ELLSWORTH — A Bar Harbor woman is to pay a $500 fine after admitting in court last week to one of the six counts she faced for allowing her dog to run unsupervised.
Margaret Jeffrey admitted Nov. 8 in a Hancock County court to one count of allowing a dog to be at large, a plea deal that avoided a trial on the matter from taking place that same day.
According to Lt. David Kerns of the Bar Harbor Police Department, four officers and several witnesses were in the courtroom and ready to testify about ongoing complaints about Jeffrey’s dog that date back to February 2014. Kerns said that the prosecution’s decision to call so many witnesses to testify at a trial for a civil infraction is “an anomaly” and reflects longstanding issues the district attorney’s office sought to resolve.
“The state was trying to prove their case,” Kerns said.
Jeffrey’s admission made that unnecessary.
Although Jeffrey was summonsed six times in the past three years for allowing the dog to run loose, Kerns said there have been many more complaints about the animal. Some residents reported the dog behaved in a threatening manner toward them, he said. Still, police did not find that a charge of keeping a dangerous dog was warranted, he added.
Along with the $500 fine, the court ordered Jeffrey to keep her dog on a leash whenever the canine is off her property.