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Ayer District Court Justice Margaret Guzman, off on a two-week vacation beginning June 21, left a cliffhanger for Westford residents. Guzman presided over an evidentiary hearing on June 19 regarding two missing and dangerous dogs, but made no decisions on the case.
Residents will have to wait at least two weeks until she returns to learn what the court has to say.
“It’s still under advisement,” said Civil Clerk Tina Ramos of the Ayer District Court. Sometimes cases can linger for weeks, she aded.
“I would imagine when she (Guzman) comes back from vacation she’ll have a decision,” said Ramos, who stressed she hadn’t spoken with Guzman about the matter and was speculating. [continue reading below].
With no provocation on the evening of April 17, the two dogs, a pitbull mix and a labrador mix, came out from behind the home of Jill Gallagher at 10 Wilson Farm Drive, and went straight to Lola, a toy poodle on a leash who was being walked by Michael Kuklin, 18 of 16 Wilson Farm Drive. The dogs attacked Lola, killing her in a tranquil neighborhood of green grass, lush shrubs and three story, central entrance colonial homes. The 6 pound poodle belonged to Kuklin’s mother Polina Kuklina and step father, Evgeni Belin, who were out of town on the evening of the mauling.
Haley Gallagher, the dogs’ owner and Jill’s adult daughter, hired Attorney David McCool of Everett to represent her.
The attorney filed a petition for review of the Selectmen’s findings. Through McCool, Haley Gallagher, who also lives at 10 Wilson Farm Drive, is asking Guzman to determine:
*”That the board of selectmen’s determination of orders was made without proper cause.
*that the court vacate the selectmen’s order determining that Paul and Jill Gallagher were owners or keeper of the two dogs, named Windy and Lucca.
*that the court grant some other relief deemed just and proper as it related to Haley Gallagher’s ability to comply with the board’s order because she does not have possession or control of the two dogs, Windy and Lucca.”
After the attack on Lola, Selectmen, on May 2, required Gallagher to deliver the two dogs to the animal control officer in Groton by mid afternoon on May 3.
But instead the dogs disappeared, allegedly transported by a friend of Gallagher’s to a New Bedford residence. The dogs have not resurfaced.
At a May 8 hearing, selectmen determined the dogs were dangerous and should be humanely euthanized. Neither Haley Gallagher nor her lawyer attended.
Inside 10 Wilson Farm Drive where Windy and Lucca once lived is Haley Gallagher’s mother Jill Gallagher, Haley’s brother Paul, and two chihuahuas.
In the meantime, Westford residents wait to see if Windy and Lucca resurface.
UPDATE – Haley Gallagher’s name and Wilson Farm Drive address was added to the story. Michael Kuklin’s address was also added.
CORRECTION (June 25) – The hearing took place in Ayer District Court.