Meeting Minutes : Dog Hearing

Town of Pittsford

Select Board

Dog Hearing

February 25, 2015 


Thomas “Hank” Pelkey opened the hearing at 8:15 PM.


Select Board members present were: Thomas “Hank” Pelkey, Thomas Hooker, Dave Trombley, W. Joseph Gagnon, and Jane Cornell.  Also present were:  Betsy Morgan, Baird Morgan, Bonnie Capowski, Lynn LaFemina, Adrian  Ouellette, John Haverstock and Kelly Giard – Recording Secretary.


This hearing was recorded.


  1. Pelkey opened the hearing and explained the order of business for the hearing.

The rules for the hearing:  the Select Board will adjudicate the complaint; all comments must be directed to the Chair; a party must be recognized by the Chair before speaking; testimony is to be given under oath; every interested party will have an opportunity to question everyone who gives testimony; there are no other fixed rules of evidence-the Select Board may accept any evidence it believes will help it in its deliberations; the Select Board will deliberate in Executive Session; and the Board will issue Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and an Order regarding the dog (if any) within one week of the Hearing.


  1. Pelkey asked whoever in the audience is prepared to give testimony to raise their hands. T. Pelkey leads the swearing in by asking them to reply “I do” after the following statement: “ I do swear or affirm that the testimony I provide to the Select Board in this matter before it will be true and complete to the best of my knowledge”. All present to give testimony replied “I do”.  (Those sworn in were:  Baird Morgan, Betsy Morgan, Lynn LaFemina and Bonnie Capowski)


  1. Pelkey asked for the complainants to state their names and their case.


Chairman Pelkey stated that a new letter has been submitted since the last dog hearing involving the same parties.


Ms. Capowski stated that the ruling she received following the last hearing stated that Mr. and Mrs. Morgan were to not allow the dog to urinate on the mail box.  Ms. Capowski stated that, since her receipt of this ruling, she has seen the Morgans’ dog urinate on the mailbox, as well as on a sign that is on her front lawn.


Ms. LaFemina stated that she witnessed the dog urinate on the mailbox in January when Mrs. Morgan walked the dog.  Mr. Morgan keeps the dog close to him.


Mrs. Morgan stated that she respectfully denies the accusations, stating that Ms. Capowski has no proof.  Mrs. Morgan stated that she walks the dog in the middle of the road near Ms. Capowski’s property.  Mrs. Morgan stated that there are other dogs that are walked on Elm Street and feels that this may be being done by one of the other dogs.  Mrs. Morgan stated that she has no reason to aggravate Ms. Capowski and only walks that way when there are no other places to walk and that she keeps the dog on a “very short leash”.  Mrs. Morgan stated that the mailbox is not on the Capowski property.

Ms. LaFemina stated that “on Wednesday or Thursday before February 14”, she was in the yard and saw Mrs. Morgan walking the dog, which she allowed to urinate on the mailbox and that Ms. LaFemina “couldn’t believe what she saw”.  Ms. LaFemina stated that she looked in the area of the mailbox and saw urine on the mailbox and “big footprints”.


Mr. Morgan stated that, since the last hearing, he has witnessed another dog urinating on the mailbox.


Mrs. Morgan stated that she would like to have a discussion with Ms. Capowski to try to resolve the issue.  T. Pelkey agreed to moderate and D. Trombley agreed to attend the discussion.


The Select Board will issue a ruling only if efforts to mediate are unsuccessful.


The dog hearing was recessed to a time and date to be determined at 8:48 PM.


Respectfully submitted:



Kelly Giard

Recording Secretary


Thomas“Hank” Pelkey, Chair


Joseph Gagnon, Selectman



David Trombley, Selectman



Thomas Hooker, Selectman



Jane Cornell, Selectman