Jan 16, 2013 6:51 PM by Zach Thaxton

Dog that mauled boarding kennel worker will be euthanized

A dog that mauled a Colorado Springs doggy daycare worker Wednesday morning will be euthanized for the protection of the community.  The mauling happened around 9:00 a.m. at Central Bark Dog Daycare on North Nevada Avenue at Austin Bluffs Parkway.  The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region and Central Bark's owner mutually confirm that a 9- to 10-month-old Pit Bull named King initially attacked another kenneled dog and when the female kennel worker intervened, King attacked her right leg so severely that bone was exposed and surgery will be required.  An attack that severe is officially classified as a mauling by animal control officers.

Central Bark's owner told News 5 via email that King was dropped off for boarding on Halloween by a woman who, at the time, said she was a student at Pikes Peak Community College.  King's owner told Central Bark's assitant manager at the time that she and her family were moving to Denver, which has banned Pit Bulls, so they needed a place for King to stay while they figured out what to do with him.  The owner paid the charge for a one-night stay, but never returned to retrieve King.

Central Bark's owner says that, realizing King's owners were not returning and that King was now abandoned, she paid out-of-pocket to have King neutered and was waiting for his hormones to settle, then had planned to socialize and train him to be a well-behaved candidate for a good home.  King was not necessarily aggressive, but was "a lot of dog" with no basic manners, Central Bark's owner explained, and was not allowed to play with other dogs in group sessions. Last week, however, King bit another dog's paw and grabbed an employee's foot so forcefully that the shoe was punctured.

Following Wednesday's mauling incident, Central Bark's owner surrendered King to an animal control officer with the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region.  King will be tested for rabies, although Central Bark's owner says his vaccinations were current and she will pay the cost for the rabies test.  King will be euthanized.  "If it is an aggressive animal and it is a confirmed bite or other aggressive behavior and the owner surrenders it, it is euthanized because it is not an adoption candidate," said HSPPR spokesperson Gretchen Pressley.  "We do not want to send a dangerous animal back out into the community."  Central Bark's owner has been charged with Unlawful Ownership of a Dangerous Animal, a misdemeanor.  That is the standard charge in an animal bite case.  The charge reflects only the incident that had just occurred and is not reflective nor an indictment of the animal's prior behavior.

In her email to News 5, Central Bark's owner said, "This incident is an indirect result of Denver's breed ban.  If King's owners could have taken him with them, I assume they would have."  Wednesday's incident reignited strong passions regarding Pit Bulls and whether they are an inherently dangerous and aggressive breed or whether they are the victims of disproportionate negative publicity in the media.  "It's easy to go, 'Oh my God, a Pit Bull has attacked someone,'" said Michelle Anderson, a Central Bark client.  "But people get bit by dogs a lot, I'm sure, and nobody goes crazy over it.  What if a Collie attacked somebody and mauled them?  Nobody would be up in arms."  More than 300 comments flooded the original post about the incident on the News 5 Facebook page in five hours Wednesday.


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