People Rallying To Save Freetown Dog On Death Row

LAKEVILLE (CBS) – Time is running out for people trying to save a local dog from being put to death. This time, it’s a golden retriever named “Skippy.”

The dog nipped his owner’s granddaughter, and Freetown officials have ordered him put down.

Skippy has become a Facebook phenomenon, as the dog is looking for a second chance.

WBZ-TV‘s Beth Germano reports.

“We have garnered so much support. People are outraged about this,” said Ruth Marshman, who started the site.

More than 1,400 Facebook entries of support have been made on a site started by Marshman and CARE, a New Bedford shelter that helps troubled animals.

“Animals oftentimes get a bad rap without getting another chance, and so if I can help one of them, I’d like to,” said Marshman.

Skippy’s saga began last fall when he was accused of twice attacking the one-year-old granddaughter of his owner. The Freetown Board of Selectmen said it had no choice but to order Skippy be euthanized.

“There was a situation where a young child was injured twice, one requiring 12 stitches on her face,” said Jean Fox, a Freetown selectwoman.

“We’re trying to just save him from being killed,” said Cassandra Locke, the dog owner’s daughter.

The little girl’s mother said the family is appealing the decision, but back at CARE they are ready to evaluate the dog, neuter Skippy to stop his aggression, and even pay the town’s bills at the Lakeville Animal Shelter where Skippy awaits his fate.

With a tsunami of support from the Internet, the selectmen might be persuaded.

The dog’s owner has until this week to file an appeal, and then it can be heard by a judge.

  • http://facebook Billie suit

    Free skippy….

    • Diane

      I had a dog that bit my roommate in Framingham, they told me it was up to the her, the owner if she wanted the dog put down. Since when does the city decide if the person that was bit doesn’t want the dog put down. If my dog bit me, who are they to say that they can decide for me to take action. If my neighbor punches me in the face and I don’t want to press charges then it’s over. Same should apply

      • cinnamon girl

        If your neighbor punches you, it is up to the district attorney of your county to decide whether charges are filed, not you.

      • James M.

        Agreed…it’s a suggestion to press charges, the DA is the one that files on behalf of the People.

  • http://facebook Billie suit

    Not right…. skippy deserves another chance. I’m a parent to. Kids don’t know any differntly at that age. Please save skippy…. At least let him live and go training. Free skippy…………

  • Cynic

    WE had an older (Almost 20 )Dog that didn’t that didn’t like being pulled and tugged by kids. I noticed once that he nipped at one. After this when I took him out for a walk I let the kids say hi to their friend,Bear,and maybe pet him a little.Being aware that kids can get a little rough and that Bear didn’t like it I made sure that I had control of his leash and kept the situation under control. It’s not the Dogs fault.

  • nancy

    I am interested in viewing this pup and finding out more info about him and steps that are required for adoption. I have a 3 yr old Golden that’s very passive…I am very serious about Skippy

  • Brian K Peteson


  • carole

    He definately deserves life, as i was a letter carrier for 23 years and i was attacked by a German Shephard in Revere and this dog Previously bit 4 more people and that dog didnt get put down.At the time thought i was dying from my attack because it was so severe. I guess if you Money like these people did you can buy your way out of it. But in this case it sounds like the Golden Retriever deserves another chance

  • chrissysurf

    The dog was never neutered?? Well there is the owners first mistake!!! Let Skippy go to an owner that will actually take care of this dog and give it proper training and love and care!

  • Mary Narkiewicz

    Please save this dog. Why should he be executed for such a small mistake? His life is precious.

    • sparknut

      Small mistakes do not require 12 stitches in a one year old’s face.

      • Linda Cox Bireley

        I doesn’t take much to put 12 stitches in anyone’s face. I’ve had dogs my whole life, been bit when I deserved it. Skippy needs to be neutered and go with a family that knows how to take care of dogs. Dogs do not like to be pulled on, etc,. by one year old babies. I never let my babies bother our dogs to protect both the babies and the dogs. They only look at us as a type of dog and would bite another dog that was bothering them. Don’t blame the dog. The councilmen know nothing about dogs obviously. I’m sure they don’t treat real criminals in this manner.

      • Krys Lewis

        they do when the stupid parents leave the kid alone and unsupervised!!!!!

  • Dianne

    it would be shameful to put this dog to sleep. What were the selectmen thinking? Dogs get a bad rap most of the time. It is bad owners that are the problem.

