Aurora dog euthanized after judge reverses decision

AURORA, Colo. — A dog that was ordered euthanized after a judge reversed his decision was put down Wednesday at the Aurora Animal Shelter.

“Blu” was a 3-year-old American bulldog/American Staffordshire Terrier/Boxer mix. The dog had been held at the Aurora Animal Shelter since Dec. 13.

On Jan. 4, a judge ordered the dog be released to his owner, Tracey Prim. As part of the judge’s order, Prim was to put a muzzle on her dog when she arrived to pick him up.

However, the muzzle slipped off after Prim’s first try and she was not able to successfully put the muzzle back on the dog within five minutes before an animal protection officer ordered her to stop trying.

Aurora Animal Services then filed an appeal asking Judge FitzGerald to reconsider his “Order of Release” because animal protection officers considered the dog vicious, testifying it would snap at its handler when Prim or her brother attempted to muzzle the dog.

FOX31 and Channel 2 spoke with Prim after the appeal was filed but before Blu was euthanized.

“What do they expect? Just because in five minutes we can’t put the muzzle on, we don’t know how to tame or control our dog? That’s ridiculous,” said Prim, who insisted her dog wasn’t growling but was feeling anxious after being in the shelter for three weeks.

Prim told FOX31 she was not allowed to visit Blu the entire time and felt Aurora Animal Services basically dog-napped him on Dec. 13, when she took the shelter up on its offer to neuter him for free.

“I don’t even know how to explain my words of rage and upset, and being hurt. Those people at the animal shelter… those are vicious people. They lie. They’re backstabbing. They’re conniving,” said Prim.

Prim’s legal troubles began Nov. 2, when a neighbor’s dog broke through Prim’s fence and entered her backyard.

Blu and the other dog began fighting.  When the adult female next-door neighbor tried to grab her dog back, she was bitten on the hand by Blu.

Blu was placed in quarantine at the Aurora Animal Shelter but given back to Prim on Nov. 19 when DNA test results proved Blu is not a pit bull and therefore not banned in the city of Aurora.

DNA test results obtained by the Problem Solvers show Blu is 37.5 percent American Bulldog, 37.5 percent American Staffordshire Terrier and 25 percent Boxer.

In Aurora, any dog that tests at least 50 percent pit bull is banned.

“He was protecting his domain. He was protecting his property in the backyard. And now, all this because they thought he was a pit bull,” said Prim, who said Blu was never aggressive with her young son.

Prim said her mistake was believing Aurora Animals Services had good intentions when it offered her free neutering if she brought her dog back.

But Animal Protection Officers told Judge FitzGerald the dog was aggressive when he was brought in to be neutered and especially when his owner tried to place a muzzle on him Jan. 4.

As a result, Judge FitzGerald changed his mind at the appeal hearing on Jan. 7 and ordered Blu to be permanently surrendered to Aurora Animal Services. The dog was euthanized three days later.

Prim is due back in court Feb. 15 on the charge of possessing an aggressive or dangerous animal.

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