If your dog is accused of being dangerous, potentially dangerous, vicious, or aggressive (depending on your local city’s phrasing (Aurora, Colorado; Denver, Colorado; Commerce City, Colorado; Englewood, Colorado; Lakewood, Colorado; etc.), or whether you are charged with the Colorado’s dangerous dog statute), here are a few things to do and NOT do…
DO talk to an attorney; DO hire an experienced trainer or behaviorist to evaluate your dog. My office works with a handful of people to help you get honest, well-founded, and educated advice and training for your dog.
DO NOT think you can handle this yourself. Your dog’s life may be at stake! And DO watch out for city statues that allow the city to ask for forfeiture of your dog prior to the criminal case moving forward. These cities include: Boulder, Aurora, Lakewood, Castle Rock, and others.
DO NOT expect to just “pay a fine” and move on. Check my blog on the dangerous dog statutes for the potential penalties and consequences of owning a dangerous dog (if the state or city doesn’t try to take your dog from you, that is).
DO NOT think the prosecutor is there to help you or give you legal advice. They do not care about you or your dog. They just want to get a guilty plea and close the case.
DO NOT think you can just “plea this down”. Aggressive/Dangerous dog charges are very rarely ever pled down because it imposes liability on the city or state to let dogs accused of being dangerous “off the hook.” Serious cases almost always go to trial.
Be smart. Be safe. You can always “get another dog.” But your dog only has you. Protect him/her. Set him/her up for success. You are the human. You are the pack leader. Act like it and take the lead whenever you are outside with your dog.
Call our Colorado animal attorneys today at 303-623-4000 to get help in these difficult cases.