Woman Protests Dog’s Death Sentence By Camping Out In Front Of Courthouse


Laura Hagan wants her dog Rolo to be saved from an unfortunate fate.

A Colorado judge has said that this five-year-old German Shepherd is dangerous and ordered Rolo to be euthanzied for biting a neighbor. Hagan said her dog has no history of violence and the woman was only scratched.

While she awaits the results of an appeal of the original decision, Hagan has been protesting day and night at the District Court building since Monday morning. She promised that she will stay there until a decision is made.

Rolo has been at an animal shelter since mid-August. Hagan said that her dog is extremely skinny and is starting to go crazy from being in the shelter for so long. She is afraid of how much the shelter environment has affected Rolo.

The incident happened in early July when Hagan was about to take Rolo for a walk. He escaped out of the fence and approached the neighbor. The police report from that day said the injuries were “bruises and abrasions”, but some other neighbors said the injuries were more severe and that Rolo broke the woman’s skin.

Neighbors have been divided over Rolo and what should be done with the dog. Some said he never was violent or aggressive, while others stated that they didn’t feel safe around Rolo.

Source: 9NEWS

18 Responses to “Woman Protests Dog’s Death Sentence By Camping Out In Front Of Courthouse”

  1. kaefamily says:

    They did not feel safe around Rolo because he is a German Sherperd. And this particular breed has been in the news a whole lot lately. Imagine a toy Chihuahua gave someone a scratch on the hand. Would it be considered a vicious lit’ doggie and needed to be put down? Surely IF all the news media concentrated solely on attacks (I am using the term loosely here) by this breed of dogs. All it would take is a few minor incidents then WHAM! we’d be inundated with headlines, “VICIOUS CHIHUAHUAS ATTACKED MUSCLE-BOUNDED BODY BUILDERS! DOGS NEEDED TO BE EUTHANIZED!”

  2. Velvet's Dad says:

    The poor dog does look too thin. One “offense” and the dog should get capital punishment? In any case, a decision should be made rather than keeping the dog locked up for so long and underfeeding him. That’s cruel and inhumane.

  3. Tanya says:

    Colorado has several Districts with “one offense and you’re out” rules, and I’m fine with that, if they are 1) investigated, 2) enforced universally, and not just on inner city folk vs. rich indulged “pet” owners.

    I don’t mind dogs. I mind poorly trained dogs who can harm me. I’ve been chased by people’s “under control” dogs before. I am frightened of them, cause i was attacked when i was a child. teh owners BLAME me for *being afraid and running, when i told you not to*.

    The problem is that owners in colorado - boulder especially, do not understand that dogs (especially bigger breeds) can be dangerous even if they NEVER show any signs of aggression with mom or dad. I can raise my hand innocently enough, and the dog can read it as a sign i’m going to attack. I can move in to pick a flower, and the dog can think i’m encroaching on it’s terriatory (these incidents happen not in someone’s yards, but in wild land “open space” area, where boulder colorado has a “no leash” law.)

    Doggie parents need to understand exactly how dangerous a provoked dog can be, and exactly how **innocent** that provocation can be in the real world. to me the “word” of the owner that the “dog is under my command” seems silly, when the owner then tells me “don’t run, cause he will think you are prey” or “if you run, he’ll want to play and will attack you” or “It’s only kisses of affection, it’s not his fault you are scared”.

    Course boulder is a wierd town anyhow. the city has been petitioned many times to let dogs into resturants.

  4. Nora and Rufus says:

    Here we go again. Another ignorant human (the bad neighbor) persecuting a poor unfortunate dog. I am so sick of humans condeming dogs to death because the humans are to stupid to know what is real. Run silly Tanya, run.

  5. mittens says:

    i think it is entirely uncalled for to belittle tanya’s completely logical statement of concern. there’s nothing silly about people being scared or cautious particularly around larger breeds of dog- always an unknown quantity that can’t be depended upon to have an owner who has properly trained them and who has good control over them .

    i was raised in a dog owning family(who trained their dogs primarily for hunting) and was taught always to be cautious around unknown dogs and to in no way assume they were as gentle and well trained as our own dogs. it’s called common sense, and as a dog owner i was always aware that i was in control of the dog. period. no matter what the dog does and to whom i am responsible for that dog’s actions . if someone were to run away from me and my dog it was my responsibility entirely to control my animal- it’s not up to strangers to not do this or that because the dog’ won’t understand’ it or will take it as aggression or will ‘ want to play’( and jumping up on people isn’t play or cute- it’s a sign of dominance that most people rightly reject particularly in a dog that is not their own). that’s blaming a potential victim for your own inability to be the alpha dog and control the pack. it is of utmost importance particularly for people who own larger breeds that they understand dog behavior and are dominant. if you blame human reactions( that are not directly physically an attack) for your dog being out of your control and seem to insist everyone instantly understand canine behavior and conform to what the dog ‘ wants’ youre already screwed. you’re putting the dog in control of every stranger you come near and in charge of you. this is arrogance and frankly stupidity covering up for the fact you think the rest of us should submit to an animal you seem to think should control any environment and all human/dog interaction. this attitude is the reason most people should never own dogs bigger than a chihuahua and that’s sometimes pushing it. anything with teeth can bite.

    and as she so rightly points out a dog in no way treats members not of his pack the same way it approaches strangers.

    while i think that there should always be considerations for dogs who have no history of violence or who have been accidentally provoked or poorly controlled by the owners - certainly laws could be more humane and more precise and should be crafted with common sense and an understanding of canine behavior- i really think dog owners have themselves to blame for some of the more intolerant laws concerning dog’ attacks’. if your collective attitude is that dogs only bite because “people who are bit or ‘ scratched’ who don’t own dogs and are scared of them are silly and stupid” need to realize that in the end the dog’s behavior is a reflection of your success or failure as the dominant one. a dog that bites or mauls or jumps or lunges at people and barks is a dog that feels it has the right to dominate and a dog who is out of your control. blaming the victim will garner you no sympathy for what in all likelihood is your own failure and in the end your responsibility.

  6. Anna says:

    Tanya wrote: don’t mind dogs. I mind poorly trained dogs who can harm me. I’ve been chased by people’s “under control” dogs before. I am frightened of them, cause i was attacked when i was a child. teh owners BLAME me for *being afraid and running, when i told you not to*.

    I’ll pipe up here, as I was once attacked by a German Shepherd owned by a family member. Had a hole put in my face.

    I totally agree with Tanya. And in fact, I also agree with there are no such thing as bad dogs, only bad pet parents. In this case, Laura Hagan MIGHT if she plays her cards right, save ROLO’s life by fessing she was a poor owner, (it was her fault) did not control her dog, and GIVE THE DOG UP TO OTHERS WHO CAN CARE PROPERLY FOR IT.

    If she can apologize to the neighbor (get the ego out of the way) and ask that she agree to save ROLO’s life if she give him up, would the neighbor ask the judge not to euthanize.

    THAT would take both humans being bigger than themselves. Ain’t gonna happen. ROLO will die. He should not, large intelligent breeds like GS’s require intelligent handling. Like I said, ain’t gonna happen. Perhaps people should have to take an IQ test before they are allowed to own certain dogs .

  7. Michelle says:

    I definitely agree with Nora and Rufus here. Many dogs may chase you or try to bombard you when they really just want to play or show affection. It does not necessarily mean that they want to hurt you. If you see a dog running towards you and you try to run away from him, he may just think that you’re playing along with him, which will make him more excited. It seems like every article I read nowadays has a judge ordering to euthanize a dog for a bite or scratch- or just plain scaring someone (even if the dog did not mean to). People like Tanya are obviously very ignorant about dogs and animals in general. I don’t get it- aren’t people who view this site animal lovers in general? Why then do we have people like Tanya bashing our dogs????

