An owner of Camp Hale strays ticketed
EDWARDS – County animal control officers issued a handful of tickets to the former owner of a pair of dogs that bit a man at a Camp Hale campground last Thursday.The mixed pit bulls – not full-bred pit bulls as was previously reported – are both females and were trapped by animal control officers the morning after biting camper Clarence Loomis, a Cortez man who was treated at a Leadville hospital and released. He could not be reached for comment.Ticketed was James Matlock, 27, of Edwards. He was cited twice for failure to vaccinate the dogs for rabies, failure to obtain a county license, failure to display a county license, failure to prevent an animal from becoming a danger, and abandonment. Each of the charges carries a fine of up to $40, said Natalie Duck, Eagle County animal services manager.
Matlock told animal control officers he had given the dogs to someone at a gas station the day before they were discovered running loose at Camp Hale.Federal charges from the U.S. Forest Service are pending, said area ranger Cal Wettestein. It wasn’t the first time animal control officers had been called regarding the aggressive dogs, Duck said. Officers recognized the dogs from a running at-large complaint, during which they questioned Matlock, Duck said.Matlock, who lives in the Eagle River Village Mobile Home Park, had been ordered to give up the dogs or face eviction by managers, said Duck.
“We had conversations about surrendering the dogs prior to them appearing at Camp Hale,” Duck said. “We told him we’d take them but he never dropped them off.”Matlock, who is scheduled to appear in Eagle County court Aug. 25, was “very cooperative” and accepted the tickets this week and reportedly expressed remorse over the incident. Because of the bite, both dogs have been quarantined in case they have rabies, Duck said.After the 10-day quarantine, the dogs will go through temperament and behavioral tests to check if they must be euthanized or they’re suitable for adoption.Following news reports of the Camp Hale attacks, Duck said her office fielded a call from someone willing to adopt the animals.
Staff Writer Cliff Thompson can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 450, or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado