‘Vicious’ dog has virtual fan club
The owner of Dutch, judged a vicious dog for an attack in November, will find out today whether the American Allaunt lives or dies when he’s surrendered to animal control in Montrose.
Dutch has been with his owner, Jeremiah Aguilar, since Jan. 17, when Municipal Judge Richard Brown adjudicated Dutch a vicious dog. Aguilar faces as much as a year in jail and a $1,000 fine for violating city codes by harboring a vicious animal.
The woman who was bitten has undergone medical treatment costing about $24,000, Montrose Police Chief Tom Chinn said.
City officials were assured that Aguilar would appear and turn over the dog, Mike Duncan, animal services supervisor, said Wednesday.
Duncan, who called the injuries inflicted on a woman “the worst incident of an animal attack that I have seen in the dozens of vicious animal cases I’ve investigated,” said Wednesday that officials “probably misjudged” when they allowed Aguilar to keep Dutch pending the hearing today.
Officials interviewed Aguilar before deciding to allow him to keep Dutch, Duncan said.
Allaunts are described on a web page devoted to them as a “large muscular breed with extreme power, speed and agility.”
As judgment day has approached, Dutch’s fate has become a web sensation. More than 22,000 people have clicked “like” on the “Save Dutch” Facebook page, which features a photo of a toddler cuddled up against Dutch.
More than 259,000 people signed an Internet petition to save “Dutch the service dog” on the web.
Information on the web says Aguilar is a U.S. Army veteran and Dutch is his service dog.
He’s received more than 100 emails and “probably several hundred” have been received at city offices about Dutch, Duncan said.
Brown has a great deal of latitude in deciding Dutch’s fate, from ordering that he be rehabilitated, with testing to show the dog’s progress, to ordering that he be kept in an enclosure posted with warning signs and allowed to walk only when leashed and muzzled.
The final option is euthanasia.
The city attorney will lay out the city’s position today, Police Chief Tom Chinn said.
In the Nov. 14 incident, Dutch and another dog, a pit bull became “embroiled in a fight,” Chinn said.
The victim, who had previously owned Dutch, separated the dogs, striking Dutch with a light tiki torch pole, to no effect, before pulling him away from the pit bull by Dutch’s collar.
Inside the house, “She was trying to clean him up from the fight, wiping the dog down with a towel and the dog attacked her,” Chinn said.
Dutch clamped down on her thigh and the woman pried open his jaw, allowing her to flee, but when she tripped as she ran toward the bedroom, Dutch attacked again, “taking chunks” from her posterior, Chinn said.
The victim again freed herself, but in the process, Dutch bit her hand, severing an artery and causing a compound fracture to her middle finger.
She slammed the door and called her fiance.
In the several minutes until her fiance and another man arrived, Dutch tried to get inside and damaged several pieces of furniture in the house, a city statement said.
The fiance arrived with another man to find Dutch sitting quietly on the floor, but he attacked again when the pit bull from the original fight entered the house.
The second man struck hit Dutch repeatedly with a board to free the pit bull from Dutch while the fiance went to the woman’s aid.
Aguilar took Dutch to Oklahoma pending the sentencing hearing, Duncan said.
Attempts to reach Aguilar’s attorney for comment were unsuccessful Wednesday.