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Thomas Dock, CVJ, Vet. Technician  
Male, 49
Indianapolis, IN

Interests: animals, Reading (sci-fi and fantasy)
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Aggressive Dog?  Spork, the Dachshund faces possible euthanasia

Feb 24, 2010 - 86 comments

"Spork", a 10 year old dachshund was taken to his veterinarian for oral surgery earlier in the month. He is now at the center of a huge debate because the city of Lafayette Colorado has labeled him a "vicious dog" because he bit a veterinary technician on the chin.

FIrst, before I get to my opinion on this matter, let me set a few caveats. One...I was not there, I don't know anything more than what is being reported in the news, so I can't speculate on the actual occurrence. Two...I grew up with Dachshunds and I know their temperment. Three...I have some experience handling aggressive dogs and training veterinary staff on approaching pets and aggressive animals.

Ok...let's dive into this.

My very first question is if the veterinary technician needed to approach Spork and do whatever he needed to do to the pet, WHY was the owner still holding the dog?? First, you are putting the owner in danger of being bitten and second, you are likely making the dog more territorial than usual since he was in the arms of the owner.

Next,, why was your face next to a dog's face? Especially a dachshund's face? As a veterinary employee, there are times when you are going to have your head next to a dog's head, but never when you aren't 100% sure of the restraint. AND...there are several breeds that I would never go face to face with...Rottweilers, Akitas, Chows...and, yes, Dachshunds are included in that list. (Now remember...I like doxies... I grew up with them, but I don't trust them at all, especially around their feet or their faces!)

Next, it seems like the veterinarian and staff might be bearing the brunt of some bad press here. If the bite was severe enough (no report I have found says if the tech needed sutures or not), it might be the outpatient clinic or even emergency room that requested a dog bite report be filled out. The veterinarian's office has posted a statement that says "Jasper Animal Hospital has not advocated for, or participated in any way in subsequent decisions by the City of Lafayette to prosecute Spork's guardians," . In my opinion, I am betting they filed a report because they felt that was the proper and legal thing to do.

So...why are these owners being prosecuted? If I had to guess, I am betting that the city and the city's attorneys are being a little to rigid with their interpretation of the law and that once again, a government is not using common sense when it comes to enforcing the law.

To me, there appears to be several errors here ranging from allowing the owner to hold a pet during a procedure to excessive overexuberhance by city officials to prosecute a "senior citizen" dog. Let's not compound the issue by euthanizing a valued family member.

Maybe we should just simply mark his medical records..."caution...may bite".

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by Tammy2009, Feb 24, 2010
I have seen particular animals that are much better when the owner holds them and it is in their charts .... only when the owner has been shown to be compentent in holding them properly.  These work fine, but the dog is usually muzzled as well ....

If the dog was showing any signs of getting upset during the procedure, why wasn't he muzzled?  In the clinics I've been, the moment a dog/cat struggles and shows displeasure at any of the prodecures, they are muzzled (especially dogs).  I think I have seen one or two procedures on daxi's that haven't needed to be muzzled, one dog was muzzled from the time he was brought into the clinic because he had a techency to bite without warning and it was the owner who decided to start muzzling him early!

Common sense people, watch the body language and yourself when dealing with animals in medical procedure.  From experience, taking blood hurts!  And if I didn't know it was important and good for me, I think I would nip too!

I'm not sure why this went to the media, the people I've worked with tend to go with the statement "If I get bitten or scratched it was my fault for not restraining the dog properly, not by any means the dogs' fault".

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by opus88, Feb 24, 2010
I agree with you both, the tech must have been very inexperienced with handling a dog!!......why is it always the animals fault?
take any animal into a Vet clinic...first off they are stressed maybe hurting and they are bombarded with scents of all the other animals...this puts an animal into a defensive temperament, all things considered I agree with Tammy I would bite too.!!!
One of my cats bit a tech once too, I had warned them he had a tendency to do so....they reported it to me and no one else had to be notified after that instance they now know to muzzle him each time he visits, but they do admit he is much calmer when I hold him.
That is a huge injustice if that poor dog is put down!!

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by MaryAnn1975, Feb 24, 2010
I have two dachshunds, and their charts are marked, "May bite" and the techs greet us with a muzzle at the door.  I NEVER let the tech take them from my arms, because they are much more likely to bite.  I think they have "little man syndrome" similar to when a human male feels he has to try to pick fights with the big guys because he's small.  They are not aggressive unless they feel their territory is being infringed upon (and have been known to chase Rottweilers and other big dogs from the yard) or they are afraid, like at the vet.  They don't understand what's going on there, but they do remember feeling pain there and feeling helpless.  At home, my infant uses one of my dogs as a pillow, but at the vet's they need a muzzle.  It's just how they are, and I love them!

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by peggy64, Feb 24, 2010
I wonder just how this has affected this Vets practice. I don't know if I would want to take my beloved pet to an animal hosital that there might be a possibility she might get euthanized for acting like a dog. I mean, its a dachshound for petes sake. How in the world do they handle the rottwieler or the akita or the german shepard. You know?

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by Thomas Dock, CVJ, Vet. TechnicianBlank, Feb 24, 2010
peggy:  If you read the comments in the KDVR.com story, there are many people who are blasting this clinic and I think alot of it is undeserved.  Yes...I think the tech may have not been paying close enough attention to body language of the dog, etc, but I seriously doubt that the clinic, the veterinarian, or the techician considered filing charges.   It is simply part of the risks we take working with animals.

NOW...they (or the ER or urgent clinic or whatever) might be required to report the dog bite, which in turn then involves the government (animal control).

Again, I think this is a case of government intervention gone horribly wrong and a complete lack of common sense by city officials.

If I am wrong, I would love for someone from the city to tell me why....

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by peggy64, Feb 24, 2010
thomas: like you said, why was the owner still holding the dog, why was the technicians face so close to the dog? Some normal precautions that would have prevented this from the get go.

I would think this pup was up to date on his rabies shots, since he seems to be a patient at the clinic.  I am sure the tech was up to date on her tetanus shots, and since the report does not show whether he/she needed sutures or not, I am betting they didn't. That would make the story even more dramatic and we would have heard about that as well.

Apparently the clinic reported it to someone.

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by Blujax, Feb 24, 2010
I am reading this and this is the first I have heard of it.  But the only thing I have to say is... It's a Veterinariy clinic!! They need to expect that these things are going to happen! They might get bitten, that's one of the job hazards.  And as for the fact that maybe the hospital ER reported it, I have to wonder, was it completely neccessary for the technician to say it was a dog bite? I know that sounds ridiculous, but hear me out..... This can't be the only time that there was a dog bite at that clinic,or any clinic for that matter.  and with that being said, they would have reported it every time it happend, and then knowing the hospital would have filed a complaint, and then have to risk having the dog euthanized every time a dog bit a Vet? Why this dog? why now? Was a dog euthanized everytime there is a bite?  I just don't get it.

Why would the clinic report it? This is their JOB! they should EXPECT to get bitten, scratched, whatever.... shame on them for reporting it and now have a loyal customer have to lose one of thier precious family members!!

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by Blujax, Feb 24, 2010
ohh... and I wanted to also remark that I once took my cat to a vet and she got him good! drew blood and everything, and I felt so bad, I was apologizing til lI was blue in the face, and all he said was "Hey, I have to expect this in my job, it's happend before, don't worry" I was so relieved. He didn't go to the ER and file a complaint. And I was shocked also knowing that a bite from a cat is really bad.

I got bit by my fiancees cat, and I had to go to the ER and ended up having surgery on that hand because it got infected, but they never asked me to fill out a report. Nor did they report it. Is this just the standard thing  for dog bites?

I think the Vet should not have said anything.

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by Karen99, Feb 25, 2010
Prosecuting the owner or euthanizing this dog lacks common sense.  The DA or other authority who is pursuing the matter need to be told in no uncertain terms how ridiculous this is.  It's not like the dog randomly chased someone down and bit them.  There is a huge difference between that and what occurred in this story.    

Can you imagine taking your pet to a vet and find yourself in this situation?  OMG!  

Most states require that dog bites be reported by the treating facility: ER, Urgent Care, etc.  

I doubt that Colorado's laws required euthanasia in this instance.  Outrageous if it does.  The folks of CO need to speak up and NOW!!

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by MaryAnn1975, Feb 25, 2010
I think that in general, cats are expected to scratch/bite in a strange situation, or if they do at least they aren't labeled "aggressive" but dogs aren't.  Now of course dogs can inflict more damage than cats, but assuming the person wasn't horribly injured, why is that?  I've always thought those dogs who are so happy at the vet's must be missing something there, seems it would be natural to be afraid there and the only way they know to protect themselves is via biting, if the owner won't remove the threat, which of course he/she can't.  

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by dobeowner, Feb 25, 2010
I love Dachshunds - we've owned three of them over the years. But no way on earth would I put my face in a Dachshund's face and I doubt if any competent vet tech would do so either.  
The reporter in me thinks there is something more to this story than we've been told

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by Thomas Dock, CVJ, Vet. TechnicianBlank, Feb 25, 2010
Literally..."this just in" (from the dailycamera.com)

The technician in question needed to have plastic surgery as she ended up missing small parts of her lips.  The technician told police that Spork showed no signs he was going to bite, adding that she felt the attack was unprovoked, according to the police report.

She told police she wanted to press charges because she was concerned that Spork would bit his owner or someone else and she wanted to prevent another attack.

Jasper chief veterinarian and founder Donlad Dodge, in a written statement, said the hospital routinely notifies animal control in dog bite cases.

Dodge said that he supported pressing charges because a record is needed when an animal causes serious injury to a person in case of future incidents


Wow...I had been assuming all along that the charges were a result of a mandatory dog bite report, but now it appears that the veterinarian and technician actively pursued the charges.  I understand the veterinarian's concern for his staff, but making a dog bite report and pressing charges are two entirely different things.  

