Residents cited after dog mauls cat to death
Two Aspen residents were cited by police after a dog being walked in the Centennial Condominiums complex mauled a cat to death Monday evening.
Maxie, a 17-year-old cat belonging to Kathy Rogo of Aspen, died minutes after being attacked by a pit bull on Nicholas Lane. The pit bull, owned by Bradley Anderson, was apparently not on a leash when the incident occurred, according to a police report.
Anderson was cited by police for keeping a vicious dog, and his acquaintance, Denise Jolly, who was walking the dog for him at the time, was cited for not leashing the dog.
Anderson and Jolly did not return calls for comment Wednesday.
Jolly told police the pit bull, Truman, had not had any problems with other animals on the walk Monday evening, the police report says. But she said Truman approached the cat and sniffed it, and when Maxie hissed, the dog immediately attacked.
Two witnesses confirmed to police that the dog attacked the cat. When Anderson arrived on the scene he appeared to be upset and in disbelief, the report says.
Anderson apparently told police that he had gotten the dog just five days before the incident, on May 27 at Colorado Animal Rescue in Glenwood Springs. When reached by phone on Wednesday, the shelter’s director, Leslie Rockey, said she and the staff at the shelter were “in shock” about the incident.
“The staff here is very upset – everyone was very attached to Truman,” Rockey said. “He was a special dog, and we were so happy that we finally thought we found a good home for him. Not to mention this poor cat – my heart goes out to the people that this happened to.”
Shelter workers perform a series of “temperament tests” on dogs to help determine their personalities, including walking them through a room full of cats. Rockey said Truman tested well with the cats, but said during this incident he was off leash with another dog, and his behavior was unpredictable.
“I’d like to stress the importance of having dogs on leashes,” Rockey said. “Everyone wants their dog to be off leash, but we educate people that that’s something that takes training and time – you have to be able to control your dog, and in the right situation, not just wandering around.”
Anderson and Jolly will appear in Aspen Municipal Court on June 30.
Rogo said she had owned Maxie since the cat was a kitten. The condominiums on Nicholas Lane are rentals, and dogs are not allowed in the units.
“I’m wondering what business these people had walking through this area with unleashed dogs,” Rogo said. “It really bothers me – they should have been on the sidewalk,” where they wouldn’t have seen her cat.
Rogo did not witness the incident, but said it sounded as though having the dogs on leashes could have prevented the attack.
Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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