LOWELL — Daysha Frechette recently showed photos of her 9-month-old Pomeranian, named Louis, showing a gruesome bloody gash running through the fluffy little dog’s back.
The photo, which shows the wound stitched up with a drainage tube inserted, is painful to watch.
Frechette said the around 12-pound pup – a birthday present for her 3-year-old son Myles – suffered the injury when he was attacked by a much larger dog on a walk outside the house of his grandfather on Merrill Avenue earlier this month.
Frechette also shows the veterinary bills that accompanied the medical treatment required for Louis’ injury. The invoices show a balance of around $2,500, though Frechette said the total could go up.
The vicious attack on Louis is being investigated by authorities, as the question that remains is which dog did this and who owns the dog?
According to Frechette, the answers to these questions can be found right next to her grandfather’s house.
“I just want to know who is responsible for this,” she said.
The attack took place on the evening of October 11 while Fréchette’s grandfather, Arthur Fréchette, was walking Louis on a leash. Arthur went into detail about the violent episode, noting that it had just gotten dark when it happened.
He said there were people at his neighbor’s house loading items into a parked vehicle with its back door open in the driveway. Arthur said a “large brown dog” that was inside the vehicle slammed into the loaded items causing them to fall out of the vehicle and onto the driveway. Once outside the vehicle, Arthur said the rampaging dog then charged at him and Louis.
“He sped like a torpedo and went right after that little dog,” Arthur said.
Arthur, who recalls the incident “happened so quickly”, said the attacking dog bit Louis’ back and tried to drag him away. Photos taken after the incident show rope burns on Arthur’s fingers caused by him grabbing onto Louis’ leash as it slipped through his hands.
“I wasn’t going to let the dog go with (Louis) and that’s how I burned the rope,” he said. “I think he would have killed him if he had scared him away.”
Arthur said he kicked the aggressive dog in an attempt to free Louis from his jaws. The violence ended abruptly when a voice from the neighbor’s driveway called out to the attacking dog, which then stalked away, leaving a bloodied Louis in its wake.
Arthur said whoever had called the dog then put the animal back in the vehicle and drove off without saying a word, leaving him alone to care for Louis.
“He was horrified,” Arthur said of the injured dog. “I was able to lift him off the floor and take him into the house.”
He immediately called Daysha, who was at a nearby gym. She contacted the police to report a dog attack. Lowell police and animal control officers were already at the house on Merrill Avenue when Daysha arrived moments later.
Due to the severity of Louis’ injuries, an animal control officer asked Daysha to transport the animal to an emergency veterinary practice.
“They said, ‘Go to the hospital now, your dog is in bad shape,'” Daysha said.
Meanwhile, Arthur said the man who lives next door, where the aggressive dog was from, approached him to ask what had happened. After explaining the situation, Arthur said the neighbor – whom he only knows as Kevin – told him his cousin owned the dog that attacked Louis.
However, according to a police report on the incident, the neighbor told authorities a different story.
The incident report written by an animal control officer identified the neighbor as Kevin Caterino. According to the report, Caterino told the officer that he did not personally know the person who owned the aggressive dog. The report says Caterino informed the officer that he only knew the man as “Billy” and was at home “looking to buy parts from him.”
The police report also says Caterino provided authorities with a cell phone number for Billy, which is listed in the incident report. The Sun called the number, but it turned out to be out of service.
The Sun also knocked on Caterino’s door on Merrill Avenue several times over a two-day period, but no one answered.
Lowell Police Assistant Superintendent Mark LeBlanc said the dog attack is still being investigated by the department’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations and the Lowell Police Animal Control Section.
Arthur said that, as it was dark at the time, he did not know what type of vehicle was involved in the incident. He added that he could only vaguely identify the characteristics of the attacking dog, which he said was brown or tan, tall and thin, with “a big head”.
In the meantime, Daysha is frustrated with not knowing who the mysterious dog belongs to, accompanying her own traumatized and injured dog and a pile of vet bills.
“How is this justice?” Daysha said.
She added that she was also concerned that the dog that mutilated Louis could attack another pet in the future.
A few days after the attack, Daysha placed photos of Louis’ injuries, along with the vet’s bills, in her neighbor’s mailbox, hoping to get information from him about the animal responsible for the attack. the attack.
She explains that she and Myles moved to Lowell within the past two months to live with her grandfather on Merrill Avenue. Daysha, a single mother, had only recently started working again. She points out that the financial burden of Louis’ injuries is overwhelming and that she should not be responsible.
According to Massachusetts General Law Chapter 140, Section 155, “Liability for Damage Caused by a Dog”, if a dog damages someone’s property – which includes injury to a person’s dog – “the owner or custodian of the animal will be liable for such damage.”
Daysha points out that she didn’t hear a word from the neighbor about the attack.
According to Daysha, Louis is beginning to recover from his injuries, after multiple procedures and numerous trips to various veterinary practices and clinics.
Daysha opened a GoFundMe account to help pay for medical bills. To date, the account has raised $160.
Follow Aaron Curtis on Twitter @aselahcurtis