I agree dobeowner...something is missing from both sides of this story.



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by Tammy2009, Feb 25, 2010
Thought of a couple things for the other side of the story.

Maybe this wasn't the first time the dog has bitten or the owner isn't that great of an owner.  If this was a recurring thing and the owner doesn't care about the animal (in regards to training it properly) but still had to bring it in for some problem maybe this was a way for the vet and tech to have some say in the dog's future.

If it is a dog that is dangerous and the tech/vet knows about it in situations other than the vet clinic, then maybe this is a way for them to stop the possible damage in the community.  

Defintely something missing in the stories, or the vet hosiptal is not a place I want to take my pets ...

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by lizzy654, Feb 25, 2010
Something tells me that Jasper chief veterinarian and founder, Donald Dodge, is trying to mitigate his liability in this case.  The bite occured to his employee, under his supervision, on his property.  Obviously the vet technician was not adequately trained on how to handle a scared dachshund.  Who's fault is that --- Dr. Dodge's.  It seems to me that Dr. Dodge is trying to have Spork criminally labeled as "vicious" in case the vet tech sues him.  That way he can "blame" the incident on Spork's owners.

Chihuahuas are also known to be biters.  My chihuahua does not bite, but is muzzled at the veterinarian's office because of her breed.  I doubt any vet technician would put their finger in front of a chihuahua's muzzle, let alone their face.

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by peggy64, Feb 26, 2010
thomas, just as I thought. It would appear that the clinic is wanting to protect itself from lawsuits from the employee. Seems to me, the owner could sue as well. It is a veterinary clinic and that of all places should be aware of dog bites, which are more protective. That is what the pup was doing, protecting himself and his owner.

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by mami1323, Feb 26, 2010
This is ridiculous, I think if you work in a vet's office then the possibility of getting bit just comes with the territory of the job.  To fear the dog biting the owner or biting another person is the owner's responsibility not the vet technician.  They should've muzzled the dog regardless and the tech's face should not have been that close to the dog to get bit.  They should've had the tech sign a waver saying that they couldn't take any legal actions if they suffered any animal bites.  I think the tech just wants to make a lawsuit here for monetary purposes.

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by Ashelen, Feb 26, 2010
I agree that the owner should not have been restraining the dog....I worked as a vet tech on and off for 2 years, and I know that most owners don't know that their dogs are capable of aggression, when in fact EVERY SINGLE DOG regardless of breed or temperament has that potential.

We used to (as a matter of policy) muzzle certain breeds...most small dog breeds are included because they're actually harder to restrain in some ways and they're more prone to nervous bites. We also never let the owner restrain a dog that was getting anything more invasive than a pat on the head in greeting, for obvious reasons.

Everyone with half a brain knows the arm-curl, head-turn holding technique and this woman's face should have been nowhere near the dog's. What procedure was being performed when this occurred? Will that be taken into account when the prosecution moves forward? because if he was having a sore leg prodded or being given a shot, I don't blame him for biting, especially if he sees this person as being the author of his pain while his precious owner is within striking distance of the person causing the pain....he's going to want to defend his owner.

Ridiculous. this woman isn't pressing charges because "she's worried that the dog might bite someone else"...she's doing it to pay her medical bills and make herself feel better for being incompetent. I'm sorry, but this is ridiculous. I hope this dog doesn't get euthanized...every time you work in the veterinary profession, you realize that you're in a situation that can pose danger and she's lucky it was a dachshund that bit her, and not a pit bull.

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by Lucey12, Feb 26, 2010
I worked at a groomers till recently and dogs are WAY better (or worse) behaved when their owners are gone. (if its an upset dog to start with, it will be better when the owners are gone. The dogs that seem fine are usually the ones who are bad when their owners are gone) Having worked with dogs, being bit comes daily. Severity would be the breaking point in this case so its a shame they left that important information out. Ive had bites that dont bleed or mark, just hurt, then Ive had the ones where I have scares for days from it. If you work with dogs you have to expect to get bit. Only sometimes you are able to muzzle the dog before you get bit. Sometimes you work with the dog and take it slowly to wean it from the muzzle all together. The only time a dog should be put down for biting is if its rabid or vicious and endangering everyone around it.

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by Myown, Feb 26, 2010
Well that vet may as well close shop. Who would now, after this incident, go to that office and take the chance of their dog biting and losing their dog due to someone not handling their dog correctly or being foolish enough to put their face near an animal that they are not familiar with.



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by mami1323, Feb 26, 2010
Exactly, I wouldn't take my animal there knowing that my animal would be euthanized and me sued.  Forget it.

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by TrudieC, Feb 26, 2010
Doesn't Worker's Compensation apply here?  At least in Canada if a worker is hurt on the job that it has to be reported to Worker's Compensation and all the medical bills, lost time, etc. is handled by them.  I agree that biting is something that will happen in the line of duty but if it requires medical attention it is reported to Worker's Compensation.  The vet's rates will go up as a result.  Here, if it is worker's compensation, you can't sue anyone.  I know there is Worker's Comp in the U.S. but not sure how it works.  Doesn't seem right that the dog and his owner are held responsible here.

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by turkee23, Feb 26, 2010
this is crazy.... i will give my opinion on the other side of this... i was attacked by a chow/lab mix when i was younger and he tore up my face, plastic surgery, over 150 stitches to my lip, nose,ear, and cheek. it was pretty bad....this dog was eating (in a restraunt) and i walked by and he grabbed me without warning, shook a little and let me go. but he felt threatened for whatever reason. i sued the owner of the dog and the restraunt that the dog was in. come to find out the dog had bit someone before me and bit someone right after me. so the dog was put down.

this could be a scam to get money, cause it should be the vet that is held responsible for the accident. just like a dentist or doctor are held responsible for needle sticks, or blood splatter on employees.... but she probably didnt pay attention to the dogs signs or the regulations of the office.  

i wouldnt take my dog there either

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by Myown, Feb 26, 2010
turkee, your case it totally different. I don't think anyone would think you were wrong in suing. That dog should not have been at that restaurant anyhow. That must have been a really scary thing to happen.

But this girl that is suing, she has to know she was in the wrong for putting her face so close and how could she do this to that family. I can't even imagine how they feel worried sick that there dog might be destroyed. She is heartless to do this and certainly not an animal lover.

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by wolves5, Feb 26, 2010
As others have written, its part of the veterinary clinics job on how to handle animals when they come in.  First, the dog should never have been held by the owner. They become more nervous and protected when being held. Then someone approaches them starts poking at them or putting their face near the animals face while being held, dogs will snip or bite. Its instinct for any animal to react.  Maybe veterinarians should take precaution and put muzzles on animals whether they seem calm or not.  That should be done automatically.
There is no reason for this dog to be euthanized.  The vet says she is concerned that Spork will bite again. Has the dog ever bitten anyone or had complaints of being vicious??? maybe that should be looked into before you put the dog to sleep. What kind of world do we live in.  Yes, I feel sorry for what happened to the technician and I pray that she heals. But I feel that the tech needs to forgive and let this family have their dog.  I am sure the dog has had his shots and is not a danger to society.

Free Spork

Wolves5


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by HUSKYDAD, Feb 27, 2010
I'm a city council member from the city of Lafayette. One of your readers asked me to respond.

First, ask youself why didn't the dog owners post the police report?  After all, if it supported their position on the matter, wouldn't that have been the first item you would post?  "This is what the eye witnesses to the event said..."
Then you as interested parties could render an opinion as to whether the prosecutor was running amok or not.

The hearing has NOT be held. Spork was not impounded. (This took place in August, 2009.)

http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2010/02/spork_a_savage_lafayette_counc.php

After read this, let me hear from you.

Kerry.***@****

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by HUSKYDAD, Feb 27, 2010
Kerry.***@****

Let me hear from you.

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by Karen99, Feb 27, 2010
When I took one of the kindest and gentlest dogs I've ever had (black lab) to the vet, he tried to bite the vet asst. while taking a rectal temperature.  I warned the tech to back off (he didn't) because I could see the warning signals my dog was giving.  I was restraining my dog.  My dog was then viewed by that office as vicious and was told they would never treat my dog without being muzzled.  

I changed vets immediately because it was obvious the prior vets office did not train their asst's properly. My dog became aggressive because a large man entered the room holding a thermometer and quickly approached.   The new vets office NEVER had this problem, never had to be muzzled and could do any procedure necessary without danger to their staff.  They took appropriate precautions and knew how to handle animals.

The shame on the story out of Colorado is not on the dog, it's the fault of the veterinary hospital and it's staff.

I am sorry that this tech was bitten.  Obviously she has no compassion or understanding when it comes to animals.  

A long time ago, I had a horribly painful cellulitis on my arm.  An untrained tech approached me with the intent to take my blood pressure on that arm.  He missed my cues of raised eyebrows and a horrified look of disbelief. Unlike animals, I could verbalize my thinking and I told him I'd knock him out with my good arm if he touched the infected arm.  I was not kidding.  

The vet tech missed the cues the dog probably gave.  Even if there were no cues, she did not protect herself properly and the veterinarian is a fault for not training his staff properly.

This poor dog probably went in for a procedure and now is facing being put down.  I feel for the owners too.  Who would think seeking medical treatment by "professionals" would result in a such an outrageous outcome.

  

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by Karen99, Feb 27, 2010
Here is the story:

http://www.coloradodaily.com/ci_14462960?source=most_viewed#axzz0gkr40KNJ

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by Karen99, Feb 27, 2010
According to this story,  the vet tech missed the clues.  The dog was obviously nervous and pooped.  Then she comes at him with a pair of scissors close enough to get bitten.  Not only is this poor dog being depicted as vicious, but as a flesh eating pooch who savored the flavors of human flesh.  

http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2010/02/spork_a_savage_lafayette_counc.php



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by Karen99, Feb 27, 2010
Sorry that I am posting so many responses, but the further I look into this, the more hinky this story gets.  

