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What can I do if I’ve been charged by animal control for violations regarding my dog?

Asked by user in Colorado.

My dog bit me when I was in my home. Play turned to a fight, and he attacked another of my dogs. I intervened and he bit me quite badly. It was my fault since I inserted myself into the fray to stop the fight. I was immediately taken to one hospital and then moved to another for surgery to repair my broken arm and the damage. The injured dog was left at home in the care of others. I was in horrible pain, under anesthetic, etc, so not really cognizant of what was going on for a period of time. It's a long story but ultimately animal control is charging me with a variety of violations: animal neglect (regarding the injured dog), having an aggressive dog (using evidence based on gossip), etc. I was given a court date but want to find a way to challenge the veracity of the 'second-hand “witness” statements about my dog before it goes that far. People giving statements have never been in my home, nor have they witnessed any acts of aggression by my dog.

Answered by Enjuris Editors:

I’m sorry you’re dealing with this and that you were injured.

It sounds as though what you’re asking is how to defend against the violations with which you’ve been charged. My suggestion would be to find a lawyer to advise.

Without all the facts, I can’t suggest what you should do because I don’t know the exact charges or what evidence they’re based on. Even if these are not criminal charges (rather civil violations), you can call a criminal defense lawyer who’s familiar with your local court system and who can advise you on the charges and review the evidence. It’s possible that if the statements are “second-hand” as you say, they could be inadmissible in court as hearsay, but that’s something your lawyer will need to determine.

Best of luck and I hope it all works out for you.

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