Larimer County animal control officer seriously injured in dog mauling

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LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. -- An animal control officer in northern Colorado had to undergo surgery after being seriously injured in a dog mauling Saturday.

The Larimer County Sheriff's Office said at about 12:30 p.m. Saturday, deputies responded to the 8200 block of East County Road 18 to assist Larimer County Animal Control. The address is in a rural area southeast of Loveland and just west of the Larimer-Weld County line. Animal control responded to the residence to follow-up with the homeowner on a previous incident, but was unable to contact them.

"As the Animal Control Officer was leaving, he was attacked by two dogs, sustaining serious injuries," the sheriff's office said in a statement released Sunday afternoon.

More deputies and animal control officers arrived and secured the animals. The injured officer was taken to a local hospital by an ambulance, where he underwent surgery. As of 3:45 p.m. Sunday, the officer was in stable condition.

"Larimer County Sheriff’s Investigators are leading the investigation and have determined that there is no further safety concern to the public," the sheriff's office said.

Owners Kenneth Smith and Ronee Rondestvedt said the dogs involved are Duke, a 4-year-old bulldog/boxer/pit bull mix and Max, an 18-month-old Labrador mix.

Smith and Rondestvedt said the initial incident the sheriff's office referred to was when an oil worker was "nipped" by at least one of the dogs. They said that incident and the one that injured the animal control officer both happened on the owners' property. Additionally, the owners said the dogs have all the necessary vaccinations.

The sheriff's office did not say whether the owners will face repercussions or if the animals were quarantined.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact investigator Pete Mesecher: 970-498-5144.

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