Here comes along Kerry Bensman (City Council) on this site and asks in an accusatory manner WHY the family of this dog did not post the police report on facebook?  My answer:  a police report is generally a one-side version of what occurred by the "victims" point of view.

I am speculating, that he dog owner may have made an apologetic police statement, perhaps even accepting  responsibility in some fashion concerning the dog bite. Often, police statements are obtained during high emotions and stressful times.  Further investigation MAY have proved more accurate.

Mr./Ms. Bensman, obviously, you have formed your opinion, based partly on the police statements??  Those are public records so would you consider sharing that information?  It's not fair to tell half the story.

MedHelp does not accept email addresses to be posted on their site, but for those of you interested it is

***@****

The local laws in LaFayete concerning "vicious" animals are lousy.  Time to come back to earth and deal with reality.

I would suggest that Spork be punished and confined to home with lots of treats and a restraining order that this vets office never be allowed to touch Spork again.



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by Karen99, Feb 27, 2010
kerrydotbensmanatcityoflafayette.com



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by lizzy654, Feb 27, 2010
Hey Bensman aka HUSKYDAD,

The reason the police report is not posted by the Walkers is because IT IS a onesided report given by the vet technician.  Mrs. Walker was never asked  by the Layfayette police for her account of the incident. Of course you already know that; just want to make sure everyone else knows it.

Also, I did read the blog and your pathetic attempt to malign the Walkers and Spork.  Read the comments under the article; you haven't swayed  anyone's opinion.  In fact, you make the City of Layfayette look worse than Spork supporters do.

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by peggy64, Feb 28, 2010
Karen,
Thanks for the links. Read both of them. Seems the concensus believes as the majority of us here.  

This is more than just a fight to save the pups life. It is a fight to save others when their dog acts like a DOG!

I think the vet techs pride has been hurt by the fact that she did not act like a vet tech that knows what she is doing. The vet kept saying the dog had never acted like this before. I ask, has the dog ever had dental pain before? I am not a vet tech, and I know that one should not assume that just because the dog acted friendly on the last visit, doesn't mean he will on this one. She is trying to appease herself by getting the law involved.

In the end, the clinic will have to close because who will be willing to trust them, I mean really? And she will be without a job, and no vet clinic will want to hire her for fear of the same thing happening at their clinic. And who can blame them.



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by peggy64, Feb 28, 2010
Huskydad,
Where did you go?

I bet you are surprised you couldn't "sway" people to your way of thinking. And besides, you should not have gotten involved in this at all, unless you are going to be on the side of people. After all, that is really where politicians should be.

It would appear that you have much to gain by protecting this vet and his clinic. Why else do it?

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by Thomas Dock, CVJ, Vet. TechnicianBlank, Feb 28, 2010
First, let me thank Mr. Bensman for supplying us with additional information.   I asked for someone affiliated with this city and/or the city council to respond and he did.

I am still not 100% certain that the entire story is being told...on either end of this debate.  Mr. Bensman says mentions a police report that was NOT posted on the Facebook page for Spork.  Ok...my thought is that someone (maybe Mr. Bensman) can post that report for us to see.   But, let's keep in mind that as a member of the city council, he might be prohibited from this as it is still a pending case.

What I would like to see, or to know, is this:  The hospital filed a dog bite report (according to the Westword blog) and an animal control officer arrived at the hospital, presumably to take the report.   THEN, the technician decided to press charges.  She said she is doing so in order to make sure a public record of Spork's bite is made.   Mr. Bensman:  is the dog bite report not a public record?

Has this technician filed charges and reported all previous dog bites in her tenure as a veterinary technician?  If not, why did she do so in this case?

To me, a lot of this goes back to how Spork was approached/handled on the day in question.  I am still not sure how an experienced veterinary technician gets her face that close to a dog's mouth.  I can envision ways of this happening, but none of them, in my opinion, involve good animal handling technique (as I mentioned in the original posting on this thread).

I emailed Mr. Bensman....I hope that he can help clarify some of this situation.

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by nomorecruelty, Feb 28, 2010
I've been following this story intensely, and can safely say that this  thread isn't the first online thread that Councilman Bensman has left his "opinions".  Perhaps he has appointed himself as the vet tech's PR Spokesperson but, to me, that borderlines on conflict of interest, as well as very poor professional, and ethic, behavior from a city council member.

While Dr. Dodge may, or may not, be a "good" vet, that really isn't the issue here, as he's only the clinic vet, and the vet tech's employer.  The issue is, why did Dodge's first PR state he was in support of the tech filing charges, only to later start quickly back peddling appearing to try to distance himself from the entire issue.  I would imagine, like Bensman, he might not have expected this story to gain the nationwide, and beyond, coverage it has - gotta love the internet, huh, Mr. Bensman.

While I'm guessing that most are thankful the vet tech didn't suffer injuries worse than her lips, I think that most also agree that her injuries aren't an issue here.  The issue is a vet who would fully support one of his vet techs in filing charges against the owner's of a frightened, and in pain, dog being seen, a vet tech that apparently was not following proper clinic policy, and allowed her face to come within biting range of the dog.  

This situation shouldn't have even been a story - the vet tech should have filed under workman's comp, and move on.

But the way things are appearing,  the number of persons involved, and probably will suffer consequences, seems to be growing.  The vet clinic, the vet tech, the city council member, the Walkers, and possibly Spork himself......... and come April,  trust me, I've been reading all of the forums, the city of Lafayette is going to have a few thousand visitors on court day that will want their voices heard.  

From what I've read, I have to believe, in the end, it will be the City of Lafayette that will be the ultimate sufferer, as far as financially - because they are the office responsible for the ludicrous ordinance that allowed charges to be filed in the first place.  Vet clinic could sue for financial damages due to this, the vet tech could sue just because she can, the Walkers could sue for their legal bills and pain and suffering.......... and it will probably all come down to the liability falling on the shoulders of the city.  

How tragic and what an unnecessary mess that has been created ...... all stemming, allegedly, from a vet clinic employee that chose not to protect herself after seeing the dog defecating from fear at the start.  

WOW is all I have to say - WOW.  

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by nomorecruelty, Feb 28, 2010
I forgot to add that in an online statement (see below link), Mr. Bensman stated "And Jasper Animal Hospital, which has been my veterinarian for about eight years......."  - so his admission to this may be the reason that he appears to have grabbed the Jasper Animal Hospital pom poms and steady shaking them all over the online forums.  

But where his alliance for his concern regarding the vet tech's lips stems from, I do not know.

See this link about Bensman's concern(s).

http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2010/02/spork_a_savage_lafayette_counc.php

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by Karen99, Feb 28, 2010
If Spork needs to flee the state, he is welcome at my home.  He is not a vicious flesh eating pooch who savored the flavors of human flesh.  

If the local laws trump the state laws, are there federal laws that trump the local laws that could stop this craziness?

This situation has gotten out of hand for EVERYONE, but Spork has the most to lose.

I find Mr. Bensman the most cowardly of all making statements that cast dispersions on the Walkers, then slithers out the back door without backing up his statements. He's appears to be flaming the fires.  I wonder why?.................

I feel compassion for the Veterinarian (I forgot his name) and understand he is great with animals.

As for the vet tech, she made a mistake.  Her injuries can be corrected.  Euthanasia cannot be corrected.  I've made many mistakes in my life.  She needs to own up to her mistake to spare Spork being kenneled or killed.    

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by Thomas Dock, CVJ, Vet. TechnicianBlank, Feb 28, 2010
Quick note for everyone...Mr. Bensman did respond to my email questions.  I will post after I have reviewed his responses to me and the ordinance.


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by doggers, Feb 28, 2010
The vet tech had to go to the local ER and they are required by law to call animal control (police). I have been in that situation after attempting to break up dog fights in my own home with dogs in my rescue operation. It stopped there. If Allyson Stone had not decided to press charges, there would be no case. There is no indication that Spork is an aggressive biter. The bite at the vet's office sure sounds like a fear bite.

Colorado state law prohibits vets from filing charges as bites are considered an occupational hazard. However, Lafayette has home rule which trumps state law and common sense, IMHO.

There have been hundreds of vet techs posting on the Save Spork Facebook page and virtually all of them say it is the vet tech's fault.

This case could have far reaching effects and could effect animals everywhere.

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by ikant, Feb 28, 2010
I am absolutely floored by the voracious opinions by all these people who WERE NOT PRESENT when this incident occured.

I was not present either - which is why I find it well beyond my jurisdiction to blame the dog, the tech, the vet, the owner, etc.  None of us know the real story - let's try and temper ourselves a bit before condemning a woman who suffered a serious facial injury, a dog who has owners who obviously love him, or a veterinarian who seems to have a longstanding positive reputation.

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by nomorecruelty, Feb 28, 2010
===Excerpt from The Lafayette City Council Charter Prefatory Synopsis:  The Charter may be amended, if desirable, in accordance with provisions in the Constitution. Every section has been written, insofar as possible, in accordance with sound and well established principles of good government and administration with the best interest of the citizens of Lafayette in mind.===  Source: http://library2.municode.com/default-test/home.htm?infobase=10101&doc_action=whatsnew

I don't think the ordinance allowing workers involving animals to able to file 'vicious' animal charges reflects the mission that this excerpt implies.  

Also within the Lafayette Ordinances, is Chapter III Section 3-17 which  explains  the requirements  for a city elected official to be recalled.

Vicious Animal Ordinance:

Sec. 25-85.  Vicious animals prohibited.

