Rolo, Dog At Center Of Biting Dispute, Dies
Rolo's Owner Fought For His Life, Picketing Outside Courthouse
Last Updated: 1006 days ago
Rolo, the Arvada German shepherd who became a dog célèbre when his owner waged a public battle to spare his life 2 ½ years ago, died Sunday from kidney failure.The dog made headlines in 2007 and 2008, spending six months confined in a kennel after a judge ordered him euthanized for biting a neighbor.Yet, owner Laura Hagan waged a successful public protest campaign against the city of Arvada, which attempted to have Rolo put down for being a vicious dog.Hagan picketed -- and even lived in a tent for a week -- outside the Jefferson County courthouse, fighting for her dog's life. Soon, friends and even strangers were joining her.An Arvada judge spared Rolo's life In February 2008, saying that the dog did not present a "clear and present danger" to the community.However, the judge did order Rolo to undergo an obedience training program and always wear a muzzle in public.Despite the muzzle, strangers would still approach Hagan and Rolo on the street and pet the big dog."Rolo changed so many people" and the campaign to save his life won converts, Hagan said."People would just come up to us. Everybody knows his story," Hagan said.People realized, she said, that "Rolo was a sweet dog. He was a great dog."In recent weeks, the nearly 8-year-old dog suddenly became weak and stopped eating."He was just having a hard time getting up," Hagan said. He was diagnosed with severe kidney failure, possibly triggered by an autoimmune disease.On Sunday afternoon, Hagan, several family members and her three other dogs said goodbye to Rolo at the Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital."We played with him and loved on him for a couple hours and then they euthanized him," Hagan said. "Then we had a bit of a wake at my house afterwards to celebrate his life."Hagan said she felt grateful for the time she had with the dog. "He had 2 ½ years at home, though, so at least I got that with them," she said. "He could have died 2 1/2 years ago."