Category: Denver, CO
Published on Saturday, 30 June 2012 01:46
Written by Fred M. Kray
Letter to Denver County Attorney
Describes Innocent Pit Bull Taken At Gunpoint
The following is the full text of a letter written to Denver County attorney Kelley, describing the brutal tactics of Denver Animal Control, including drawing guns and handcuffing the owner. Need to renew your enthusiasm as an advocate against BSL? Read on.
Dear Mr. Kelley,
I am writing to you in hopes that you will read this sincere and heartfelt message. I appreciate your time in advance. I have a story, and a few ideas that I would like to share with you. I encourage you to contact me at any time, and look forward to speaking with you.
In 2002, I was going through a painful divorce, and also a big move from Texas to Colorado. My job with the military required the transition, and rather than move to Aurora, where Buckley Air Base is stationed, I chose to move to Denver. I wanted to be near an exciting, dynamic city. I signed a lease, moved in to a great house in the Baker District, and everything seemed to be looking up. I had lived in Denver just 3 days and was walking my dogs along the waterfront on Jason St, when a white van jumped the curb and came screaming across the park at a high rate of speed. I was in the process of bagging dog poo, and began looking for a place to scramble to....I assumed that the van was in the midst of a police chase or something equally terrible. I was in the open, and there was nowhere to run!
The van screeched to a stop near me, and two officers jumped out. One officer looked young and "rookie-ish". He never said anything, just looked concerned. The other officer, who I believe was named Lopez or Martinez (he never identified himself), began screaming, "Are you going to comply?!" He did this several times. I tried to stay calm and repeatedly asked him what was wrong. He screamed at me, "Ignorance is no excuse, lady!". He then told me that if I didn't comply, he would have me thrown in jail and by the time I got out, all three of my dogs would be dead. He still had never identified himself, what he wanted, or what I was not complying with. He called the DPD, and 2 cars showed up almost instantly. I was thrown on the ground, and held at gunpoint while the DMAS officer ripped the leashes out of my hand. He then let my 18 year old beagle and my 3 legged beagle/dachshund mix go - they were terrified and ran in large arcs around us, through the park, into traffic.... He put Lumpy on a rabies pole, and dragged her, cowering, into a van. He then sped away. In the background, the very nice geriatric German woman I had been talking to earlier was yelling, "What is this, the F-ing Gestapo??! Leave her alone!". It was a fitting analysis of the situation.
I was placed into a police car, where I begged them to just explain to me what was happening, and to allow me to gather my two other dogs. Only then was I told that I was "harboring a dangerous animal". I still didn't understand....Lumpy is a certified therapy dog and an AKC Canine Good Citizen. She hadn't bitten anyone, she had never harmed a soul. Only later did I find out that by "dangerous animal", they were referring to entire breeds of dog, or anything that even looked remotely like any of these breeds. When I went to court, the judge asked me where "the animal" was at this time. When I told him that she was in Oregon, he stated, "I'm only sorry that my jurisdiction doesn't extend to Oregon. I would have her put down there.". That is justice? That is fair and equitable? What was my crime? The whole time all I could think is....I have served my country, given everything I have to the US. I volunteer. I donate. I protect. Who is protecting me? Who is protecting my rights and interests?
I am under the assumption that you are a reasonable man. That you have typical human emotions. That you love animals, or you would not dedicate your life to them. That you know the acts of your department that day were wrong and unconscionable. I was treated like the worst of criminals, but had perpetuated no crime other than owning a well-trained, well-behaved, spayed, microchipped, vaccinated and otherwise lovely dog. This same dog who was fought, abused, betrayed by humanity....and who learned to love and forgive us all for our inhumane treatment of her.
I would love for you to meet my beautiful brindle girl. She is truly generous of spirit, and an ambassador for her breed. We should all be so lucky to have one love in our life like Lumpy. She lives and breathes for me, and I work hard to never betray her deep trust.
I understand that you have a job to do, and that you must uphold the laws as they are written. I am not here to crucify you, and I do not hold you to blame. I am pleading with you to help us enact better laws. To protect more people....but in a reasonable and sane way. To help us protect the innocent, man and dog alike.
Please do the research...there are laws that are more effective, and that hold the owners responsible for their dog's behavior. Let’s band together to stop this at the source. We must stop slapping the humans on the hand and killing the dogs - they did not choose their fate. Lets use our valuable time, funds, and resources to enforce the spay/neuter and animal licensing ordinances. As you know, spaying and neutering will reduce aggression in all animals. Reducing the numbers of unwanted litters and backyard breeders will reduce the work load on all animal organizations. How is it that there are literally pages and pages of puppies for sale in the local papers? I sincerely doubt that even 25% of the parents of those litters are licensed. From a stricly business perspective, there is a lot of missed revenue there - but a huge added burden on our already overworked animal care divisions. What about temperament testing? Responsible owners will gladly submit a small to moderate fee for temperament testing of their dogs for suitability. This is also a source of revenue which could be used to offset reduced cost spay/neuter clinics. There are creative solutions to be implemented...
We are not enemies, and we have good ideas to be shared. Please schedule a peaceful meeting or forum for the various rescue groups to share their ideas with your organizations. Together, we can find a solution to this issue that will not include genocide.
Thank you for your time, Sir.