(a)   It shall be unlawful for any person to own a vicious animal. Any person convicted of such offense may, if applicable keep such animal only upon compliance with all terms and conditions set forth pursuant to section 25-89.
(b)   It is an affirmative defense to the charge of vicious animal that the person or animal that was attacked, bitten, clawed or approached by the vicious animal was:

(1)   Other than in self defense or defense of others, attacking the animal or engaging in conduct reasonably calculated to provoke the animal to attack or bite;
(2)   Unlawfully engaging in entry into or upon a fenced or enclosed portion of the premises upon which the animal was lawfully kept or upon a portion of the premises where the animal was lawfully restrained by leash;
(3)   Unlawfully engaging in entry into or in or upon a vehicle in which the animal was confined;
(4)   Attempting to assault another person;
(5)   Attempting to stop a fight between the animal and any other animal;
(6)   Attempting to aid the animal when it was injured; or
(7)   Attempting to capture the animal in the absence of the owner with the exception of a police officer, firefighter, community service officer or other governmental animal control officer in the performance of his/her duty.
(c)   For the purposes of this section, a person is lawfully upon the premises of an owner or keeper when such person is on the premises in the performance of any duty imposed by law or by the express or implied invitation of the owner of such premises or the owner's agent.

Ok, I'm no attorney, but wouldn't the vet tech's actions fall under "Attempting to aid the animal when it was injured; or"

As well, wouldn't her actions fall under "......or engaging in conduct reasonably calculated to provoke the animal to attack or bite."

I mean, would it not be reasonable to assume that a dog, in a vet clinic environment, in pain, visibly shaking and defecating from fear, be enough components to determine that the dog was the recipient of an, intended or unintended, provocation?


:(

And last, but pertinent to those that reside in the City of Lafayette:  
Chapter III Section 3-17 which  explains  the requirements  for a city elected official to be recalled.


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by nomorecruelty, Feb 28, 2010
Ikant, no one is arguing the vet's 'longstanding reputation', just his response, and his statements, in relation to this situation.

Nor is anyone arguing that the tech received facial injuries.

This situation, and possible legal case, goes well beyond the City of Lafayette, Colorado.  This could happen in the state/city I live in - as well, most all animal guardians, or vet clinic employees, or people who don't have pets but do have respect and love for them -  have an interest in this.  

By the way, the initial police incident report can be obtained - per the Open Records Act law - the Lafayette Police Dept. would be responsible to ensure that all personal info was redacted before releasing it, but by law, they are required to make the initial incident report  available for public view.  I'm sure the city will argue they don't have to, but check the Colorado Open Records Act, and let the city know that he/she is required to release it, if  requested.

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by nomorecruelty, Feb 28, 2010
13-21-124 C.R.S.

A person who suffers serious bodily injury or death from being bitten by a dog while lawfully on public or private property or their representative shall be entitled to bring a civil action to recover economic damages against the dog owner regardless of the viciousness or dangerous propensities of the dog or the dog owner’s knowledge or lack of knowledge of the dog’s viciousness or dangerous propensities.

Affirmative Defenses (i.e., the dog is not guilty of being a dangerous dog under the following circumstances)
o The person is unlawfully on public or private property.
o The person is on property of the dog owner and the property is clearly and conspicuously marked with one or more posted signs stating “no trespassing” or “beware of dog.”
o The dog is being used by a peace officer or military personnel in the performance of their duties.
o The person knowingly provoked the dog.
o The dog is a working hunting, herding, farm or ranch dog, or predator control dog on the property of or under the control of the dog’s owner.

Source: http://www.colovma.com/associations/2956/files/Current%20State%20Law%20v2.pdf

===========================================================================
That's what the law says - my opinion, after reading the above state code section, is:

A dog in pain, being checked in at a licensed vet clinic, having a clinic vet tech employee reaching for him, while under the control of his owner (see last exemption listed above), should be considered exempt from a 'dangerous' or 'vicious' label due to state exemptions.

Spork was on the premise of a veterinarian animal hospital, being involuntarily engaged (i.e. provocation)  in, apparent, unwanted contact with the animal hospital's vet tech, who, allegedly, did not exercise protective measures ensuring her face did not come within biting range of the dog.  Assuming the vet tech was present, and observed, Spork's fear shaking, and fear defecating, due to the situation he was placed in.

That's my unprofessional unsolicited opinion.  :)

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by ginger899, Feb 28, 2010
Yes, putting your face right up to a stressed dog who has been 'backed into a corner' in a manner of speaking, or is being restrained against his will, and then complaining about collateral damage, is rather similar to sticking one's hand in a fire and then complaining of getting burned! Dogs are not stuffed toys. They are animals with teeth! Any vet tech shouldn't need to be told that!

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by 5280dogowner, Feb 28, 2010
I am a member of the "Save Spork" Facebook group, however, I am withdrawing that membership as soon as I am done posting this.

I don't like the way the Facebook group page is turning.   There are dissenting views, and rather by learning from the people who see things a different way, the administrators are acting like petulant children, screaming and plugging their ears saying "LA LA LA LA LA LA LA, I can't hear you."  If you're soliciting for help from the Facebook community, you should be able to have the stones to take what you get.

I'm with Mr. Dock; there are two sides to every story, I have seen the local news video coverage of this, and something smells a bit....on BOTH sides.

I completely agree that there's the strong possibility of the vet tech sticking her face where it shouldn't have been.  But I don't quite believe the account of Spork's owner saying she was looking the other way when it happened.

Some have mused on the FB page why this hasn't gotten coverage on the biggest news station in Denver.  It hasn't because the creator, and another administrator, are both producers at that station.   That produces journalistic integrity problems.   It also makes me guess (and that's all it is) that there might have been some questionable media influence in this whole thing.

As a dog owner myself, I want Spork to survive, and I will follow this story closely.  But I cannot be a part of a Facebook group that has a diminished maturity level, one that's probably lower than Spork.

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by Thomas Dock, CVJ, Vet. TechnicianBlank, Mar 01, 2010
I am glad that there is a good flow of back and forth, mature discussion here.  As I said, I emailed Mr. Bensman and he replied to me, verifying that the technician was indeed taken to the hospital, where animal control was notified because it was a dog bite case.  An animal control officer responded and took the report.

According to Mr. Bensman, the answer to my question about public records of dog bites is that that

"ONLY when charges are filed is a case number assigned and the report entered into the records tracking system. (Your own PD may have a similar procedure.)  Then it becomes a public record and subject to access via our public information act."

So...it appears that she needed to file charges in order for there to be a public record of the incident...I am not sure that I agree with the need for that, but, then again, I am not an attorney or city official.

Also, again according to Mr. Bensman, the owners of Spork have asked for and received two continuances on this case and that is why the hearing to determine how aggressive he is has not happened yet.  The original incident evidently stems from Aug 2009.  So, that begs the question...Why has this been going on for so long?  It should be pointed out that Spork has been at home and is not impounded in any way.  Are the owners simply trying to avoid any sort of fine or punishment?  I read the ordinance and if Spork is judged to be "vicious" there is a $500 fine plus several other conditions that need to be met.  

I would love to know if anyone can get me in contact with either the owners of Spork or with the veterinary technician...I have many questions for both of them (as I am sure many of you all do too).  

Here's the bottom line in my mind:  From what I have read in multiple sources, I have very little doubt that the technician likely mis-read the dog's behavior and was lax in watching out for her own safety.  I feel very sorry for her injuries (no one should have to suffer that) but it is a RISK that you ASSUME when you become a veterinary technician.   I also believe that this situation could have been resolved at any earlier, less volatile time with a little common sense and open,  honest communication.  It seems, as others have said here, that both sides of this story are trying a little too hard to sway people to "their side".  Now, it's hard to go back and address those concerns because of hurt feelings and maybe even because of money that has been invested in the case.  As humans, we have this incredible urge to "win" and prove that we were right.  

nomorecruelty is right in one aspect too...this case could have potential impact on bite cases across the country and it could impact whether or not your dog is muzzled for any sort of care at a veterinary office.

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by nomorecruelty, Mar 01, 2010
Thanks, Doc - no one is questioning that the tech suffered injuries - that  is a given.  The main issue is why has a vet tech been allowed, legally, to file a "vicious" dog charge/claim with the police department, for performing a job function inside of a vet clinic.  

And why has Dr. Dodge gone from in full support, to now advocating for a change in the law that allowed this.

And finally, Councilman K. Bermans's apparent role in this situation  - I don't even know what to say about that - beyond odd.

I don't blame the Walker's for using their "life lines" on this - apparently, the Animal Law Center is now representing them, as their attorney(ies), which I'm grateful they stepped up for this family.  Someone that knows the legalities needed to step in to sort this confusion out.  A vet nor vet tech should not be legally allowed to file charges stemming from an accident that happened during the performance of their duties, and especially when the vet/or tech was allegedly negligent in following proper safety procedures which led to this incident happening.

Personal opinion, this reeks of someone thinking they see easy money for the pickings.  I hope that's not the case but given everything that has allegedly happened, as well as the continual statements and PR releases from "Team Kill Spork" ....... it does make one wonder.





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by nomorecruelty, Mar 01, 2010
I have to disagree with Bermans on the case number issue - anytime an officer makes a report, i.e. accident, incident, arrest, etc. a case number is issued.  

The vet/Spork situation should have been filled out on an Incident Report form - unless there was an arrest, or charges alleged, which would then have went under a 'Incident Report" with "Criminal Complaint" marked at the top.

If Bermans has seen the police report, then that police report can legally be obtained by the public, or the media - via the Colorado Open Records Act.









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by lizzy654, Mar 01, 2010
THIS IS FROM THE MUNICIPAL CODE OF THE CITY OF LAYFAYETTE, COLORADO

ARTICLE V.  VICIOUS ANIMALS*

__________
*Editor's note:   Section 1 of Ord. No. 2006-21, adopted May 16, 2006, repealed Art. V, in its entirety and enacted similar provisions to read as herein set out. Former Art. V was comprised of §§ 25-65--25-69, and derived from Ord. No. 2000-33, adopted Oct. 3, 2000.  

