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A Rally to Save Simon took place from noon to 2 p.m. at Guilford Town Hall. Here, Cindy Vaporis leads a chant of “Simon.” (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
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Roughly 30 people gathered in front of Guilford Town Hall on Jan. 12 for a rally demanding the release of Simon, a mixed-breed dog currently held at the Guilford Animal Shelter and slated to be euthanized following an incident between the dog and a minor in August 2017.
This is the second rally held to lobby for the release of Simon as the case currently awaits a ruling before the Department of Agriculture (DOA). The dog’s owner, David Young, has come before the Board of Selectmen (BOS) numerous times, imploring it to reverse the decision made by the town under the previous administration. Simon bit a teenager who was trespassing on Young’s property. Young says that Simon was just protecting his property; the police report lists concerns from neighbors afraid of a dog who had previously attacked another dog and was kept in a yard that’s not completely fenced.
At the rally, Young argued that he still believes the town can take action on this issue.
“The town knows they made a mistake and they know this looks bad, so they are going to dig in their heels rather than just let this go,” he said. “…Simon has never gotten out. A couple of the neighbors who have an agenda to kill my dog say, ‘Oh, he gets out all the time.’ He’s never gotten out and he has never had any issues in seven years.”
The BOS has made it clear it believes it does not have the power to overturn a decision and the case will be handled the DOA, a position supported by the town attorney. Young claims he was threatened by the chief of police, that the young teen who was bit has political connections, and that the deck is stacked against him.
“Had that armed intruder had a gun, Simon would have been a hero,” he said. “In this case the intruder happened to be a kid with connections and a kid with an agenda to kill my dog…This is disgusting and the town is corrupt…There are some very big problems in this very white town.”
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