Man shoots 2 bulldogs after attack in Leadville
Rocky Mountain News
Vail, CO Colorado
LEADVILLE, Colorado ” A man who killed a dog and injured another one, claiming he did so because he feared for his safety, is facing felony animal cruelty charges.
The man, Clint Jewell, said the dogs attacked his dog, and he went after them with a .22 revolver because he worried for the neighbors.
He was off his own property when the dogs became aggressive toward him, and so he shot them, Jewell told deputies in Leadville.
The case isn’t clear-cut, and prosecutors may decide that the killings were justified, Lake County Sheriff Ed Holte said this morning.
Last week, two American Bulldogs worked their way through a hole in the backyard fence that their owner, Marge Henry, “never bothered to fix,” Holte said.
Jewell, who lived nearby, came home with his dogs in the back of his car, Holte said.
“He gets his dogs out of the car, but the other dogs come onto his property and take an aggressive stance as if they’re about to attack his dogs,” Holte said, paraphrasing Jewell’s version of events.
Jewell got his dogs inside and grabbed a .22 revolver, saying he was concerned what the American Bulldogs might do in the neighborhoods.
“The dogs saw him and took an aggressive stance,” Holte said. “He killed one and wounded the other.”
The dog that survived was taken to a veterinarian and likely will be OK, Holte said.
His office filed a report with the DA’s office, recommending charges of felony animal cruelty, discharge of a firearm in a residential district and reckless endangerment.
“Or there could be no charges,” Holte said. “If the DA takes the position that he was justified in being where he was, and that the dogs were attempting to attack him, he is justified in destroying the animals.”
Holte said Jewell’s main hurdle is that he wasn’t on his own property at the time.
Henry was issued a citation for being the owner of “vicious dogs running at large.”
The first court date likely will be late this month or in early September.
Jewell is a retired schoolteacher, Holte said.
Henry “has a different take on life” than most people in Lake County, Holte said.
To the sheriff, Henry’s American Bulldogs “look exactly like pit bulls,” the breed notorious for their aggressiveness that have been banned in some Colorado cities.