__________


Sec. 25-85.  Vicious animals prohibited.
(a)   It shall be unlawful for any person to own a vicious animal. Any person convicted of such offense may, if applicable keep such animal only upon compliance with all terms and conditions set forth pursuant to section 25-89.
(b)   It is an affirmative defense to the charge of vicious animal that the person or animal that was attacked, bitten, clawed or approached by the vicious animal was:
(1)   Other than in self defense or defense of others, attacking the animal or engaging in conduct reasonably calculated to provoke the animal to attack or bite;
(2)   Unlawfully engaging in entry into or upon a fenced or enclosed portion of the premises upon which the animal was lawfully kept or upon a portion of the premises where the animal was lawfully restrained by leash;
(3)   Unlawfully engaging in entry into or in or upon a vehicle in which the animal was confined;
(4)   Attempting to assault another person;
(5)   Attempting to stop a fight between the animal and any other animal;
(6)   Attempting to aid the animal when it was injured; or
(7)   Attempting to capture the animal in the absence of the owner with the exception of a police officer, firefighter, community service officer or other governmental animal control officer in the performance of his/her duty.
(c)   For the purposes of this section, a person is lawfully upon the premises of an owner or keeper when such person is on the premises in the performance of any duty imposed by law or by the express or implied invitation of the owner of such premises or the owner's agent.
(Ord. No. 2006-21, § 1, 5-16-06)

Sec. 25-86.  Exemption.
Employees or agents of the city or any local, state or federal governmental entity, using animals within the course of their duties or employment shall be exempt from the provisions of this article.
(Ord. No. 2006-21, § 1, 5-16-06)

Sec. 25-87.  Impoundment.
Any animal which has caused injury to any person or animal or which has unprovokedly attacked any person or animal or which has approached any person or animal in a terrorizing manner or apparent attitude of attack may be seized and impounded as provided for in this chapter or in the discretion of a community service officer, where charges are pending, the animal may be released to the custody of the owner subject to written conditions regarding the confinement and control of the animal. If, after making every reasonable attempt to seize such animal, including the solicitation of assistance from the animal's owner, if such owner is immediately ascertainable and available, the community service or police officers determines that the animal cannot be seized without exposing the officers or other persons to danger of personal injury from the animal, and the animal presents a present danger to any person, property, or other animal, it shall be lawful for the officers to destroy the animal without notice to the animal owner.
(Ord. No. 2006-21, § 1, 5-16-06; Ord. No. 2007-87, § 1, 8-7-07)

Sec. 25-88.  Hearing.
Any animal impounded pursuant to this article may be held for a hearing before the municipal court to determine the disposition of such animal. The city shall notify, when ascertainable, the owner of the animal in writing of the date, time, place and purpose of the hearing at least five (5) days before said hearing. The court shall conduct such hearing at the earliest date available to the court. If, on the date of the hearing, the duly notified owner does not appear, the court may proceed with the hearing. The hearing may take place regardless of any pending municipal charge pertaining to the animal.
At the hearing the formal rules of evidence shall not apply and any statement made by any person at such hearing shall not be used as evidence at any municipal trial. The court shall be guided by the basic notions of fairness and due process in the conduct of such hearing and allow the parties to present evidence, witnesses and have the right of cross-examination.
The municipal judge shall consider as applicable, the following:
(a)   Any evidence presented at any trial involving the animal;
(b)   The conduct of the animal during the incident charged;
(c)   Any evidence of dangerous or violent behavior by the animal or threats thereof;
(d)   Any prior violations by the owner of the animal of this chapter or the laws of the city, or laws of any state or political subdivision thereof;
(e)   Any prior violations by any other owner of the animal, involving the same animal, of any violation of this chapter or the laws of the city, or any laws of the state or political subdivision thereof;
(f)   Any conditions existing on the property where the animal has been or will be kept which would affect the likelihood of any danger to any person, animal or property;
(g)   Any evidence of any ameliorative action taken by the owner of the animal which would affect the likelihood of any danger to any person, animal or property; and
(h)   Any other evidence relevant to the issues as determined by the court.
If, at the hearing, the city establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that there is a reasonable likelihood of future injury to persons, property or animals, the municipal judge shall order the animal to remain impounded at the owner's expense until final disposition of any pending municipal charges. The owner shall bear all costs of impounding the animal regardless of the results of any municipal charges.
If the municipal judge determines that it is not appropriate to order the animal impounded the municipal judge may order the animal returned to the owner and to be kept under such circumstances as will ensure the safety of persons, property or other animals.
(Ord. No. 2006-21, § 1, 5-16-06)

Sec. 25-89.  Vicious animal conditions and mandatory fine.
(a)   Upon conviction or entry of plea of guilty or no contest to a charge of vicious animal, the municipal judge shall order that the subject animal may be kept within the city only upon its owner's compliance with the conditions set forth in this section:
(1)   The owner shall, at the owner's expense, have the animal spayed or neutered and shall provide proof to community service from a veterinarian that the sterilization has been performed.
(2)   The owner shall, at the owner's expense, have a microchip, conforming to the city's standards implanted into the animal and provide such information to code enforcement. Code enforcement shall maintain records containing the registration numbers and names of all animals and names and addresses of the owners. The owner shall be responsible for notifying community service of any change in address.
(3)   At all times when the animal is at the property of the owner, the owner shall keep the animal confined. When outdoors, the animal shall be confined in a securely enclosed and locked pen or kennel, except when leashed and muzzled. Such pen, kennel or structure shall have minimum dimensions of five (5) feet by ten (10) feet per animal housed, secure nonwooden sides of at least six (6) feet in height and a secure top attached to the sides. All structures must be locked with a key or combination lock when animals are within the structure. Such structure shall have a secure and safe bottom or floor attached to the sides of the pen or the sides of the pen shall be embedded in the ground no less than two (2) feet. All structures erected to house such animal must comply with all zoning and building regulations. All such structures must be adequately lighted and ventilated, kept in a clean and sanitary condition and provide shelter as defined herein in section 25-2. No animal may be kept on a porch, patio or in any part of a house or structure that would allow the animal to exit such building on its own volition. In addition, no such animal may be kept in a house or structure when the windows are open or when screen windows or screen doors are the only obstacle preventing the animal from exiting the structure. The secure enclosure requirement of this section may be waived upon the owner demonstrating to the satisfaction of the municipal judge that because of homeowner covenants, or the lack of a yard, the owner is unable to construct an enclosure. The animal must however, be leashed and muzzled whenever outdoors upon the owner's property.
(4)   The owner shall present to community service proof that the owner has procured liability insurance in a minimum amount of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) covering any damage or injury caused by the animal.
(5)   At all times when the animal is off the property of the owner, the animal shall be muzzled and either placed within a secure temporary enclosure, or secured by a leash of no longer than four (4) feet in length. Extension leashes are not permitted and leashed may not be attached to inanimate objects.
(6)   The owner shall post, at each entrance to the owner's property where the animal is kept, a conspicuous, reflective, lettered and clearly legible weather resistant sign of at least eight (8) by ten (10) inches, which shall contain the words "BEWARE, VICIOUS ANIMAL" in lettering at least two (2) inches in height.
(7)   The owner shall not sell or transfer the animal to any person residing within the city except a member of the owner's immediate family who shall then be deemed the owner and subject to all requirements of this chapter.
(8)   The owner shall immediately notify the police department or community service in the event that the animal is at-large, stolen or has acted in a vicious manner.
(9)   The owner may temporarily transport the animal through the city. During such transport, the owner may not stop within the city for any reason not related to and necessary for travel. During travel the animal shall be muzzled and confined either within a secure temporary enclosure or by a leash no longer than four (4) feet in length. Extension leashes are not permitted and leashes may not be attached to inanimate objects.
(10)   In addition to the conditions set forth herein, and any other sentence provisions, the municipal judge shall impose a minimum fine of five hundred dollars ($500.00) for a first offense and minimum fine of seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00) for any other vicious animal offense committed within twelve (12) months of the initial violation. Such fines shall not be waived, suspended or offset in any manner.
(b)   If upon conviction or entry of a plea of guilty or no contest to a charge of vicious animal the municipal judge finds as substantiated by the record that the subject animals actions resulted in less than bodily injury or injury not requiring veterinarian care or the death of another animal and that the animal has not been the subject of any other violation of this chapter resulting in a conviction or the subject of any report by the police department, including community services regarding animal conduct regulated by this chapter, the municipal judge shall impose a sentence which at a minimum consists of the following:
(1)   The conditions set forth in Section 25-89(a)(1), (2), (6), and (8).
(2)   At all times when the animal is off the property of the owner it shall be secured by a leash of no longer than four (4) feet in length. Extension leashes are not permitted and leashes may not be attached to inanimate objects.
(3)   When outdoors, upon the property of the owner, the animal must be kept either within a secure pen or kennel or confined upon the property by a fence which shall be at least six (6) feet in height, securely constructed, adequate for the purpose and kept in good repair with any gate to be locked whenever the animal is within the enclosure.
(4)   Successful completion of animal behavior training at a program approved by the municipal judge.
(5)   A fine of at least two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00).
(c)   It shall be unlawful for any owner to fail to comply with the requirements set forth in this section.
(Ord. No. 2006-21, § 1, 5-16-06; Ord. No. 2007-87, §§ 2, 3, 8-7-07)

[Sec. 25-90.  Reserved.]

Sec. 25-91.  Euthanization.
Upon a conviction of vicious animal, the municipal judge, in addition to the requirements set forth in this article and the penalties set forth in the Code may order that the animal be euthanized by or under the supervision of a veterinarian. The municipal judge shall order that the animal be euthanized by or under the supervision of a veterinarian if during the course of the offense the animal inflicted serious bodily injury upon any person.
(Ord. No. 2006-21, § 1, 5-16-06)

Sec. 25-92.  Authority for immediate destruction.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the immediate destruction of any vicious animal when deemed necessary in the interest of public safety by the community service or police officer.
(Ord. No. 2006-21, § 1, 5-16-06)

Secs. 25-93--25-97.  Reserved.