  8. Tanya says:

    I am hardly ignorant of dog behavior. I refuse to acknowledge that someone who is in *control* of their animal cannot control the animal if i run.

    I am not scared of spiders. Some people are.
    I am not scared of the #13, some people are.
    I am scared of big dogs barking and lunging. It’s neither rational nor logical, but that doesn’t mean i should have to address my fear because YOU CANNOT HANDLE YOUR DOG.

    If you think that is ignorance, then let me assure you that it is owners like your self, who assume that other people should act “correctly” around your dogs that will get your dog killed when it does one day attack someone “in play”.

    What if i simply do not want a dog chasing me. Your dog. Why should i have to care that i’m not supposed to run? Is it not your dog? What if i’m DEADLY allergic to dogs. do i still have to stand there while it comes near me, and let it touch me, because you cannot call the dog off?

    Dog owners (especially those of larger breeds) who are *good* dog parents know that their animals can sometimes threaten, frighten, or intimidate. I guess the ignorant one here are those who assume this behavior is justified or acceptable.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Should we trust a stranger simply because s/he tells us to do so? If we are capable of allowing a complete stranger roaming in our own house and entrust our family and children with her/him then we should believe the words of a dog owner that her/his dog is absolutely harmless :-)

  10. Lynn says:

    Why can’t they just put one of those GPS trackers on the dog’s collar (in such a fashion that it can’t come off) and let the dog go home, confined to inside the house, pending the appeal?

    Hey, manufacturers of those human ankle GPS devices: make a bunch for dogs in the form of a collar!

  11. stargirl says:

    just because some neighbors state that they didnt feel safe around rolo, doesnt mean he actually did anything wrong. the irrational fears of neighbors shouldnt be used as a basis for a legal decision that determines if rolo lives or dies.
    it should be a pretty simple matter to figure out what rolo did to the neighbor last july. if the police report said there were “bruises and abrasions,” that should be taken as fact. not what neighbors are now saying, months later.
    even if the judge decides to euthanize rolo, im sure laura will appeal the decision. the more publicity this case gets, the better for rolo.
    i hope he can get home for christmas.

  12. stargirl says:

    also, the people at the shelter can torment rolo, abuse him, and change him into a mean dog. then they can say “see? he is vicious and needs to be put down.”

  13. kathy says:

    OK, let me make sure I have this story straight. I gather this dog is from Boulder….If I remember correctly, in Boulder if your dog even scares someone, he can be declared vicious. And euthanized. You don’t even want your dog to bite a burglar in Boulder.
    I don’t think the people at the Boulder Humane Society are tormenting or abusing Rolo, unless things have changed drastically in the last 5 years. Boulder is one of the most dog-friendly cities in the country. The people I knew at the shelter were some of the best I have ever met!
    The truth of the matter is, is you can’t call your dog back to you, even if he is chasing someone who is running, your dog is not under your control and needs to be on a leash. With the law the way it is in Boulder, you need some kind of fail-safe management plan to make real sure your dog CAN’T escape. Plain and simple. As is usually the case, the dog pays for its human’s bad decisions.

  14. Mike S. says:

    I agree with mittens and Tanya.

    I am terrified of dogs even though I grew up with them. Just last year my father got a new dog (a German Shepherd) and I would play with it when I had some spare time. Even though I was afraid of dogs I still played with it but only because I didn’t have a reason to fear it. He’s a very affectionate dog and loves attention. I played with that dog for a year and hugged it and everything. Then one day out of the blue it bit me and I now have permanent damage. The only thing I can think of that I did was that I stood too close to it’s bone, which is a poor reason for biting someone.

    I’m not afraid of German Shepherds because of that but I’m even more afraid of dogs than before and won’t even go near it anymore. Just because it bit me I don’t think it deserves to be killed but I do think it needs some behavioral training by a professional.

    I don’t think any dog deserves to be killed because it bites someone, unless the dog actually is vicious and is unsafe to be around. Or if the dog is a repeat biter than maybe that needs to be looked into to determine what the problem is. In many cases, the owner is at fault. If my father and the dog’s previous owners had properly trained the dog, it probably wouldn’t have bit me.