  • lori

    please free skippy

  • DogOwner

    As a dog trainer and someone who volunteers at a local shelter working with all variety of dogs, I am amused by the outpouring of support for this dog that has twice attacked a child (according to the article). If this was a Pit Bull or Rottweiler I am quite sure you would all be calling for him to be put down immediately. I don’t like to see any dog put down for something that isn’t their fault but keep a little perspective people, the dog attacked a one-year old child twice.

    • End_BSL

      I was thinking the same thing. Two pit bulls were put down in Taunton for attacking another dog. Where was this kind of outpouring then? I don’t like to see any dog put down that could potentially do well in a different situation with a different owner…but people are so hypocritical when it comes to dog breeds and their fate after an attack.

      • Krys Lewis

        what you people don’t get is that pit bulls are known for their killing and maiming idiots out there buy them just for that reason (agreed, not all, but most)….golden retrievers are NOT!!! do the math. give the dog to someone who wants him and will take the time to train him properly and give him the love he needs.

    • pibble

      I agree I don’t want this dog to be put down, I love dogs (especially bully breeds) more than I love people most of the time, and def more than I like kids, sorry but it’s true. But if it was a pitbull or pitbull mix all these people would be singing a WHOLE different tune.

    • Zebula

      If a dog attacks a child once, blame the dog. Twice, blame the parents. We let child molestors and rapists and murderers live, but not a dog behaving naturally. Skippy just needs a different home.

  • Diana Smith Hill

    There is no reason to put this dog down. Some animals just get so excited they have no idea they are really hurting someone or they smell something on the person that bothers them and causes aggression. I suggest this animal be saved and put through behavior training. What a lovely animal. Has he been tested for illness? Often an animal that is sick will also attack to get your attention that they are ill and need help. Save Skippy!

  • diane

    please save skippy, there is many behavioal in town, to help skippy, so he can be well behave, it sadden me that let him go this far to bite a child, he could also b e sick, undetected ilness

  • Ed Hall

    Skippy has proven twice that he is dangerous. He should be put down. Any responsible dog owner should agree.

    • pibble

      No a responsible owner would have had Skippy neutered, and trained. Also a responsible parent would of been supervising their kid around a dog.

      • Krys Lewis

        YES PIBBLE, again you are so right.

    • Krys Lewis

      ed hall: any “responsible” parent should not leave a 1 year old alone with ANY dog…..STUPID STUPID STUPID

  • Thomas F. Szpotanski

    This dog deserves another chance. If they can reabilatate Micheal Vicks Pitbulls why not this dog. It seems they don’t even want to try and give the Care shelter a chance to turn this dog around. People thought Mike Vicks dogs were hopeless and look what happened with them all but two of Vicks dogs were reabilatated. So give Skippy at least that chance at rebilatation we gave Vicks dogs that chance why not Skippy!!!!

  • Stop_the_Canine_Insanity

    I agree whole heartedly with DOGOWNER and End_BSL. This is laughable. Everybody wants to save Skippy–the Golden Retriever. I was a reporter for 10 years and it sickens me to see how hypocritical the media are. If this dog were a pit bull the headline would have read, “Another vicious pit bull savagely attacks child.” Instead, the copy says “nipped.” Since when is a bite requiring 12 stitches a NIP? And this is the SECOND attack. Yet because it’s a Golden, we’ve got thousands lining up on Facebook to have a parade for Skippy. If this situation involved a pit bull, thousands would be lining up to administer the lethal injection. Let’s stop racism everywhere, from humans to animals. Rather, let’s be smart. If it has teeth, it can bite. Let’s design laws to stop aggressive dog behavior in general and not single out one breed.

    I love dogs. I’ve had two dogs over the past 12 years that would have been the target of breed specific legislation. I’ve never had a problem. 99 percent of the time it’s the owner, not the dog, that is the issue.

    I hope Skippy can be saved by finding him an appropriate home. But let’s take this example to stop and consider how hypocritical we are on this issue.

    • End_BSL

      Couldn’t have said it better myself, Stop! I was also a reporter for a little while in life and saw how different pit bull attacks were treated in the media from any other breed. I currently work with rescued pit bulls and see the stigma that people place on that breed. It’s really a sad thing that people are so hypocritical and can’t be bothered to do any type of breed research on their own. Most people don’t realize that for the first half of the 20th century, American Pit Bull Terriers were the number 1 family dog. Now, they just want them gone. What a shame that people can be this biased.

      • Stop_the_Canine_Insanity

        Thanks, END, for your volunteer efforts! People like you are pit bulls only hope.

    • Over_it!