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by lizzy654, Mar 01, 2010
I wouldn't speculate as to why the Walker's attorney has asked for and been granted two continuances on this case.  In my state/district, you have to have good reason for a motion for continuance to be granted and I am sure it is the same in Colorado.  You cannot simply delay a hearing or trial simply because you want to avoid a fine or punishment.  If that is what Mr. Bensman is insinuating, then he is way out of line, particularly for a City Counsilman. I also read that the Walkers changed attorneys because their first attorney was unaware of Layfayette's Home Rule.  Perhaps the continuances were granted due to change in counsel. [I am just speculating, because this is informations that I am reading on posts, and I don't have any first-hand information]  

I have read other posts where Mr. Bensman has criticized the Walker's attorney's legal maneuvers.  They have a right to representation.

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by lizzy654, Mar 01, 2010
Here is the police report and other records:

http://www.storycardsoftware.com/podcasts/SporkJasperPR080.pdf

Note that there is no statement from the only other eyewitness, Mrs. Walker.

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by Karen99, Mar 01, 2010
I will speculate that the Walkers "legal maneuvers" are to make as certain as possible that Spork won't be taken away from them, labeled a vicious dog and euthanized.  Sounds impossible and ridiculous?  It's not out of the realm of possibilities with the laws written as they are in LaFayette.

It is of interest why Mr. Bensman chooses to continue commenting in an insinuating manner.  I can only conclude he has something to say, but just won't outright say it.  He has cast suspicion on Spooks owners by his statement above that ended with...........?.  Why would a council person involve himself in this battle?

Mr. Bensmans words:
First, ask youself why didn't the dog owners post the police report?  After all, if it supported their position on the matter, wouldn't that have been the first item you would post?  "This is what the eye witnesses to the event said..."
Then you as interested parties could render an opinion as to whether the prosecutor was running amok or not.
The hearing has NOT be held. Spork was not impounded. (This took place in August, 2009.)

http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2010/02/spork_a_savage_lafayette_counc.php

After read this, let me hear from you."

Okay, I read it.  And you asked for readers input.  What jumps out of the page is that you comment on the situation ALOT, but when asked about the conflicting laws, you decline to answer citing the "ongoing litigation."  So what are we to think when you don't do your homework on the actual numbers of dogs euthanized under similar situations?  The story states: "a 2007 Boulder Daily Camera stating that 26 of 33 dogs deemed vicious had eventually been put to death. However, Bensman says he's checked around, and the folks with whom he's spoken only one remember one euthanization in the past couple of years."

You asked around?  To whom?  Your neighbors? Associates and friends?  Did you look at court records or other RELIABLE sources?  I don't know about the prosecutor, but I have concluded you are running amok and playing foot loose and fancy-free. (You asked for feedback)    

I read a follow up story that Spork went to another vets office and had the procedure done without incident.

I've lived in small towns before and it has been my experience that all roads lead back to either money or relationships.

Does Colorado have a website up through the Attorney Generals office on political contributions..........?      

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by nomorecruelty, Mar 02, 2010
Thanks for posting the url to the police report - but it appears that the link is dead - not sure if the website is down or if the report has just been pulled.  

Bensman is certainly playing the part of 'investigator/commentator', that much I can say. I would suggest to the taxpayers of Lafayette to file a complaint with the Atty General and the Governor's Office - this has to, at a minimum, borderline on unethical behavior.

All of these news articles keep saying "According to the police report........" yet no police report has surfaced yet, at least online - someone needs to obtain this and post it. If Bensman has read it, and news media have quoted from it, then it must exist - which means it can be obtained, and posted online.

Who is the City D.A. ? And why is he/she even wanting to prosecute this?

I don't worry about Spork being euth'd - I don' think the Walkers will allow that to happen, even if it means relocating - I don't blame them, to save my pet, I would too.

I do worry about the "legal system" in Lafayette though - while what's going on doesn't shock me, as it's typical of small town politics (i.e. "I'm a better council member because my parking spot is closer to the door" type of mentality)

Like the pot hole that won't be repaired until the right politician blows a tire in it, some  things in a small town won't be addressed until the right taxpayer gets ruffled the wrong way.



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by nomorecruelty, Mar 02, 2010
Attn to Councilperson K. Bensman - you asked for feedback - I have questions since you have, obviously, seen fit to appoint yourself as some sort of "Team Anti-Spork" spokes person.

You keep saying to people "If you read the police report, you'd know.................." - so you have apparently viewed/held/seen a "police report".  That means that one does indeed exist - so for there not to be a case number, that would mean that the "police report" was either initially written on a fast food napkin, or the City of Lafayette relies on a alphabetical filing system, perhaps we can find it under the C's ("Confidential) in the filing cabinet - or maybe crammed under a Krispy Kreme box somewhere in a back office?

First things first -

First, you "should" already be aware that you are not the vet tech's attorney, nor the legal counsel for Dr. Dodge, or the City of Lafayette Police Dept.'s spokesperson.

Second, you are not being honest in telling the media, nor the public, that there was never a case number issued for this "case" - the local police department WILL have a case number, as well as probably Animal Control.   What you are doing, appears to me, is to misinform the local taxpayers, as well as other interested parties, to prevent the police report from being obtained.  The phrase that comes to my mind is "damage control".

The reasons behind this should be fully investigated - no, not by your local police dept., nor by any sitting council member, but conducted by the CBI, perhaps?


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by StarrLady, Mar 02, 2010
Dear Dr. Dock:

I had joined the Save SPORK Facebook page and sent invitations to my FB friends, and one of my first questions was 'why are people attacking the hospital?'    

Bad idea, I was then attacked and called names.  The creator of the page, Len Gaska, who was supposed to control the situation, only made it worse.

I'm all for saving SPORK, the laws need to be changed and hopefully something will happen to save this dog.  

But there is a MOB mentality that the Facebook page is creating, and in my opinion, that's wrong.  I heard other techs at Jasper are getting hate mail and death threats.   This is not the way to go about things.

As someone in the field you must have loved animals very much to get involved as your career?  I think of these people working at Jasper, facing harassment and threats over something they love doing.

Diane

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by Thomas Dock, CVJ, Vet. TechnicianBlank, Mar 02, 2010
One thing I want to reiterate here that was not apparent at the initial posting of this blog is that Spork is in no immediate danger of euthanasia.  The hearing is not until April.   And, even then, euthanasia is only a possibility and not a requirement.  It will all come down to the judge's decision on that day.

I think, like StarrLady and others have said, it's a sad occurrence when people who are asking questions are attacked and dismissed for not agreeing with the "majority rule" on fan pages and sites that support Spork.  As for hate mail and death threats to the clinic or to other posters on sites...I think that anyone who has stooped to that level needs to be removed from activity on the website or page and if it can be conclusively shown that one person has sent these threats, that person needs to be prosecuted.

I don't think anyone, from the owners to the veterinary clinic or even the attorneys involved, want to see Spork euthanized over this occurrence.  I think the technician's misguided attempt to create a "public record" of the dog bite has spiraled out of control and now placed a negative spotlight on her clinic, herself and the city.

This situation appears to me to have been a comedy of errors from the very first.  It's just sad that common sense and maybe a few apologies couldn't have stopped this progression into what is now a national debate.

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by ikant, Mar 02, 2010
I'd like to take a moment to piece together the things we actually know about this situation:



FACT: On August 14, 2009 Spork bit Ms. Stone at Jasper Animal Hospital

FACT: On August 14, 2009 Community Medical Center reported the dog bite to Lafayette Animal Control

FACT: On August 14, 2009 an Animal Control officer took a statement from Ms. Stone and Dr. Dodge regarding the bite

FACT: On August 14, 2009 the Animal Control officer made THREE attempts to contact Mrs. Walker to get a same-day statement from her but was unsiccessfull

FACT:  The City of Lafayette has a law that does not exempt those in the veterinary field from the "vicious dog" laws.  Thus, in Lafayette, a veterinary employee may press charges if bitten on the job.

FACT: On August 20, 2009 Ms. Stone decided to press "vicious animal" charges against Spork

FACT:  On August 25, 2009 Animal Control released Spork from quarantine and got a statement from Mr. Walker (who was not present at the time of the bite on August14)

FACT: No where in the police report released is a statement from Mrs. Walker




Everything beyond these facts is purely conjecture and/or opinion.  None of us was actually there, so, none of us really know the full circumstances surrounding the bite; how it happened, why it happened, what was or wasn't done "correctly", etc.  None of us where with the Walkers or Animal Control so we don't really know why it took so long to get a statement from the Walkers and why there is no statement from Mrs. Walker.  None of us know Ms. Stone so we don't really know why she made the decision to press charges.  I could go on...

It is everyone's right to form an opinion about this situation and express that opinion and feelings.  But let's please be very carefull about what we are offering as opinion and what we are taking as fact.  In highly emotionally charged situations it can be quite easy to blur the lines between the two.





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by Karen99, Mar 02, 2010
Mr. Bensman stated above:

"ONLY when charges are filed is a case number assigned and the report entered into the records tracking system. (Your own PD may have a similar procedure.)  Then it becomes a public record and subject to access via our public information act."

Absolutely INCORRECT!  I verified with the Lafayette Police Department that a case number IS assigned when a report is taken.  Within their police department, they have one uncommissioned person who takes reports in animal control matters.

The Lafayette Police Department has outstanding record tracking.  If you look at their website, it is obvious reports are taken, case numbers assigned even without charges being filed.  Their records show that even unsubstantiated complaints are assigned case numbers - those are the cases that don't get forwarded to the DA.

Mr. Bensman is not doing his city any good talking about things he apparently does not understand fully.  He really should get his facts straight before casting dispersions the Walkers way.  

I am truly sorry that the vet tech sustained this bite and am glad that a plastic surgeon was involved in her care.

