Dog owner pleads guilty, pays fine |

Dog owner pleads guilty, pays fine

Aspen Times Staff Report

Cynthia Tanis, owner of Xena, the Rottweiler who strayed off her Carbondale property and was shot by a neighbor last month, pleaded guilty Wednesday to “dog control and licensing violations” in Pitkin County Court.

Judge Tam Scott ordered Tanis to pay a $25 fine, plus $18 in court costs, for committing the petty offense, according to court documents. Tanis paid the $43 sum yesterday to officially close the case.

After an investigation of the incident, Pitkin County Sheriff’s deputies also cited Tanis for “keeping a vicious dog,” another petty offense. However, that charge was dismissed as part of Wednesday’s proceedings, according to court documents.

Ted Coffman, the neighbor who shot the 14-month-old dog, will appear in Pitkin County Court Tuesday morning to face misdemeanor charges of cruelty to animals and prohibited use of a weapon. Coffman had been scheduled to appear in court earlier this week, but the judge granted him a one-week continuance.

Coffman shot and killed Xena the morning of Aug. 19, generating a community uproar. He said the dog had strayed onto his property on several previous occasions, and he had voiced his concerns about the animal to both the Tanis family and Pitkin County Sheriff’s deputies.

Coffman later told authorities that Xena’s aggressive behavior made his family feel captive in their own home, which they had moved into about three weeks before the shooting.

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