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Dangerousness Hearing

Dangerousness Hearing Scheduled for Marblehead Dog

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported that both Nala and Boozer were under consideration during the hearing. Several instances of violence have allegedly been attributed to both dogs, but Nala alone was the subject of the hearing. 


Tomorrow, February 15, 2023, Marblehead’s Town Administrator, Thatcher Kezer III, is slated to preside over a hearing regarding a dog allegedly involved in a series of violent attacks on Marblehead residents and dogs. The hearing will take place at Abbot Hall and is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.


Marblehead’s Animal Control Department is a division of the Marblehead Police Department and is composed of four members, three of whom are Assistant Animal Control Officers. The department is headed by Betsy Cruger, who will likely be in attendance at tomorrow’s hearing, which was approved by a vote during the Select Board meeting of January 18, 2023. Marblehead Beacon reached out to both the offices of Kezer and Cruger for confirmation of the meeting's time but has not yet heard back as of time of publication.   


The subject of the hearing is a dog currently living at 45 Pickwick Road named Nala. Nala is a bulldog mix registered to Gina Rushton. The first purported instance of violence attributed to Nala and Boozer, the latter of whom is also registered to Rushton, was several years ago when a Marblehead resident was allegedly bitten, piercing his skin. 


During fall of last year, contractors working at a nearby home were allegedly growled at while exiting their vehicle. They responded by reentering the car and calling the police. 


Several months later, in December 2022, it was claimed that the two dogs were running down the street without a leash, and attacked a dog on the corner of Pickwick and Brook Streets. The dog’s owner was reportedly bitten on the hand while attempting to defend his dog, who received significant wounds to the neck and face. The owner received emergency-room care, while the dog was transported to a veterinary clinic for emergency care. 


The next month, Boozer and Nala were allegedly being walked on leash by a dog walker but escaped and attacked another dog being walked along the path behind the Jewish Community Center. This incident occurred ten days prior to the Select Board’s decision to hold a Dangerousness Hearing. 


Tomorrow’s hearing will determine the course of the dog's futures and is open to the public.