The fate of Dutch, the 107-pound American Allaunt canine accused of biting a Montrose woman multiple times last year, went viral in 2013, fueled by efforts from the dog’s owner, Jeremiah Aguilar, to keep his service dog alive.
In February, Montrose Municipal Court Judge Richard Brown, pronouncing himself "not willing to take the risk" of letting Dutch “live to bite again,” upheld a court order to euthanize the dog.
The Nov. 14, 2012 attack was reported to Montrose Animal Control officers by Montrose Memorial Hospital staffers who treated the victim’s "deep bite wounds" to her buttock, thigh and hand,” bites that severed an artery and caused a compound fracture to her middle finger.
The victim, who had been caring for Dutch while Aguilar was out of town, told the court at a Jan. 17 hearing that she responded to a fight between Dutch and a pit bull in her backyard, using a "lightweight tiki torch pole" to strike Dutch in an attempt to break up the fight.
Hours after Brown’s ruling, the Save Dutch Facebook page, with over 25,000 likes, was taken down. In its place sprang up three new Facebook pages with calls for intervention, including a call for Gov. John Hickenlooper to pardon Dutch (the governor’s office declined, responding that "these types of issues are generally best handled at the local level").
"The justice system has failed. If you have any love in your heart, please sign this appeal petition," one Twitter post read. "Disabled vet trying to save his service dog from death penalty for biting woman who beat him," read another.
In April, an arrest warrant was issued for Aguilar upon his failure to appear at a county court hearing. Aguilar said he had been advised by his attorney that he didn't need to make the trip from his home in Oklahoma. Aguilar turned himself in on Memorial Day, however, after the court said he could not seek appellate relief as a fugitive.
Aguilar's wife, Heather, then brought Dutch from Oklahoma to Montrose to be turned in. The dog won a reprieve in September, however, on appeal, after a three-woman jury took less than an hour to find Aguilar not guilty of owning a vicious animal. Dutch was released to his owner by Montrose Animal Control.