the bites being severe. He described the attacks as "vicious" in a police affidavit.
Janvrin said the dogs escaped his home by accident when a relative entered his home and left the door open. He said the dogs were both gentle with women and children, but could be aggressive around some males. He said the dogs were loved like children in the home.
"Me and my wife cried like babies for two days," Janvrin said. "I'm not a little guy. I'm 6 foot 2, 280 pounds. Putting them down made me feel like an infant."
Police originally filed a motion for immediate seizure of the dogs, but it was withdrawn because the dogs were already euthanized March 23. The deceased dogs were sent to the state lab to determine whether they had rabies, which they did not, according to Baillargeon.
Baillargeon said New Hampshire law requires police to argue before a judge why a dog should be euthanized. He could recall only one instance in which Seabrook police were required to go through that process when they identified a dog as a public threat, as owners typically comply before going to court.
R.J. and Cash were brothers, sons of Janvrin's previous pit bull named Rex. REX ALSO BIT A HUMAN, and Janvrin said he was also euthanized. R.J. and Cash were brothers, sons of Janvrin's previous pit bull named Rex. Rex also bit a human, and Janvrin said he was also euthanized. Janvrin said a neighbor's son entered the home and startled Rex, causing him to bite his leg.
Police investigated Janvrin's dogs in February when Baillargeon said one attacked a neighbor's English bulldog, which survived the attack. Janvrin said it was R.J. who became territorial with the bulldog that day, causing him to be aggressive.
Police Chief Michael Gallagher told the town's selectmen of the February attack on the bulldog during the board's March 6 meeting and said his department had done everything in its power to address that attack at that time. He said police seized R.J., but a judge ruled the dog could return to Janvrin, according to Gallagher.
Budget Committee Chairman Paula Wood spoke out at that meeting saying she was concerned about the danger the dog posed to the public. This week, she said she trusts that the police did everything they could to prevent the dogs from becoming a danger.
"I'm upset that any dog would have to be put down because it bit someone but relieved that they are gone from Boynton Lane," said Wood.