MONTROSE, Colo. — A dog that was scheduled court-ordered euthanasia after attacking its former owner is now missing after a Montrose man refused to turn the animal over to authorities.
This week, Jeremiah Aguilar, the owner of a 107-pound American Allaunt named Dutch, ignored Municipal Judge Richard Brown’s order to hand over the dog to Montrose Animal Control. As of Friday, Animal Control authorities said the dog had gone missing.
Brown issued the order after expressing his disappointment not only in the attack, but in an Internet smear campaign that followed. He says the several online reports inaccurately depicted the attack, blaming the victim for provoking the dog without any substantiated evidence.
The whole ordeal leading to Brown’s euthanasia order began on Nov. 14, when Dutch’s former owner, whose name has not been released due to safety precautions, was watching Dutch while Aguilar was out.
According to court documents, Dutch, who the victim had raised and owned for two years, 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 said she 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 that led to nearly $30,000 in medical bills, according to court documents.
Aguilar argued the victim provoked the attack by striking Dutch with a metal pole, but the court ruled there was no evidence to prove those claims.
Brown did not blame Aguilar for starting the Internet smear campaign against the victim, but he did say 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 Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, Aguilar is planning to appeal the decision to euthanize Dutch, as well as his $500 fine and two-day jail sentence.