Appeal Could Lead to New Trial for Dutch
by William Woody
Mar 07, 2013 | 4777 views | 5 5 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
COURT HEARING - Veteran Jeremiah Aguilar, Dutch's owner, broke down in tears in court on Thursday. (Photo by William Woody)
COURT HEARING - Veteran Jeremiah Aguilar, Dutch's owner, broke down in tears in court on Thursday. (Photo by William Woody)
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Owner Ignores Court Order to Surrender Dog for Violation of Vicious Animals Ordinance

MONTROSE – The attorney for Jeremiah Aguilar, whose dog Dutch attacked a Montrose woman now facing more than $28,000 in medical bills, has appealed a court ruling that the dog must be euthanized. 

Amy Ondos mailed an appeal to the Montrose Municipal Court last week that is now in Montrose County Court.

The City of Montrose has the option of either handling the appeal in Municipal Court or transferring it to Montrose County Court for review by the District's Attorney's office, and the assigning of a court date. 

The victim in the Nov. 14, 2012 attack was treated for "deep bite wounds "to her buttock, thigh and hand," according to a press release from the city after the attack. The bites severed an artery and caused a compound fracture to her middle finger of her right hand.

At a Feb. 14 sentencing hearing, Aguilar contended Dutch’s attack was provoked by the victim, who had broken up a dogfight, and that the 107-pound American Allaunt had acted in self defense. At that same hearing, the victim, still wearing a medical brace on her hand, testified she remained traumatized by the attack, and was terrified by threats she has received since the story received widespread attention on the internet. Montrose Municipal Court Judge Richard Brown upheld an earlier verdict that Aguilar had violated the city's vicious animals ordinance, and ordered that Dutch be put down. 

The case has drawn national and international interest, with hundreds of signatures on petitions to save Dutch, who Aguilar, an Army veteran, contends is a service dog helping him cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

"He brings me back to reality," Aguilar told the court at the Feb. 14 hearing. "Give him [Dutch] a chance for rehabilitation."

Aguilar, who said Dutch had never shown aggression in the past, told the court he was hospitalized in the Grand Junction Veterans Affairs facility on Feb. 13 because he was overwhelmed with anxiety at the thought of his dog being put down. Losing Dutch "would be like losing a family member," he said.

But Judge Brown countered that Dutch "was never a service dog," describing the dog as "the aggressor" in the Nov. 14 attack, which transpired as the victim tried to clean Dutch’s wounds from the dogfight. Brown went on to chastise Aguilar for showing “a lack of remorse" for the victim. 

After the Feb. 14 ruling, Best Friends Sanctuary, of Orange County Calif., contacted the court, saying it would take Dutch, and offering Aguilar visitation rights, but requiring him to surrender the dog. Judge Brown praised the offer as a possible solution requiring “no exposure or risk to the public," but Aguilar did not respond, and the Best Friends offer expired on Feb. 19.

As of press time, Dutch has not been surrendered to animal control officers, and attempts to reach Aguilar have been unsuccessful. 

City of Montrose spokesperson David Spear said no decision has been made about where the case will be reviewed, but that a decision could come next week. In the past, Montrose city and county courts have worked together, thanks to an intergovernmental arrangement between the DA's office and city attorney's office, to better handle cases and appeals.

In addition to the appeal, a show cause hearing has been set for Thursday, April 11, at 2 p.m., in Municipal Court, where Aguilar stands in violation for not handing Dutch over to Montrose Animal Control officers after being ordered to do so on Feb. 14. 

An appeal in Montrose County Court would guarantee a new trial for Dutch.

Follow updates on Twitter and at watchnewspapers.com.

 

wwoody@watchnewspapers.com

Twitter.com/williamwoodyCO

Comments
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mona19595
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March 11, 2013
According to the information I have read regarding this incident Dutch was involved in a dog fight with this woman's dog. Where are picture's of the other dog and the vet information detailing his wounds? Also how can we know for sure her own dog didn't attack her? It would seem to me if my dog was invovled in a dog fight I would take care of him first by bringing him inside and checking him over for wounds. How can the court make the decision to euthanize Dutch without the disclosure of the other dog?
palmertree
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March 11, 2013
Since we can't 'like' comments here, I'll just reply my "like." :)
palmertree
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March 11, 2013
I just love how this girl keeps being called the "victim" when she is so obviously not. Have any of you seen the bloody metal pole she beat him with? Have you seen his Vet report? It's been released to the public. His injuries were severe and none were associated with a dog fight.

Has anyone seen Draakes medical reports? No. Has anyone seen the "other dog?" No. Vetting for this "other dog" that only came out as court was drawing near? No. Ask yourselves why that is.

Even if this all happened the way she said it did or if she just beat him because she held some grudge towards him (he did belong to her and she gave him away to Jeremy.. why?), what idiot does not take an injured dog to a Vet and decides to try and clean the wounds that she inflicted herself? Draake. She had already hurt him and was hurting him again by touching the wounds. She is lucky she only had a minor bit, which of course changed to "severe and to the bone" injuries later when she learned just how much trouble she would be in for animal abuse.

Most dogs I've seen injured in the hospital I worked, needed sedation before they could be touched or yes, they would bite. They are in pain and don't have a voice to tell you to stop. Biting is all they can do. Dutch didn't even need that, according to his Vet. He was docile and let them tend to his wounds without incident. This just goes to show that it was about the *person* who was touching him. He feared Draake and we'll never know why because Dutch can't speak and everything out of Draakes mouth has been a lie.

And wth is wrong with this so-called judge that he cannot comprehend all of this? Either he just hates dogs or there is something more about the relationship between him and Draake that we don't know. At any rate, he should be thrown off the bench.
mona19595
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March 11, 2013
I agree whole heartedly Palmtree! Awesome post!
1mjslove
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March 14, 2013
I totally agree with everything Palmertree stated as well. This dog, Dutch, has suffered enough thru Draake. Biting is just an animal's defense mechanism. That biotech needs to come clean now! I would never surrender my dog either. There are just some times you can't trust the system...