Gabriella, the English mastiff sentenced to death by Hingham selectmen for biting two women, has been spared by a clerk magistrate in Hingham District Court, who ordered the dog sent to a shelter in New York instead. But her owner, Megan Ullman of Hingham, faces criminal charges stemming from the biting incidents.
The owner of an English mastiff that bit two women has saved her dog from a death sentence but now faces criminal charges herself.
Hingham police have charged Megan Ullman in connection with the bitings, one each in June 2008 and in June 2009. She is charged with disorderly conduct, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury (the dog) and reckless assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (the dog).
According to documents on file at Hingham District Court, police warned Ullman and her husband, Robert, numerous times about having their two dogs loose in the Hingham Square gallery they run.
One of the dogs, Gabriella, bit two women – including Stacey Wakefield, the wife of Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield, and Krista Brewer of Braintree – when they walked into the gallery.
Hingham police first warned Megan Ullman in July 2008 that she could face a criminal complaint for disorderly conduct if the dogs were seen at the store again. Since that time, there have been five recorded incidents of the mastiffs being in the gallery during business hours, according to court documents.
Ullman is due in court Nov. 30.
Meanwhile, her dog Gabriella has been spared by a clerk magistrate in Hingham District Court. Hingham selectmen voted unanimously last month to have the 8-year-old dog put down. The Ullmans appealed that decision to Hingham District Court and a magistrate ordered Thursday that the dog be sent to a shelter in New York instead.
“(The dog) is going to be transported to a shelter, a farm in New York, and she will live out her natural life there,” Hingham Police Lt. Michael Peraino said after the magistrate’s ruling. “Hingham Animal Control Officer Leslie Badger did an incredible amount of work to find a safe place for Gabriella and was able to find this shelter so that she can live a good life out there.”
Peraino added: “I think everybody is happy that Gabriella will not be put down. She is going to be transported to an animal shelter specializing in animals who have been involved in similar incidents and people won’t have to worry about her biting anyone again.”
The Ullmans have 10 days to decide if they will appeal the magistrate’s decision. Last week, they asked the court to consider sending the dog to a breeder in Uxbridge, who has offered to take the dog.
Selectmen last month also banned the Ullmans’ other English mastiff, Spartacus, from Hingham Square.
The Patriot Ledger