I hope the DA and judge involved in this case show better judgement than Mr. Bensman.



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by nomorecruelty, Mar 02, 2010
Personally, and I believe most of the Spork supporters, feel the important issue here is :

FACT: On August 20, 2009 Ms. Stone decided to press "vicious animal" charges against Spork.

The issue being, why would a vet tech, supposedly in her position to help animals given her employment choice, file "vicious animal" charges against a dog, and his human parents?

That act alone speaks volumes - without all of the rest of the questions surrounding this entire situation.

But when you toss in the rest of the questions surrounding this situation, it just gets really, really bizarre.

The City of Lafayette is probably counting on this story "quietly dying down" and "going away" but as an animal advocate, I can safely say that animal advocates don't just speak their mind once, shrug their shoulders and go away.  

Personally, I would like to know why this "Council person" Bensman is "misinforming" (I've tried really hard not to say "lie") to people, and the media, about the police incident report not being in existence, when he himself has read it.


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by ikant, Mar 02, 2010
nomorecruelty, your response is precisely what I was getting at....blurring the lines between fact and conjecture or opinion.

You said that Ms. Stone's decision to press charges, "speaks volumes".  What exactly do you mean?  And please, consider in your response that you have not spoken to Ms Stone so you, nor I, really don't know what her intentions and drive were behind this decision.

Furthermore, I can only assume that your statement, "...why would a vet tech, supposedly in her position to help animasl given her employment choice, file visious animal charges against a dog, and his human parents?" must be meant to insinuate that Ms Stone's choice was a one borne of malicious intent.  What facts do you have to rely on to make this assumption?  My point is that such a feeling is exactly that, your feelings based on your opinions.  Which is absolutely your perrogative.

The problem is that hundreds of thousands of those statements across the internet and media, most of which are the results of OPINION, not fact, have significanctly blurred the lines between what is true and what people have induced on their own.  

None of us know what Ms Stone's real intentions are.  Yes, it is entirely possible that they are of malicious intent.  Yes, it is entirely possible that she wants Spork to be euthanized.  Yes, it is entirely possible that she is hoping to garner financial gain from this.  It is also entirely possible that she genuinely believes that this is the best way to protect others from a dog that did serious harm to her.  The point being, possibility is not necessarily truth.  None of us know what her intentions are so let's please not jump to conclusions.

Haven't enough people been hurt here already?

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by StarrLady, Mar 02, 2010
The administrator of the Facebook page for Spork is known as 'Doggers' on this blog.  

I left the group, as I see a few other people here have done.  

My reason is due to the 'mob-like' feel that the page has taken on.  I, therefore, e-mailed my Facebook friends that I recruited for Spork and let them know I was leaving the group and my reasons for doing so.  I also contacted the administrator of the Spork page in an effort to let him know that I had advised my friends to do the same.  Not a huge impact, I'm sure.

I sent what I thought was a nice e-mail which included commending him on his previous work with animals...  I said:

"I commend all you and your wife have done for animals and only wish that I could do as much as you have done! And God bless you for that! But my living arrangements do not allow me to take pets in to foster. I've contacted organizations in my area for walking dogs and I even asked to do the dirty work, like clean out cages because I have no sense of smell! I don't mind shoveling poop for the sake of the animals!

Good luck in your efforts for Spork. And thank you for sending me your post.

Best regards,

Diane"

THIS IS WHAT HE SAID TO ME:

"Len Gaska March 2 at 11:18am Report

I don't put private posts on public forums. God, what an ignorant *** you are."

I still support Spork, but not the people like THIS that support him.  Hopefully they don't hurt this dog's chances for life.

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by lizzy654, Mar 02, 2010
What I can't figure out is why Mr. Bensman was so adamant that everyone read the police report.

"First, ask youself why didn't the dog owners post the police report?  After all, if it supported their position on the matter, wouldn't that have been the first item you would post?  "This is what the eye witnesses to the event said..." -- Bensman

I have yet to figure out just what the smoking gun IS in this report.  There are statements made iby Allyson Stone, the receptionist and Dr. Dodge, in the report that Spork was at the Jasper Animal Hospital only to have a routine dental cleaning.  Yet, there is a dental consent from Jasper Animal Hospital noting that Spork was having "dental with extractions and cysts on his neck and eyelid."    That is a fact.  I can only speculate that either no one at Jasper Animal Hospital had a clue to what procedures Spork was to have on 8/14/09 nor was it documented anywhere, or that they are all lying to make it look like Spork was in no pain.

I'd hate to drop my dog off at the vet to have some teeth extracted and instead they just clean her teeth because no one bothered to document exactly what procedure was to be done.  In fact, I would be mad as h@!!  I'd probably refuse to pay for the teeth cleaning.

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by lizzy654, Mar 02, 2010
Police Report

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by nomorecruelty, Mar 02, 2010
First, Ikant, I did not say, nor imply that Stone was acting "maliciously" - please don't put words in my mouth.  

To respond to your post:


""""""You said that Ms. Stone's decision to press charges, "speaks volumes".  What exactly do you mean?  And please, consider in your response that you have not spoken to Ms Stone so you, nor I, really don't know what her intentions and drive were behind this decision.
Furthermore, I can only assume that your statement, "...why would a vet tech, supposedly in her position to help animasl given her employment choice, file visious animal charges against a dog, and his human parents?" must be meant to insinuate that Ms Stone's choice was a one borne of malicious intent.  What facts do you have to rely on to make this assumption?  My point is that such a feeling is exactly that, your feelings based on your opinions.  Which is absolutely your perrogative.
The problem is that hundreds of thousands of those statements across the internet and media, most of which are the results of OPINION, not fact, have significanctly blurred the lines between what is true and what people have induced on their own.""""""


Her decision to file charges, yes, speaks volumes - to me.  Perhaps you should go back and reread what you have posted, Ikant - because it appears to me that you are incorrectly analyzing my intent of the comments I have made.

Your post states
"Furthermore, I can only assume that your statement...... must be meant to insinuate that Ms. Stone's choice was a one borne of malicious intent" -
is just that, YOUR "assumption" - not my words, nor intent.  I've read most of the media articles and various online comments, and it appears to me that most of them are wondering the exact same thing - why would a vet tech choose to file "vicious dog" charges against a dog, and his human parents. I also want to know how this was allowed to happen legally - so that when I take my dog to a vet, and she gets frightened and nips or bites a tech, or the vet, or my cat scratches someone at the clinic, that I don't have to suffer the same consequences as the Walkers appear to be suffering.

You can sit here and try to twist my words into whatever "intent" you would like - that's your choice.  I find it odd that a vet tech would file charges of that kind, given the dog was inside of a vet clinic, and being seen by a tech employee of the clinic.  And furthermore, I'll find that choice "odd" probably for the rest of my natural life. I also find it odd that you don't understand what "speaks volumes" means.  It means, my being the author, that it says alot, to me.

And you wrote "The problem is that hundreds of thousands of those statements across the internet and media, most of which are the results of OPINION, not fact, have significanctly blurred the lines between what is true and what people have induced on their own".

The only thing I can gather, from your statement, is that you are stating that people have opinions on this story, and are expressing those opinions online, and you find that a "problem", is that correct?  If so, I can't help you there, Ikant - people have a right to have an opinion, and express those opinions - I'm certainly not going to start advocating for them to stifle their views and thoughts.  

All my personal opinion, of course - and by the way, how do you know I haven't spoken to Stone?










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by nomorecruelty, Mar 02, 2010
I have another "opinion/question"......... why does that person keep coming here to post complaints regarding  Facebook?

This site is www.medhelp.org - not a complaint thread for disgruntled Facebook users.  

Signed,
Confused



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by StarrLady, Mar 03, 2010
Dear Confused:  (or doggers?)  You have a lot of opinons, don't you?

Because part of this conversation, in the beginning, referred to the Facebook complaints and the mob that was created.  That's why.

and my name is Diane

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by nomorecruelty, Mar 03, 2010
StarrLady/Diane - I'll have to assume that this "doggers" is  someone that you apparently have issues with over at Facebook?  I have no idea who "doggers" is, but obviously you seem to think it's me - I am not him/her.  

Your earlier post, above ,with what you say you emailed the admin person, ends with "Thank you for sending me your post" -

It would seem to me, that  statement would be more in line with what the website admin would have said to you after you emailed him/her?  Perhaps you just copy/pasted in error.

I have visited the Spork Facebook page - and did read something about people that have had their posts deleted, or persons de-added to his page, for not being in support of Spork - maybe you are one of those de-added people, I don't know.  It is my understanding that Facebook can approve, or not approve, their add requests - while I don't use Facebook, i.e. do not have an account, I would imagine that a website called "Save Spork" would only want Spork/Walker supporters.  

And the only mention of a "mob mentality" in regards to Facebook, that I can find on this thread, has been what you have posted.

I'm not going to waste any more of my time discussing, or commenting, on the "Facebook" issue - as I feel it is just that - a waste of time.

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by StarrLady, Mar 03, 2010
Dear nomorecruelty:

For someone that doesn't want to say much you ended up with a 3 inch post! LOL  Here is the link from above:

http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2010/02/spork_a_savage_lafayette_counc.php

that leads to the mention of the people on Facebook harassing the clinic, and one other post stating that they were leaving the Facebook page for that same reason.  

You can also reference Dr. Dock above : by Thomas Dock, CVJ, Vet. Technician, Mar 02, 2010 10:11AM

It's all under the same topic and was in an effort to show that uninformed people will attack those that mean well, KINDA LIKE WHAT YOU ARE DOING NOW!  I removed myself, I wasn't kicked off in any way. AND on occasion I go back in to see how good ole Len is doing.....not too well, as you DID see what he posted, right?  He lost control of the page.

My statement was for people at the clinic being harassed and sent death threats, and it beginning with that facebook page.  I wasn't there, and you were not there, either.

