The internet has been abuzz with stories about Dutch, the four-year-old American Allaunt who has been declared vicious by the City of Montrose, Colorado after he attacked a woman in November.
Dutch’s current owner, disabled Army veteran Jeremy Aguilar, is fighting to keep his service dog alive. He is due to be sentenced to euthanasia on Valentine’s Day.
On November 14th, Jeremy was taking a friend to the airport and left Dutch with his previous owner. According to the woman and City of Montrose statement, while out in the yard, Dutch attacked a pit bull. To break up the fight, she began hitting, punching and kicking Dutch. When that failed to stop him, she used the metal pole of a tiki torch to beat him. She finally managed to pull him off by his collar, and drag him into the house. She proceeded to clean the blood from his face, and he bit her thigh. She tried to get away from him but tripped and fell. Dutch then bit her in a buttock, “down to the bone.” When she tried to free herself from his grasp, he bit her hand, which severed an artery and caused a compound fracture in her middle finger. She sought refuge in her bedroom, and Dutch tried to break down the door, and broke several pieces of furniture. Rather than call authorities or seek medical attention, she called her fiancé. Her fiancé and another man arrived to find Dutch sitting quietly on the floor. The pit bull entered the house, and Dutch attacked him again. The second man beat Dutch repeatedly with the wood from a broken picture frame. The woman eventually sought medical help, which cost about $24,000.
But this entire story leads to a lot of questioning of the victim’s actions. Before allowing dogs to romp around freely, they should both have been held on leashes while sniffing one another out. Generally if dogs are going to become vicious, it is apparent within a matter of minutes. The fur stands up, the tail is standing straight up, flickering, and teeth are bared and there is growling and snapping. Of course, some dogs do not immediately display these postures, and there is always the possibility that a dog will become aggressive for an unknown reason.
However, looking at the woman’s actions after the fight began, would a reasonable person believe that beating an animal would cause it to become more or less aggressive? If Dutch had just attacked another dog, would a reasonable person’s first priority be making sure the other dog was ok, and putting it in a safe and secured room, or to begin cleaning blood from the aggressor’s face? After she just beat him, would he not be fearful that she might beat him again, and attack when she touched him? She claimed that she did not want to call police or an ambulance for fear that responders would be attacked, but she was fine with subjecting her fiancé to the malicious dog? If Dutch was sitting on the floor quietly when the man entered, and he knew that Dutch had just attacked the pit bull, why on earth would he bring the dog in to be attacked again? And if the woman was bitten in the buttock, what bone did Dutch bite down to? There is the coccyx, or tailbone, but no actual bones in the butt cheeks. Her report does not add up, and she faces no charges for animal cruelty.
Dutch is a registered service dog, though his training did not being until after his attack on the woman. He spent three days with dog trainer Carrie Williams, who calls him a sweetheart.
“I truly believe this dog would not bite anyone unless he was provoked and felt like he was defending his life,” Carrie said. “Dutch was a joy to work with and a wonderful service dog with a great temperament.”
Jeremy is desperate to save Dutch. Their Facebook can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Dutch/431867163549311?fref=ts
The petition site to save Dutch can be reached at: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/590/736/158/save-dutch-the-service-dog/
When dogs are fighting, they are in survival mode. Anyone who tries to stop them from what they feel is fighting for their lives, is at risk of being attacked. Even a loving owner who has had them for years can become a potential attacker in their minds. The best way to break up two dogs fighting is to let the fight continue while you go get a leash, and another strong person if possible. Loop the leash under the loin of one of the dogs (the aggressor, if possible) and thread the clip end through the leash handle. Carefully and slowly pull the dog back and clip the leash to something sturdy. If the other dog is still attacking, do the same to him, or slowly and gently, but firmly, pull him away by his hips. Turn and circle to break eye contact. Get this dog into a pen or a secure area. Keep the dogs separated until they have calmed down. Only allow them together again when they are each held on a leash by a person until you feel sure that they will not fight. Always pay attention to their body language – dogs rarely attack without making it known that they feel threatened.