      I have to say, I am ALL about this dog being freed, he deserves another chance in a proper home with owners who are intelligent, but you raise a VERY valid point. I really hope people start taking proper care/responsibility of all of their dogs, all breeds. Anyone who knows dogs knows not even the “safest” dog should be left alone with a child/toddler…it is not fair/safe to either.

  • sparknut

    The owners were ordered to have the dog neutered. They didn’t do it.
    The owners were ordered to get behavioral training for the dog. They didn’t do it.
    The dog “nipped” the child? A “nip” doesn’t require 12 stitches in a one year old child’s face.
    The dog is a danger. But the owners are worse.

    • blackbear1

      Good post sparknut. I do not understand all this crazy reaction from these people. The dog twice bit a one yoa child. The owners did not follow orders from the town, etc. Towns have pretty specific policies/procedures and paths to follow re; dog bite issues.

    • pibble

      The the dog should be taken away and placed with a new responsible family and not killed.

  • Smiley Kittenpaws

    I’m an animal lover. A “nip” does not require 12 stitches to a 1 year old’s face. This dog attacked twice…not once, but twice! Stop and think for a moment just what 12 stitches to a baby’s face looks like. She will be scarred for the rest of her life!

    Obviously, the owners did not follow the orders from the town. Perhaps their dog was more important than their grand-daughter?

    Where is the support and justice for the baby who was bit and scarred for life?

    • pibble

      My dog was 6yrs old before he was around any baby I don’t care for them much so I don’t have any. However he was neutered and trained once he was he was watched and taught how to behave around them, the kids are also taught how to behave around a dog and what not to do to a dog. He is perfect around kids of all ages now. It’s not the dogs fault, it’s the owners and the childs mothers fault. To all you animal lovers who can’t see this then how can you possibly call yourself an animal lover

      • Krys Lewis


    • Krys Lewis

      hey smiley, where’s your rage at the parents for leaving their infant ALONE with a dog…IDIOTS

  • elizabeth

    Even dogs deserve a 2nd chance! Let skippy go to a home with no kids.

  • Smiley Kittenpaws

    Elizabeth, he was given a second chance and bit again. :(

    • Over_it!

      no, he was set up to fail, he was NOT given a second chance. If you knew dog behavior, you know a baby/toddler should not be left alone with a dog ever. It is apparent this dog was not well cared for, not trained, not neutered, not exercised? I was not there so I can’t make pointed comments but please understand dog behavior before making several comments about this situation where you are so against this dog and giving him a true second chance with the correct family.

      • Krys Lewis

        exactly! people are all too often buying dogs and then “getting rid of them” after they have children…if you are so afraid then don’t get a dog to begin with and if you do….you should not be leaving an infant alone with it…..IDIOTS

    • Krys Lewis

      yes because his STUPID owners left the child alone AGAIN

  • Ellen

    If the dog is nurtured, and the girl’s family is in support of Not putting this dog down then whats the problem here. Just let the dog live. On to other news is that a Wilmington woman was killed yesterday by a motorist who was on anti-depression medicine after loosing his 20 month old son kidney failure. Sad situation all the way around, and I haven’t seen this story on any blog here. At least the Lowell Sun has a story on this tragic event that happen yesterday, so what’s the matter with CBS on not commenting on this news event/

  • Megan

    I am afraid that skippy should never be around children again. I’m not saying put him down, but clearly, after a child has been bitten TWICE with 12 stitches the dog needs to be in another home.
    Goldens are not the type of dog to bite (even if not neutered) and are known for being family dogs. It seems that there is more to this than meets the eye.

    • Stop_the_Canine_Insanity

      Megan, with all due respect, it is naive to say that Golden’s are not the type of dogs that bite. ALL dogs bite. All living creatures with teeth have the potential to bite. Just being a Golden doesn’t warrant a pass. This dog has already had two chances. This would be the third.

      If anything happens to the dog, it is on the owners’ conscience. They should have known better after the first incident, and should have taken precautions.

      I hope some kind of solution can be worked out to save the dog, but please don’t perpetuate the misnomer that certain “popular” breeds don’t bite. That plays right into the media’s hype machine.

  • Linda Ross-Gloucester, MA

    Skippy deserves to live. Please save him!!!!!!!!

  • Pamala Hall

    I think the dog has a right to another chance under the right conditions. Children do not deserve harm obviously- BUT children often are rough with dogs, taunt them, or just don’t understand how to handle them. I am sorry it happened- but again, give this dog or ANY breed a chance .

  • ARiley
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