    I understand why people are afraid of dogs. Even if they are on a leash, they could still get loose and bite you for some silly reason you never would’ve thought. I’ve seen people, especially women, have dogs on a leash, thinking they’re in control and then all of a sudden the dog overpowers them and they’re running around loose. If you’re not stronger than you’re dog, it’s potentially dangerous to other people, especially children.

    People will never understand that just because your pet is friendly with you, it doesn’t mean it will be friendly with everyone else. My veterinarian thinks one of my cats is mean and nasty because everytime I take him in he hisses and snarls. Last time I was even worried he might bite the vet. But he’s not that way at home. I never would’ve guessed that sweet little angel could behave like that. So just because your dog is nice to you it doesn’t mean it won’t rip someone elses head off.

    And dog owners need to be aware and understand that not everyone likes dogs and that some people are terrified of them. I think this is a huge problem, I see it all the time. You assume that just because you love dogs that everyone else does too. Well guess what? It’s not true.

    And here I am sticking up for dogs when I don’t even like them in the first place.

    I see a bad trend developing in this world - people are no longer taking responsibility for their own actions and faults. I have relatives that work in schools as teachers and secretaries. These schools now have security cameras in the classrooms and occasionally monitor what’s being said via the intercom system. There have instances where a child has thrown a chair at a teacher or have bitten another student, etc. The principal will show the video footage to the parents as proof and the parents still deny their child ever did anything wrong and have the audacity to blame everyone but the child. These are parents who think their children are perfect angels despite them getting in trouble at school all the time. These parents can’t take responsibility for their child’s actions or their own faults in raising their child.

    Sadly, a lot of pet owners are like this. Even ones that post here in this community. These people shouldn’t have pets or children.

  15. Don Earl says:

    RE: “I definitely agree with Nora and Rufus here. Many dogs may chase you or try to bombard you when they really just want to play or show affection.”

    The part I don’t understand is how anyone could be a big enough jerk to think it’s okay for their pets to chase and bombard people under any circumstances. In the current situation, we’re talking about an outright attack.

    The problem is pets DO pick up on the attitudes of their owners, so big dogs owned by sociopathic big jerks eventually get to be a problem. Euthanizing the owners is more reasonable under the circumstances, than euthanizing a different dog every week. Not to mention the added benefit of improving our species.

    Yeah, okay, that one might be a hard sell to the general public, but criminal penalties for something along the lines of first, second and third degree dog asault might help curb the kind of attitudes where the pet owner’s position is, “What’s the huff guys? The neighbor is healing up nicely.”.

    At a certain point, a little attitude adjustment behind bars makes a lot of sense.

  16. A.C. says:

    I am a big-time pet lover who dedicates a major chunk of time to fosters/rescues/rehomes and helping pet owners in general.

    And I am APALLED at those of you who are jumping Tanya and others concerned about their safety with the justification that your sweet lil doggy just wants to play!!! Are you kidding?! Since when did your pet’s desire to do ANYTHING outweigh another person’s right not to have their space invaded without their permission?

    Keep your animal under control! Teach him/her proper manners! In case you don’t recognize it - that’s called responsible pet ownership!

    I’ll bet you let your kids run around screaming and throwing things in the local family restaurant, too.


  17. Karen says:

    This dog is being held at the Table Mountain Shelter in Golden. The case is in Arvada. So Boulder has absolutely nothing to do with it. Dogs are not killed in Boulder because they scare someone.

    Tanya - Although I respect your feelings about dogs you really should learn what to do if in fact a dog attacks you. And the majority of dog owners in Colorado are good owners who take the responsibility of well behaved dogs seriously. Your blanket statements do not make it fact.

  18. Anonymous says:

    The neighbor probably deserved more than a scratch.

    One thing the neighbor can count on is SHE WILL NOT BE WELCOMED!

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