By Beth David, Editor
Kelly Massey, the Fairhaven Animal Control Officer who has been bitten by dogs twice in the last year and was also involved in a violent altercation with a resident whose dog she was trying to take into quarantine is no longer on the job. Fairhaven Town Administrator Mark Rees confirmed that Ms. Massey is “currently not working in that capacity for the town.”
Saying it is a personnel issue, Mr. Rees would not elaborate; he would not say if she was working in any other capacity for the town, nor would he say if she was “suspended,” or if she was getting paid.
“I can’t answer that,” was his oft-repeated refrain when asked a series of questions.
Terry Cripps, who served as ACO from December 2013 to January 2015, has been appointed as temporary ACO. He is working 19 hours a week in addition to being available for emergencies.
At Town Meeting on 5/6, voters approved moving the ACO position from under the jurisdiction of town hall to becoming part of the police department, effective July 1.
The latest incident made public involving Ms. Massey resulted in a severe bite to the hand on 4/10. Mattapoisett police chief Mary Lyons told the Neighb News at the time that Ms. Massey was at the Mattapoisett Animal Hospital with a dog that needed shots.
The Neighb News has since learned through reliable sources that the incident actually involved a dog about to be neutered. Ms. Massey removed the dog’s muzzle before the dog was completely anesthetized and he bit her in the hand.
The altercation with the resident has not been made public until now. In that incident, Ms. Massey and her assistant were trying to take a dog from a residence on Sycamore Street in February, but did not wait for police backup to arrive.
That altercation resulted in Catherine Pires being charged with assault and battery on a public employee, two counts, and A&B with a dangerous weapon, to wit, a door. The case is pending in third district court.