City of Denver and City of Aurora Agree to an Interim Order
The Animal Law Center announces that an agreement was reached March 11, 2010 with the City of Denver and the City of Aurora with regards to “pit-bull-type” service dogs in their jurisdictions.
People protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) who have service dogs that might be deemed to be pit bulls or another restricted type breed in Denver and Aurora are under the protection of a stipulation between The Animal Law Center and the City and County of Denver and the City of Aurora. This stipulation will be filed as part of a class action lawsuit in Federal Court seeking permanent relief from having a service dog impounded solely because of its breed. It is important to note that the City and County of Denver and the City of Aurora have already agreed to refrain from enforcing their breed-specific ordinances as it relates to service dogs.
The Animal Law Center is filing a lawsuit to permanently protect the rights of service dog owners pursuant to the ADA from suffering discrimination based solely on the breed of their service dog.
City of Lafayette and Walkers agree to deferred prosecution
The Animal Law Center announces that an agreement has been reached in the criminal case against the owner of Spork, the 10-year-old Dachshund in Lafayette. Tim and Kelly Walker have accepted a deferment of their prosecution in the criminal case. This means that if Spork does not inflict injury against any person for 6 months, the criminal case will be dropped entirely.
“This agreement is a win for Spork and the Walkers,” said Jennifer Edwards, founder and attorney at The Animal Law Center, based in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. “It spares the Walker family and the City of Lafayette any more expense or time. It’s a deferred prosecution, which is rarely - if ever - extended to defendants. In addition, it’s clear from Judge Roger Buchholz’s decision Tuesday, March 9, that the City’s hands are tied in this matter due to home rule. In his comments, he validated our position that Lafayette’s ordinance should be amended in order to prevent any other pet owner from facing a plight similar to the Walkers. Now the City of Lafayette has an opportunity to do just that.”
Lafayette Municipal Judge Roger Buchholz suggests that Lafayette City Council revise ordinance
Today, Judge Roger Buchholz denied a motion to dismiss the criminal case against Tim and Kelly Walker, owners of Spork, stating that the Lafayette vicious animal ordinance does not conflict with Colorado state law. However, Judge Buchholz did note in his opinion that the defendant did raise a "reasonable provision for a legislative body to consider" with regard to exempting animal health care workers from the ordinance. He went on to say that "the Lafayette city Council and other city councils may want to review and revise their ordinances."
A hearing before the Lafayette Municipal Court has been granted for Defendant Walker’s Motion to Dismiss at 1 p.m. (MST), Friday, March 5, 2010 at the Lafayette Municipal Court, 451 North 111th Street, Lafayette, Colorado 80026. Defendant Walker’s motion to dismiss charges seeks to declare the City of Lafayette’s ordinance on vicious dogs unconstitutional as applied under Colorado law due to the conflict with the state statute.