Dogs that attacked woman in Wareham deemed dangerous

By Matthew Bernat | Jun 19, 2018
Photo by: Matthew Bernat Selectmen have deemed two dogs that attacked a woman near the Papermill Cranberry Bogs last month as dangerous.

Two pit bull-mix dogs that injured a woman walking near the Papermill Cranberry Bogs last month will have several restrictions placed on them after being deemed dangerous.

The dogs, named Amelia and Jackson, caused “severe injury” to the victim’s left hand and behind her right knee while they were being walked off leash by Laura Geigel. The dog’s owner, Paul, who is Laura’s husband, appeared before Selectmen on Tuesday during a hearing that imposed the restrictions.

Geigel said the attack was uncharacteristic.

“It’s an awful incident and I take full responsibility,” he said. “They’re not vicious. For some reason, they went after this woman.”

According to a report from Animal Control Officer Cheryl Gorveatt-Dill, the two dogs chased and then bit the woman, who was taken to Tobey Hospital for rabies shots. At the time, the dogs’ owner was unknown.

Geigel said his wife then took the dogs home to put them inside and planned to speak with the victim, but didn’t return. Since then, the Geigles have sent a letter apologizing to the victim and spoken to her by phone. They are offering to pay her medical bills.

Geigel said he adopted the dogs three years ago from a Rhode Island family that was fostering them. A Wareham resident since 1989, he said Amelia and Jackson are the sixth and seventh dogs he’s owned.

During the hearing, Gorveatt-Dill said she had no reported instances of the dogs attacking anyone in the past. However, one neighbor testified that the dogs had acted aggressively toward him before. Another neighbor defended the Geigels and the dogs, saying the animals were always friendly.

Gorveatt-Dill was unequivocal in her determination.

“They need to be deemed dangerous,” she said. “This was an unprovoked attacked, which resulted in severe injury to a human being.”

Selectmen voted unanimously to name the dogs dangerous. The designation allowed them to place several restrictions on the dogs, including increasing the height of the fenced in area that the dogs are kept in and making sure the dogs do not leave the property without being leashed.

Geigel agreed to follow the restrictions.

“I do feel they will take the precaution restrictions very seriously,” said Gorveatt-Dill.

Paul Geigel, the owner of a dog that attacked and injured a woman, has agreed to place several restrictions on the animals. (Photo by: Matthew Bernat)
Comments (14)
Posted by: Theresa ONeill | Jun 20, 2018 06:40

Just having a leash? Can one person control both dogs?  Again pitbulls are bred to cause the most damage with their bite. This is why they are so dangerous. Not sure why they arent barred from being off the owner’s property especially since the owners have had other incidents with the dogs. They should at least be muzzled when in public.

Posted by: WWareham resident | Jun 20, 2018 08:00

Theresa, I agree they shouldn't be allowed off the owners property because of the past incident stated by the neighbor but I also think 1 person can control 2 dogs on leash and the owners, although negligent in this case, seem to be experienced dog owners as well


I live across the bog from them and everytime I walk my dog those 2 are going absolutely crazy and if they could they'd come after my Black Lab. My dog is also a rescue and had a difficult first 4 years of his life and because of that has a couple of issues. I make sure those are non issues when we go for walks everyday and always on leash.

I just find it ridiculous the amount of dog owners around here that don't leash their dogs. We had a neighbors friend who was visiting with his put bull take off at full sprint coming after my dog. Granted it was a young dog but the owner had no control over the dog and not even a collar  Then 5 or 6 older teenage men comeoutside and threaten me


Police were called and the maybe 22years old officer had the nerve to tell me they can have their dog off leash on their property..  Ok I understand that but when it charged me and my dog who was on close leash even though he could break away and run too but the difference is my dog listens to my commands. I yell for him to stop and guess what  he stops dead in his tracks.

responsibledog owners are key so if you have a dogthatactedaggressive atanytime, that dog should not be off leash outside EVER!

Posted by: Andrea Smith | Jun 20, 2018 09:43

Fenced in area should be securely covered no matter the height of the fence. I'm retired veterinary technician and I know of instances where dogs literally climbed from the ground over 7 foot chain link fences and 6 foot wooden stockade fencing.

Posted by: cranky pants | Jun 20, 2018 10:09

Just for reference, Labrador retrievers have a higher attack rate at 13.3% over pit bulls with 8.4% attack rate.

That's attacks, not just bites. There are two breeds of dog that are ahead of pit bulls for biting humans, Chihuahuas and Bulldogs.

Posted by: Andrea Smith | Jun 20, 2018 14:53

Cranky - Could you provide a link to dog attack and dog bite statistics that you referenced. Or if you find posting a link difficult, could you please post the title of the article where you found the information?






Posted by: OnsetTogether | Jun 20, 2018 18:24

Cranky it doesn’t mattter. These particular dogs have a proven record of attack and should be confined to the owner’s property.

