Suit: Aspen woman abandoned dog ownership responsibilities |

Suit: Aspen woman abandoned dog ownership responsibilities

A housekeeper’s lawsuit alleges she unwittingly became the owner of two dogs after her ex-employer abandoned the two cocker spaniel-like canines.

Aspen attorney Alan Feldman, on behalf of Garfield County resident Hilda Corral, filed suit Monday in Pitkin County District Court against Kristi Steed. The suit seeks $35,700.

Corral’s suit claims she was a housekeeper at Steed’s Aspen rental residence until Steed was evicted in November 2013, partly because her lease didn’t allow her to have dogs.

During the eviction process, Steed asked Corral to take care of her dogs at a rate of $100 a day. Corral agreed to take on the dogs, named Olivia and Chloe, who would be fed strictly organic food and be groomed every other day, the suit says.

But Corral was unsuccessful in collecting her fees from Steed. In spring 2014, Steed referred Corral to her attorney. Corral submitted an invoice to Steed’s lawyer, but he didn’t respond until June 6 in a letter saying Corral had previously agreed to take ownership of the dogs, the suit says. Corral maintains she didn’t agree to take custody of the canines.

“At no time did Steed ever gift or give Corral the dogs,” the suit says, adding that “Corral always maintained that she was hired by Steed to care for the dogs for $100 per day. At no time did Corral ever accept ownership of the dogs.”

Steed’s attorney offered Corral a check for $1,000, but she didn’t cash it because it would have bound her to a settlement agreement that forbid her from contacting Steed or her lawyer, the suit says.

On Oct. 17, Corral gave away the dogs, both of which “urinated and defecated throughout Corral’s house and ruined furniture in Corral’s house,” the suit alleges.

The suit says that Corral is owed $100 a day for 350 days of care, along with $700 she spent on organic dog food.

Steed did not respond to a message seeking comment for this story.

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