By Ron Bain, Watchdog Editor
MONTROSE – A failure-to-appear bench warrant was issued April 18 for Jeremiah Aguilar by the same municipal judge who ordered his dog, an American Allaunt named Dutch, to be euthanized as a “vicious dog.”
Aguilar was represented at Thursday’s show-cause hearing by his attorney, Amy Ondos, but did not show up in person to explain why he has not turned Dutch over to Montrose Animal Control, as ordered by Municipal Judge Richard Brown.
Ondos told the judge that Aguilar had placed his dog in an Oklahoma animal sanctuary. Judge Brown replied that he had not approved that animal shelter, but reminded Ondos that nothing was going to happen to Dutch until after Aguilar’s appeal of his euthanization decision in county court.
The judge’s original order specified that Dutch be turned over to Montrose Animal Control “or an approved animal sanctuary.”
“The court really expects Mr. Aguilar to surrender himself to the court,” Judge Brown said, who said it was inappropriate for Aguilar to place the dog “on a unilateral basis.”
The city’s new attorney, Stephen Alcorn, who recently moved to Montrose from Oklahoma, was skeptical that the private residence in Oklahoma where Dutch was staying was an actual animal sanctuary. The Internet showed the address to be a 13-acre site and for sale, Alcorn said.
The new city attorney said he would have his wife, who is still in Oklahoma, “swing by” and check the place out.
Aguilar is next scheduled to appear in Montrose County Court on May 16 to appeal Judge Brown’s February 14 decision to euthanize his dog, accused of biting his former owner several times after she beat him with a metal pole.
But both Judge Brown and special prosecutor Wyatt Angelo expressed doubts that Aguilar would appear on May 16, considering that he would be arrested immediately if he did.
Aguilar, a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder, had Dutch trained as a service dog after the incident with the former owner, and says the dog is now essential to his therapeutic regimen.