Posted by: cranky pants | Jun 20, 2018 19:14

@Andrea I just use the Google now app. It's quick, easy, and sometimes reliable. All you have to do is say, " Ok Google... " then ask away.

Are you trying to disprove the theory by region or by information date ? I've said this before you can use the internet to argue both sides of a case.

Posted by: Andrea Smith | Jun 20, 2018 19:41

Cranky- From the internet a couple examples of the "other side" with links provided:



In the 13-year period of 2005 through 2017, canines killed 433 Americans. Pit bulls contributed to 66% (284) of these deaths. Combined, pit bulls and rottweilers contributed to 76% of the total recorded deaths


From: Live Science’s article, “Are Pit Bulls Really Dangerous”

But do pit bulls deserve their reputation as vicious "attack" dogs? An overwhelming amount of evidence suggests, in some instances, they do.

A five-year review of dog-bite injuries from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, published in 2009 in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, found that almost 51 percent of the attacks were from pit bulls, almost 9 percent were from Rottweilers and 6 percent were from mixes of those two breeds.

In other words, a whopping two-thirds of the hospital's dog-attack injuries involved just two breeds, pit bulls and Rottweilers.



Posted by: brazz | Jun 20, 2018 23:12

Can we have the owners put down? they seem pretty shitty to just leave the person their dog just injured. This is one lawsuit i'm all for!
  • "caused “severe injury” to the victim’s left hand and behind her right knee while they were being walked off leash"
  • his wife then took the dogs home to put them inside and planned to speak with the victim, but didn’t return.

Posted by: cranky pants | Jun 21, 2018 07:40

Nice finds there Andrea. Clearly in all your research you must have come across the common links that appear at the top of the search.


What breed of dogs attack humans most ? What breed of dog bites most ?

Dog Bite Statistics

The study concluded that dog attacks were most common with the following breeds:
  • Labrador retrievers: 13.3%
  • Pit Bulls: 8.4%
  • German Shepherds: 7.8%
  • Rottweilers: 3.9%
  • Chows: 3.5%

I didn't have time to get more links right now, but there are a few of the top examples found on Google.

Posted by: shop247 | Jun 21, 2018 09:20

Just a little history on dogsbite... it's a 1 woman crusade against Pit Bulls.  I think there was a story or a documentary on her where they either did or tried to disprove her "bite" story.  The bigger story on dogsbite is what does she do with the money she solicits? is a website run by Colleen Lynn. In June of 2007, Lynn was an unfortunate victim of a dog bite while she was out jogging. Because of the dog bite, by a dog that is said to be a 'pit bull', Lynn decided to create the website  According to the original "about us" section of the website, the intent of the website was three-fold:

-- Distinguish which breeds of dogs are dangerous to have in neighborhoods

-- Help enact laws to regulate the ownership of these breeds

-- Help enact laws that hold dog owners criminally liable if their dog attacks a person or causes serious injury or death

While I actually agree with her original third mission statement, the original purpose of the website is very clearin the first two statements -- she intended to target particular breeds of dogs and ban ownership of those breeds. The goal was not public education or anything that she claims it to be about now -- it was about enacting breed specific legislation...even though she has no credentials to propose legislation like that with any basis of expertise.

And make no mistake, all of the experts organizations disagree with her idea on breed-specific legislation.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jun 21, 2018 14:03

The statistics that you guys are sharing are great.  These two dogs may likely be terrier mix or pitbulls or whatever.  All that aside, these two particular dogs are dangerous.  It's that simple.  It doesn't matter what kind they are.  These two particular dogs should have been dealt with in a more severe manner. The dogs should have been at least taken away if not destroyed. The owners can't be trusted with them after how they handled that incident. How can we be reassured that they will abide by the restrictions?  They won't.  They have shown their character.  They won't abide.


Unprovoked, a pitbull looking dog bit a little girl last summer near me.  The dog got a mere 10-day quarantine and after was required to be muzzled while being walked on a leash.  The dog got loose during the quarantine, because the owner can't handle it!  For crying out loud!  Loose during the quarantine!  I've yet to ever see the dog muzzled.  The owner is lazy.  We don't feel safe.  We were disappointed by the leniency of that incident as well as this incident.



Posted by: Steve Holmes | Jun 22, 2018 08:34

I am confused (no comments needed) so the dogs were deemed dangerous, got that part. They attacked a person causing bodily injury, victim had hospital visit, and rabies shots. Punishment put up a fence (not a cage) to keep the dogs contained. And if they take them off their property the owners were reminded Wareham has a leash law??? No fines for violating existing law?? The ACO was fine with this ruling? Which was not even a slap on the wrist. I could be wrong and the story will be updated, or maybe there is another link.

Posted by: Theresa ONeill | Jun 22, 2018 12:38

A pit bulls bite is far worse than a yappy chihuaua

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