MONTROSE, Colo. — Laying on the ground beneath a 107-pound American Allaunt that was ripping her flesh to the bone, a Montrose woman told a court that she feared for her life.
Following nearly $30,000 in medical work, that same woman found herself fearing for her life yet again. This time, the assailant was far less tangible, according to a municipal judge — an Internet smear campaign blaming her for the attack and issuing threats that she said nearly ruined her relationship with her fiance.
That same Montrose judge moved to put an end to both of the woman’s attackers on Thursday, ordering the dog to be euthanized and its owner to spend two days in jail after showing “an utter lack of remorse for the victim.”
According to the Grand Junction Sentinel, the ruling hardly put an end to the victim’s grief, considering she helped raise the dog, and that its current owner — the one ordered to jail — may soon become a member of her family.
The whole situation began on Nov. 14, when the victim, whose name has not been released due to safety precautions, was alone in the house with Dutch, the large American Allaunt. She was watching the dog while its owner, Jeremiah Aguilar, was away.
According to court documents, Dutch, who the victim had owned for two years and raised since he was a puppy, got into a fight with one of her dogs. When Dutch failed to heed her warnings, the victim struck him with a tiki torch, which broke after a single strike.
The victim then grabbed Dutch’s leash and restrained him. But shortly after taking him back into the house and beginning to wipe the blood of his nose, Dutch pounced on the victim, pinning her to the ground and biting he repeatedly for 10 to 15 minutes, according to her testimony.
After the victim escaped and locked herself in a room, Dutch repeatedly head-butted the door, trying to break it down. When he was unsuccessful, Dutch took his frustration out on the home’s furniture, destroying several items.
The victim was left with a compound fracture of her wrist and a severed artery, according to court documents.
Though Municipal Judge Richard Brown did not blame Aguilar for starting the Internet smear campaign against the victim, Brown said Dutch’s owner did little to quell a “lynch-mob mentality” that spawned against the victim.
Thousands shared the story on Facebook and over 270,000 signed an online petition called “Save Dutch the Service Dog.” Similarly, 22,591 people liked the Facebook page “Save Dutch,” which has since been taken down.
Brown did not agree with the Internet depictions of the victim, calling them “incomplete” and “misleading.”
For example, Internet reports suggested Dutch was a longtime service dog for Aguilar, a veteran who suffers from PTSD. However, court documents revealed that Dutch did not become a registered service dog until after the attack.
The complications surrounding the attack don’t end there.
The victim is engaged to be married to Aguilar’s brother Joe, and if the marriage goes forward, the victim would be an aunt to Aguilar’s child. Aguilar’s brother and the victim testified that the attacks waged against the victim over various websites were not only hurtful but frightening, with Joe often sleeping with a gun for protection.
According to the the Daily Sentinel, Aguilar will appeal the decision to euthanize Dutch, as well as his $500 fine and two-day jail sentence.AlertMe