Westford woman seeks dismissal of dog-poisoning case

AYER – AWestford woman accused of trying to poison her neighbor’s barking dog will ask a judge next month to dismiss her case after a veterinarian says small amounts of the drugs may be consistent with trying quiet, rather than kill, the dog.

In Ayer District Court on Dec. 14, the attorney for Daovone C. Nokham, 35, filed a motion to dismiss the charge of kill/maim/poison an animal in connection with the Nov. 27, 2015, incident involving her neighbor’s puppy.

Attorney Marcia Kovner states in court documents that based on a Shirley veterinarian’s analysis, the amounts of the pills Nokham allegedly gave to her neighbor’s dog were too small to poison the dog, so the case should be dismissed.

Ahearing is scheduled for Feb. 8.

In December of 2015, James White, of 173 Carlisle Road, in Westford, told The Sun that his family’s 7-month-old miniature schnauzer, named “Zoe,” was recovering after it was allegedly poisoned with prescription medication.

According to police, the White family and Nokham both live in the Westford Home for Veterans.

On Nov. 27, 2015, the Whites left Zoe home for several hours. When they returned, the puppy was acting strangely, like it was drunk.

The family noticed vomit with an unknown white substance and several pills on the floor, next to their door. The Whites told The Sun they believe Zoe spit up the pills shortly after eating them, so she avoided digesting most of the drugs.

The family took the puppy to the veterinarian, who indicated the puppy was unharmed.

After checking security cameras, there was a video of someone slipping something under the Whites’ door, police allege. Westford police were able to identify Nokham, the Whites’ neighbor, as the person in the video.

Nokham initially admitted to putting a piece of cheese under the door to quiet the dog’s incessant barking, police said. But then Nokham allegedly admitted to putting 600 mg of Ibuprofen and 30 mg of Paxil – a drug used to treat anxiety and depression – under the door.

Nokham told police she just wanted some quiet and did not intend to hurt the dog.

Defense attorney Marcia Kovner, Nokham’s attorney, hired Dr. William J. Norelli, of the Shirley Animal Clinic, to analyze the pills that were found near the dog.

The three pills were Trazadone, Paxil, and Benadryl. Trazadone and Paxil are for humans and dogs used to treat anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Benadryl is used to treat allergies, but can also be used as a sleep aid.

The lab report described 4.57 grams of Paxil and Benadryl, which is a small amount and more consistent with someone wanting to “quiet an animal rather than do serious harm to it,” Norelli wrote.

Nokham is free on personal recognizance pending resolution of her case.

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