For Thomas Gardner and his wife, their pack of 19 guard dogs is crucial to protect flocks of sheep and chickens, and also keep intruders off their State Road farm, surrounded by a substantial wooden picket fence about five-and-a half feet high.

The Berkshire Eagle reports however that two recent incidents involving attacks on people by the dogs have sparked an outcry from a group of nearby residents, who have filed complaints with the town.

A formal public hearing is set for 7:00 P.M. tomorrow at the Richmond Town Hall. Gardner pointed out that his dogs are trained to guard his farm animals and property, and there have been only two incidents in 25 years.