Fabulous news: Dutch, the family pet service dog who faced execution on the grounds that he had bit and attacked a woman after she beat him with her hands and a metal pole has been saved from euthanasia.
A huge thank you to Care2 members who signed the petition to save Dutch!
Last Friday, a jury of three women acquitted Jeremiah Aguilar, a disabled Army veteran who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, on the charge of owning a vicious dog. Back in February, Dutch had been sentenced to death and Aguilar had faced a $500 fine and a two-day jail sentence.
The former owner admits that she beat Dutch, but claims that she was only trying to separate him from her family’s pit bull. She says Dutch attacked her dog and that she used violence against Dutch to try to end the dogfight.
The City of Montrose decided that, based on “physical evidence, and testimony of the victim and other witnesses,” it would prosecute the case. The court ordered the Aguilars to hand over Dutch to animal control before Aguilar was to be sentenced in February.
The Aguilars had Dutch registered as a service dog after the incident. Dutch passed the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test. As Laura relates in detail, evaluators all gave Dutch high marks and commented that he was “anything but aggressive,” a “sweet dog” and “one of the nicest dogs” that (according to one evaluator) she had “ever come across.”
A veterinarian who treated Dutch after he was beaten also commented on his temperament, noting that, despite the pain he must have been suffering, he “was extremely well-mannered and sweet in exam room. He did not require restraint during his exam, even when his abdomen, testicles and swollen face were palpated.”
Despite all these positive testimonies about Dutch, he was still sentenced to death in February. Aguilar appealed and thankfully, the jury decided Dutch will not have to die because he was defending himself from a beating.
Again, many, many thanks for all Care2 members who helped to save Dutch!
Photo of Dutch with a friend via DogHeirs