Dutch the service dog is saved!

Dutch the dog 2You may remember the news last February when the service dog Dutch that had been beaten by his former owner, was sentenced to be euthanized this month. Now there’s great news:  he’s been reprieved!

Last Friday, a jury of three women acquitted Jeremiah Aguilar, a disabled Army veteran who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, on the charge of owning a vicious dog.

In November of 2012, Dutch bit a Montrose woman,his former owner. Aguilar and his wife, Heather, had left Dutch with her when they went out of town.

The former owner admitted that she beat Dutch, but claims that she was only trying to separate him from her family’s pit bull. She says Dutch attacked her dog and that she used violence against Dutch to try to end the dogfight.

Dutch and his owner

Dutch and his owner veteran Jeremiah Aguilar

The City of Montrose decided that, based on “physical evidence, and testimony of the victim and other witnesses,” it would prosecute the case. The court ordered the Aguilars to hand over Dutch to animal control before Aguilar was to be sentenced in February.

The Aguilars had Dutch registered as a service dog after the incident. Dutch passed the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test.

Evaluators all gave Dutch high marks and commented that he was “anything but aggressive,” a “sweet dog” and “one of the nicest dogs” that (according to one evaluator) she had “ever come across.”

A veterinarian who treated Dutch after he was beaten also commented on his temperament, noting that, despite the pain he must have been suffering, he “was extremely well-mannered and sweet in exam room. He did not require restraint during his exam, even when his abdomen, testicles and swollen face were palpated.”

Fortunately for all concerned,

Dutch and his 3 year old pal RJ

Dutch and his 3 year old pal RJ

Aguilar appealed and thankfully, the jury decided Dutch will not have to die because he was defending himself from a beating.

On hearing the decision, Heather Aguilar immediately said, “We’re all headed to the animal shelter to pick him up!”  The Aguilars are now planning to take Dutch away from Montrose and move elsewhere.

Excellent news indeed!

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