Vietnam Veteran's Dog Deemed 'Dangerous' by Court Could Be Euthanized

Vietnam vet George Boynton, 61, hopes his dog, Myriah, will be returned to him.

ByABC News
March 17, 2015, 1:04 PM

— -- The life of a disabled Vietnam veteran's Malamute-mix dog, who was "deemed dangerous" in court, is in the hands of a district judge in West Bath, Maine.

The judge is scheduled to decide 2 p.m. Wednesday whether the 3-year-old dog named Myriah should be euthanized, returned to her owner on a confinement order or transferred to another facility from the Humane Society location where she has been held since November.

Myriah was in court Monday with her owner George Boynton.

Boynton, 61, answered to civil charges filed against him after complaints by his neighbor who said Myriah “aggressively attacked” his small 13-year-old Beagle-mix Lila in three separate incidents last fall, assistant district attorney Jonathan Liberman told ABC News today, declining to release the name of Boynton's neighbor.

Myriah, who wasn't on a leash and not heeding the commands made by Boynton's brother, who was walking her, bit Lila, who was on a leash, in two of the incidents, Liberman said, though Boynton's lawyer, Randy Robinson, told ABC News Boynton believes Myriah was just playing with Lila.

Boynton did not immediately answer ABC News' calls or voicemails requesting additional comment.

A veterinarian said the Beagle-mix did not have serious injuries, but it had raised skin, apparent bruising and was tender on neck and shoulder, Liberman said.

Boynton was charged with allowing a dog to be at large, failure to properly license a dog, keeping a dangerous dog and failure to properly license a wolf hybrid, Liberman and Robinson said. Both lawyers confirmed the judge found Boynton committed all the civil charges except failure to properly license a wolf hybrid.

A judge will decide if Myriah, owned by disabled veteran George Boynton of West Bath, will be euthanized or returned to her owner.

Myriah was registered as a Malamute mix by the city of West Bath shortly after the trial, Robinson added.

The animal control officer who responded to the complaint made by Boynton's neighbor told ABC News today Myriah was a "sweetheart" during his interactions with her, and she seemed fine with people and other large dogs in the courtroom Monday. But he said he couldn't testify to what Myriah's behavior was like with smaller dogs.

Myriah's future will be decided Wednesday, Liberman and Robinson said.

"Euthanasia is on the table, but we are doing what we can to explore other options to keep the animal alive and still ensure the safety of the neighbors and dogs in the surrounding area," Liberman said.

Robinson said Boynton wants to get his dog back and will be willing to accept imposed conditions such as muzzling Myriah in public.

"She is my emotional support animal," Boynton told ABC News affiliate WMTW. "She's who puts the sunshine in my days. She's my little everything. She's my stability."

A judge will decide if Myriah, owned by disabled veteran George Boynton of West Bath, will be euthanized or returned to her owner.

Myriah has been staying at the Coastal Humane Society in Brunswick since she was seized after Boynston's neighbor complained about her in November.

The dog has been doing very well, Coastal Humane Society executive director Joe Montisano told ABC News today.