Retiree shoots 2 bulldogs after attack in Leadville
By Bill Scanlon, Rocky Mountain News (Contact)
Originally published 12:15 p.m., August 6, 2008
Updated 03:17 p.m., August 6, 2008
A Leadville man who killed a dog and injured another says he did so because he feared for his safety, after the two American Bulldogs attacked his German Shepherd and tried to force their way inside his house.
"My family was under attack," Clint Jewell, who taught high school social studies for 27 years before retiring, said today.
"They were savage, really fierce. I was afraid they'd get into the house by beating that door down. The scatch marks are four feet up on the door."
Jewell faces felony animal cruelty charges. But the owner of the bulldogs also faces a charge dangerous animals at large — and the case is far from clear cut.
Jewell's burden is that he didn't shoot the dogs on his own property — he was about 50 feet off his property and shot them with his .22 revolver.
But Lake County Sheriff Ed Holte said it's possible that the District Attorney won't file any charges against Jewell. Holte noted that the American Bulldogs "looked exactly like pit bulls to me," referring to the notoriously aggressive breed that has been banned in many Colorado cities.
The incident happened last week when two American Bulldogs worked their way through a hole in the backyard fence that their owner, Marge Henry, "never bothered to fix," Holte said.
Henry, who doesn't have a listed phone number, couldn't be reached for comment.
Jewell said he had just let his German Shepherd out of his pickup truck when the dogs attacked it, one of the American Bulldogs clamping its teeth on his dog's shoulder.
"I was dragging both dogs by my dog's collar," Jewell said. "My dog weighs 90 pounds, and the other dog was a lot heavier than that.
"I yelled for my son, Kevin, and he kicked the dog in the head, which was the only thing that made it let go.
"I have bite marks on my arms and legs to prove how docile these dogs were."
He got the German Shepherd inside, but the two bulldogs kept banging against the door, he said.
Besides fearing for his own family, Jewell said he felt obligated to warn the neighbors.
But he didn't want to go outside without a firearm, so grabbed his .22 revolver.
"We have a lot of kids in this neighborhood who are always playing outside," he said. "Somebody had to go and warn people."
He was about 50 feet off his property when the dogs started for him, he said.
He shot one dog from a range of about six feet, killing it. He shot the other dog from 20 to 30 feet away, grazing him, he said.
"The last thing I wanted to do was shoot those dogs," Jewell said. "They left me no choice. My other option was to get mauled.
"I'd like to apologize to the owner but I don't even know her name," Jewell said this morning.
He said he'd never seen those dogs before, but had had trouble before with a pit bull that attacked his dog.
The dog that survived was taken to a veterinarian and likely will be OK, Holte said.
Holte said it's now up to the DA to file formal charges against Jewell, or not. The possible charges include felony animal cruelty, discharge of a firearm in a residential district and reckless endangerment.
"If the DA takes the position that he was justified in being where he was, and that the dogs were attempting to attack him, he is justified in destroying the animals," even though they weren't on his property, he said.
The first court appearance likely will be late this month or early September.
http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2 ... leadville/
Bless the Bullys