Friday, February 3, 2017

Colorado: Sick dog gets treatment after concerned viewer voices concern. Why didn't animal control charge them with cruelty?

COLORADO -- A vandalized fence and a shattered mailbox illustrate the rising anger over the treatment of a family dog.

“It broke my heart. If he’s sick and if he’s old, then have him put down,” neighbor Charlene Garcia told CBS4’s Tom Mustin.

Estrella is a 7-year-old Boxer.

In another article, they say she is 10 years old. 

A neighbor took a picture of the emaciated dog in the front yard of its Englewood home. He then contacted Animal Control, who spoke with the owners and instructed them to seek veterinary care immediately.

"She's hypo-thyroid. She has a chronic eye infection and most likely other infections that just can't be diagnosed at this time," said veterinarian Kathleen Brown with Brentwood Animal Hospital in Denver.

Abuse, neglect or just not paying attention, Brown will not speculate on the cause of Estrella's condition. But she provided medication, advice and an insistence that Tapia bring back the dog for follow-up examinations.

Should they fail to do exactly what the vet has instructed them to do, Animal Control could move forward with charges. However, it seems a bit ridiculous that they didn't seize the dog based on its appearance and the owners admitting that they had never bothered to see vet care while the dog turned into a skeleton. The dog didn't get like this overnight. 

Alejandra Tapia and her husband, Jose Esparza, have had the dog since it was a puppy.

“I don’t care about the money. I just want to see her get better,” said Esparza.

If that's the case, why did you wait until animal control TOLD you to take her to a vet before you did anything?


Tapia says on Monday a stranger screamed at her about the dog.

Tuesday she woke up to find someone had driven through the fence in her front yard.

“You do your duty when you call Animal Control, but when you start harassing people and making them fear in their own home, that’s taking it too far,” she said.


Dr. Kathleen Brown treated Estrella at the Brentwood Animal Hospital. She says the family is doing what they can to help the dog, and she also understands the neighbor’s concerns.

“Any time you see a pet that you think is not getting good care you should contact somebody,” Brown said.

As the controversy over her dog escalates, a tearful Tapia says she’s worried her broken fence may be just the beginning.


“You never know what these individuals are going to do,” she said

Dr. Brown says as long as the family follows all the recommended treatment, the dog should recover.

Hopefully Animal Control will be monitoring the dog's progress to ensure that they don't 'forget' to take her back to the vet, 'forget' to get her medications, etc.

(CBS Local - Jan 31, 2017)

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