Special prosecutor picked to take over in dog-mauling case
Dutch the dog and his owner, who have so far stayed well beyond the reach of the law in Montrose, will face a veteran prosecutor as they appeal an order that the dog be surrendered for euthanasia.
A Montrose municipal judge in February ordered Jeremiah Aguilar, a U.S. Army veteran, to turn Dutch over for impoundment and to serve a two-day jail sentence for his conduct in connection with Dutch’s attack on his former owner.
Montrose hired former 7th Judicial District Attorney and federal prosecutor Wyatt Angelo as a special prosecutor for Dutch’s case while a new city attorney settles into the job.
Aguilar has filed an appeal of Judge Richard Brown’s ruling, in which Brown ordered officials to keep the animal alive pending the result of the promised appeal. Aguilar also faces an April hearing to explain to Brown why he failed to surrender the dog in response to the original order.
An online campaign, meanwhile, on Monday had raised more than $4,000 toward the goal of a $10,000 defense fund for Dutch.
More than 150 people, including one anonymous individual who pledged $200, have promised to contribute to Dutch’s defense on Fundrazr.com, a site to which viewers are referred from the Facebook page “Save Dutch.”
On Fundrazr, page creator Kathi Norris wrote that Aguilar and his wife, Heather, spent their life savings on Dutch and have hired a law firm to protect the dog. Aguilar, who told the court he is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan and that Dutch soothes him when he suffers a post-traumatic stress disorder attack. Aguilar said he is on 100 percent disability from the Army as a result of PTSD.
Aguilar told the judge in February that he began training Dutch as a service dog in Oklahoma City after Dutch attacked a woman who tried to intercede in a fight between Dutch and a neighboring pit bull.
The woman, who had owned Dutch before Aguilar, testified she was mauled by Dutch after she dragged him into the house and was wiping his muzzle clean of blood from the fight.
She suffered multiple bite wounds on the back of her legs and thighs, including some that went to the bone, as well as a compound fracture of her finger.
The woman’s fiance, who is Aguilar’s brother, rescued her after she fled into a bedroom and locked Dutch out.
In sentencing Aguilar to jail, Brown noted he expressed no remorse for the woman’s injuries and didn’t rebuke the creators of web pages that took up Dutch’s cause, blaming the woman for the attack.
Aguilar said he had nothing to do with the Internet traffic in the case.
A reposting of a Facebook page “Save Dutch” on March 26 declared, “WE’RE BACK!!! This page was immediately removed after the judge ordered the Aguilar’s from making any internet postings about this case. We have removed the Aguilar’s admin privileges and re-launched the page!!?”