Complaint filed against Rindge ACO who shot, killed dog

  • Larry Harris Courtesy photo

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, July 05, 2018 10:21AM

An official complaint has been filed against Rindge’s animal control officer, which will launch a formal investigation into him shooting a missing dog on June 12. 

Rindge Police Chief Daniel Anair said Wednesday afternoon that a complaint had been filed earlier in the day against Animal Control Officer Larry Harris, who shot and killed a dog that had been missing for almost seven weeks. 

Anair said he has 30 days to investigate the complaint, but he doesn’t anticipate it taking that long.

“It’s not too lengthy, I have to get a statement from Larry and talk to any witnesses,” Anair said. “I have to see if any of our policies were violated.”

Anair doesn’t envision any of the town’s policies being violated, as the town does not currently have any pertaining to animal control.

In a prior interview, Anair said he was interested in developing a comprehensive policy for the town, but said a draft wouldn’t likely be ready until the first of the year. 

There will be a finding in the investigation, Anair said, but he is currently unsure how much of it will be able to be released publicly, as the investigation becomes a personnel matter because it will be linked to Harris’ personnel file with the town. 

“I will need to meet with the select board because at that point, it’s a personnel matter,” Anair said. 

Harris, 81, has worked for the town for over 50 years. Harris previously served as a constable for the police department and has worked the past five to seven years as the animal control officer. 

The dog, a 1.5-year-old German Shepherd named Max, had been missing from the Winchendon, Mass., area since April 26, according to a flyer on the Missing Dogs Massachusetts Facebook page.

Debra Jones Bachrach, a volunteer with Missing Dogs Massachusetts, said in a June 22 letter to the select board that Max “slipped his collar” during a rehoming attempt. His previous owners – who lived in the North Quabbin area and were in their late 70s – determined Max had been too much to handle, according to Bachrach's letter. 

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.