AURORA, Colo. -- In an outside-the-box legal move, a local law firm is suing to try to keep a dog from being put down in Aurora.
The Animal Law Center has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the City of Aurora regarding the case of Bandit the pit bull, who bit a mail carrier in January and is still being held in the city's shelter pending legal appeals.
According to the city, Bandit falls under its aggressive dog breed ban, so he can't be given back to his family. The dog's owners are worried that with few other options, the city will euthanize their dog.
"This is a death penalty case," Jennifer Reba Edwards of the Animal Law Center said.
She's arguing that the family, who speaks limited English, was not provided a translator and did not fully understand the guilty plea that they took in the case.
The ALC wants Bandit to be trained and boarded, then given back to the family when they move to a new home outside Aurora's breed ban jurisdiction.
Aurora posted a message about Bandit in its Facebook page back in January. In part, it said, "The city is concerned about the aggressive nature of this dog and concerned for the overall safety of the community, so the decision was made to keep Bandit in the care of the Aurora Animal Shelter."
Aurora would not comment further because it is a pending legal case.
Edwards and her law firm say if Aurora agrees to an alternative with Bandit that includes giving him back to the family or even sending him to Florida to be re-trained (at the family's expense), that they would consider dropping the lawsuit.