In Montrose, Colo. an Army Veteran who has disabilities is looking to the public for help to save his service dog from court-ordered euthanasia. The dog, named Dutch, was punched, kicked, and beat with a metal pole before biting his attacker in self defense and has now been labeled by the court as a vicious dog. To many it seems that Dutch’s attacker should be the one being labeled as vicious but the service dog is the one in trouble.
Dutch, a 4-year-old American Allaunt, is a registered service dog and a vital part of Jeremy Aguilar’s life. The service dog is has never shown any signs of aggressive behavior before or after this incident and is a certified AKC Canine Good Citizen. Service animals are specially trained and can not show aggression of any sort, but when a dog is fighting for his life it seems expected that he would react. Without service animals many people are not able to live a normal life. About a month after Jeremy married his wife Heather, three years ago, he got Dutch. Heather has said that Dutch has been “the most therapeutic thing that could have ever happened” to her husband.
On Nov. 14, 2012 Jeremy left Dutch with his former owner while the couple took a family member to the airport. Being able to leave your service dog with its prior owner seems like a safe place. However, according to Heather, Dutch’s previous owner admitted to the animal control officers and stated again in court that she had been beating Dutch before he bit her. Heather stated that woman said “I started punching him in the face and kept punching him until my hands hurt so bad I couldn’t hit him anymore,” after that she grabbed a metal pole and used the pole to beat Dutch. After beating him she drug him into the house by his collar and grabbed a hold of his mouth. You can only imagine what was going through the dogs mind when she did this after beating him. Likely feeling that he was in a life or death situation, Dutch bit her. The woman was bitten on her leg and buttock, and Dutch suffered injuries to his face and head.
The dogs former owner and abuser has pressed charges against Jeremy and Dutch by way of the City of Montrose animal control office. Photos of her injuries that were admitted to court showed that the woman’s wounds from Dutch’s bite did not cause any tears in her skin. Jeremy has been cited with municipal ordinance 6-2-9 (A), Vicious animals. According this ordinance, “A vicious animal is defined as any animal that, without provocation, bites or attacks persons or other animals.” Heather has said that although the judge did agree that Dutch certainly was provoked, the ordinance does apply to Dutch’s case. The judge ruled that Dutch’s bite was separate from the beating and there is now an active kill order for Dutch. The judge warned Jeremy that if he doesn’t surrender Dutch, the combat veteran will absolutely spend the whole year in jail.
How can you help? Share Dutch’s story, sign and share the Save Dutch Petition, donate to the Aguilar’s legal fund via Paypal (email@example.com) and visit the Save Dutch Facebook page.
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