And for someone that doesn't use Facebook, you know an awful lot about the technical end.....hummm?  And gee!  you are right!  Len is an administrator that sent me a picture of a gun last night and told me what I could do with it, he's not the creator.

I WILL continue to support Spork through a donation or words to my friends, but I will not join a mob against the clinic.

Thanks, for not wasting your time on me, and have a good day.

Diane

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by atlambert03, Mar 03, 2010
For all of those following this story, Councilman Bensman resigned his position yesterday.  The attached article cited health concerns and a potential job offering elsewhere as the reasons:  

http://www.dailycamera.com/lafayette-news/ci_14502557#axzz0h8p02kuH




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by nomorecruelty, Mar 03, 2010
Okay, I did not see that one coming.



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by peggy64, Mar 03, 2010
well, I'll be a monkeys uncle!  health issues AND a new job.....

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by lizzy654, Mar 03, 2010
Geez, the timing makes me think that maybe he was asked to resign for being "a critic" and a loose cannon.

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by nomorecruelty, Mar 03, 2010
Regardless of the Lafayette/Spork situation, I do want to say that I wish Mr. Bensman, and his family, the best. I think we can all agree that our economy is beginning to hit home with all of us.  

My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.  



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by peggy64, Mar 04, 2010
I don't wish him any ill will, but, I don't think that he is really seriously ill. I think it is just an excuse to get out while the getting is still good. Like I said previously, he thought all he had to do was spout out and because he is a councilman, everyone would just jump on the bandwagon with him. He did not expect this.

There are so many more issues for councilmen and councilwomen to attend too instead of something like this, that was for his own benefit.

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by nomorecruelty, Mar 04, 2010
Perhaps you are correct, peggy64 - but still, I  do wish him and his family the best.  He's one of us, afterall - a human being. We never know what people are going through behind what they appear to be going through. Just a thought.

While he may have been wrong for spouting off, and I do feel he was/is - I still don't wish him, and his family, anything but the best. I can disagree with someone all day long, and til I'm blue in the face, but when it comes down to personal issues, health and family - they take precedence, at least for me.

:)

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by Sporkster, Mar 05, 2010
Important! Hearing today. Also, FYI, all Witness statements were posted by the owners in the discussions tab on the FaceBook page!

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.theanimallawcenter.com%252FOurFirm%252FNews%252Ftabid%252F60%252FarticleType%252FArticleView%252FarticleId%252F29%252FSPORK-Hearing-Friday--March-5-2010.aspx&h=81ffab86713dfc2f31e44f13cda5b0cf&ref=mf

Spork thanks you! Bark!

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by Karen99, Mar 07, 2010
Thanks for the link Sporkster.  I think a movie should be made about this most unfortunate little doggie  "Spork, The Fugitive From Justice."  

Seriously, how the tech managed to get bit while standing............the scissor scenario..............etc. etc.  I cannot imagine he could be proved to be vicious.  I am glad their owners are able to defend their pup.  What dog owner could ever have imagined the consequences of taking their pup for veterinary "care."  Unbelievable!

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by peggy64, Mar 12, 2010
People wonder why I should be concerned about this.  It concerns me because it concerns my pet, the next time I take her in to see the vet. You know what I mean?  

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by Thomas Dock, CVJ, Vet. TechnicianBlank, Mar 12, 2010
UPDATE:  Spork gets "probation"

According to the Denver Post:

The vicious animal charge against Spork, a 10-year-old miniature Dachshund that bit a Lafayette veterinary technician, will be dropped if he behaves well for the next six months, a judge ruled Friday.

Prosecutors and attorneys for Spork's owners on Friday proposed the deal, which was approved by Lafayette Municipal Judge Roger Buchholz.

Defense attorneys had been preparing for an April trial after Buchholz on Tuesday rejected a defense request that the case be dismissed because the state's vicious animal law does not apply to dogs that bite animal care workers such as veterinarians, vet techs and animal groomers.


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by peggy64, Mar 12, 2010
Good news for Spork and his owners! and the rest of us dog owners!

(Bet the vet tech is not so happy, but the law is the law)

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by nomorecruelty, Mar 13, 2010
Ah, that is great news for Spork and his human parents.  And I hope the vet tech's
on the job injuries heal up quickly.

Glad the Colorado courts found their common sense gene again. Lol @ "Spork gets
probation". lol too cute.

Thanks for the update, Doc !!

:)

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by MIYADAD, Mar 15, 2010
Well, you dropped the ball. All you had to do was google and find this:

http://cbs4denver.com/local/spork.dachshund.lafayette.2.1557001.html

Channel 4 had the police report and pictures and televised another story on the Feb. 23, the day before you posted.

And explain this to your readers (I removed the name to protect the sender from the mob frenzy but did verify it was real:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sent: Sat 3/6/2010 1:46 PM
To: City Council
Cc: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Subject: I support your efforts to protect health works from Spork the dog


I was not surprised when I was the story of Spork the dog attacking someone in today's Daily Camera.
I worked with Mr. Walker in 2001.  It was a small office and we allowed employees to bring their dogs to work.
However, Spork was clearly a nervous, vicious animal.
He would lay on the floor near Mr. Walker, and I would walk over to speak with Mr. Walker.  Spork would suddenly lunge at me.  He bit me several times on the lower leg.  Luckily I was wearing heavy pants, or I suspect I would have needed stitches.  Nonetheless, Spork drew blood with his bites.  He also lunged at other employees in the office.  These attacks were totally unprovoked and came out of nowhere.  It sounds like the same thing happened to the medical worker who was bitten.

We attempted to bring Spork treats, and to approach him slowly and cautiously, so he would become acclimated to us.  It did not work.  I had to ask Mr. Walker to stop bringing Spork to the office.  He swore up and down that the dog had never exhibited this type of behavior before, just like he is now in front of the media.

I'm a dog lover.  I've had dogs all my life, and I currently have a mixed breed that we adopted from the Boulder Shelter.  I can't think of any other dog that I've had a problem with, including a couple of my dogs in my neighborhood who bit others and had to be euthanized.  I've never been bitten by any other dog.

Mr. Walker is attempting to manipulate you through the media.  I applaud your efforts, and hope you stand your ground.  Dog owners (guardians in Boulder) need to take responsibility for recognizing bad behavior in their pets and properly train their animals.  There are many well-qualified trainers that could help the Walkers with Spork.  Please insist that the Walkers get proper training for this dog, or get rid of it.

Sincerely,

XXXXXXXXXXXXX

Boulder, CO
-------------------------------------------------------------------

The week after the incident, Spork was taken to a vet in the next town, which has the same vicious dog laws as us.

So next time before jumping to premature conclusions, wait until the facts come out.

Kerry Bensman
Lafayette City Council (still)



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by Thomas Dock, CVJ, Vet. TechnicianBlank, Mar 15, 2010
Miyadad...I am not sure if you are really Kerry Bensman or not...your previous postings have been under the name Huskydad.

I am also not sure of the intent of your last posting...you seem to be scolding everyone (me included) for jumping to conclusions without all the facts.  In the original post, I clearly state that the only information at hand was what was being reported in the news.  At various times throughout this thread, many of us have stated that we felt that "something was missing" from both sides of the argument.  So, I find your comment about premature conclusions to be invalid.

Also, in this latest post you mention that Channel 4 had the police report and pictures from the day before I posted my blog?   Why did you not mention that in your response to this thread back on Feb 27th or in the emails you sent me to provide us with more information?  Seems like mentioning that fact now is like arriving at the party when the clean up is going on...

Although it is interesting, I find that this letter has little bearing on the situation at hand.  First, it appears that these occurrences happened nine years ago.   If this is true (and I am not saying it's not) why did this letter writer not proceed with pressing charges against the Walkers for an aggressive dog...why were the dog bites not reported? If this person is so concerned about this event, I don't understand why he didn't pursue more vigorous legal action in the past. Previous statements from the veterinary clinic and the technician stated that they had not had any issues with Spork in the past...

And, to me the bottom line is this...this technician put herself in a bad position, regardless of Spork's tendencies.  As an experienced veterinary technician, I firmly believe that the only way you get your face bit by a dachshund is if you have your face near the dog's face.  Dachshunds can't jump up like a Dalmatian, a Lab, or even a Husky and get near your face.  

For me personally...I think the judge made an excellent decision.  It addressed the matter without putting the dog's life in immediate jeopardy, yet still left rooom for further punishment if Spork does end up being the maniacal dog your letter portrays.

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by bigdawgdaddy, Nov 05, 2010
It seems the ONLY voice of reason in this entire thread is from "ikant" who states with certainty that he/she was not present at the time of the incident, and therefore cannot make an informed opinion on this topic.  It was an unfortunate situation that could've possibly been avoided, but other factors insinuated themselves into making it the "perfect storm" for debate.  

FORMER city council member Bensman is no longer involved in our city's doings for good reason, and has become that relative that no one really wants to mention, let alone listen to.  

There is no blame to be laid here in any respect. The dog survived, the vet tech survived, the vet in question is still one of the best in the entire region.  Any attempts to besmirch anyone - including Spork and his media-craving humans - is pathetic and juvenile.  Remember "Balloon Boy" and his family?  The same dynamics are in play here: someone saw an opportunity for their 15 minutes in the spotlight and lunged at it like - if you'll pardon the pun - a rabid dog.  

There are many ways this incident "could have" been handled.  People make mistakes.  Dogs make mistakes.  We deal with them and move on.  

Avatar_n_tn
by kharmuh, Dec 06, 2011
My boy Rocky bit a cop.  I warned the guy that he was not friendly and that he would bite him if provoked, but the guy walked up.  Rocky lunged and bit him in the shoe.  This stupid jerk petitioned animal control to have him put down.  In opresult, I ended up moving from Ohio to a state that is a little less retarded.  Georgia, if you can believe it.  I am now "on the run" so that my vicious 15 pound dog won't bite another arrogant cop.

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