MONTROSE, Colo. - NOTE: The story below was published in June 2013. The updated story can be found here: http://ch7ne.ws/17cedMp
After months of fighting, the owner of a service dog has turned the dog into authorities. The owner surrendered Dutch in a bid to save the dog's life.
Dutch was ruled a dangerous dog after he attacked his former owner in November. A judge in Montrose sentenced current owner Jeremiah Aguilar to two days in jail after Aguilar refused to give the dog to animal control officers.
Surrendering the dog cleared the way for Aguilar to appeal the order that Dutch be euthanized.
Aguilar is a U.S. Army veteran who served in Afghanistan. He said his symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are eased by caring for Dutch.
-- The Investigation --
Montrose Animal Control said Aguilar left Dutch in the care of a former owner while he went out of town in November 2012. Animal control officers said the woman was trying to break up a fight between Dutch and another dog when Dutch attacked her.
The City of Montrose investigation revealed that the woman heard a commotion in her backyard and discovered Dutch involved in a fight with a pit bull. The victim struck Dutch with her hands in an unsuccessful attempt to free the pit bull. She hit the dog once with a light-weight tiki torch pole, which immediately bent and was discarded. She eventually pulled Dutch away from the other dog, using the dog’s collar.
Dutch attacked the other dog again, biting its leg. The woman pulled Dutch away and into her home. When she began to clean blood from Dutch’s face, the dog bit the woman’s thigh, puncturing it to the bone. After prying his jaws off of her leg, she attempted to run to her bedroom, but tripped and fell. Dutch jumped on top of her and inflicted another deep bite wound to her buttock.
When she attempted to remove herself, Dutch bit her hand, severing an artery and causing a compound fracture to her middle finger, according to the City of Montrose investigation.
The victim’s medical expenses resulting from the attack totaled $28,027.
Aguilar argued the former owner had struck Dutch with a metal pole first, but the judge found no evidence of provocation on the part of the former owner.
The woman who was attacked had raised Dutch since he was a puppy and kept him two years before giving him to Aguilar.
Judge Richard Brown took a dim view of several erroneous reports posted on the Internet that were not backed up by facts, the Montrose Daily Press reported.
"What seems to have come across is that the victim savagely and mercilessly beat the dog for no reason at all," but there is no evidence to support that contention, Brown said.
Aguilar was sentenced to pay $1,000 in restitution to the woman, spend 20 days in prison, pay a $500 fine and surrender the animal to Animal Control.