Dog Owners Beware

An interesting  court case is going on in Arvada, CO.   If people are allowed to sue over being scared by a big dog, we’re all going to be in big trouble.   If cities start putting dogs down for scaring people, we’re in even bigger trouble.

My personal opinion, after reading the info on the website and listening to the dog owner on Peter Boyles’ radio show, I’ve concluded 1. this is an extreme case of breed discrimination (had this been a small dog that “attacked” this woman, nothing would have come of it) and 2. the woman who claims to have been “attacked” is simply looking for  a pay day through insurance or another route and after several years of working for insurance defense attorneys in Denver, I have absolutely zero tolerance for these types of people – they are the worst kind of people.  

Please visit:

In everything I’ve read and heard about this case, this incident was not an “attack” – if it had been someone probably would have ended up severely injured or dead.   It appears by all the documentation, no actual skin was broken in the so-called “attack.”

This could set some pretty nasty precedent if the dog is put down.   Please  read the  details  as laid out on the website  and sign the petition linked on the  website above.   Please pass this information on to as many people as possible (especially dog owners).


  1. I am absolutely disgusted! You know I’m a dog lover! Thanks for bringing this to my attention! I signed the petition…. I am so heated over this one. I’d like to get that lady’s address and have a word with her!
    Great blog, Heidi!



  2. People don’t know the real facts of this situation because only one side has been heard. The victim was actually charged by the dog and then bitten… yes actually bitten… there are pictures of her with extensive bruising. If she hadn’t pulled her son out of the way, the baby could have likely been bitten too.


  3. In response to Liza comment.

    I have been following this case and have never seen photos of the victim. Do you know where I can see those? Everything I read says her dress was torn, but that she’s claiming back injuries as a result of twisting it when she picked up her son. I’d love to know where to find this photo of an actual bite.

    I wish the victim in this case would speak out – she won’t go on any talk shows or show her face, yet after the incident the dog owner claims the victim left a note on the dog-owners door demanding $1500. (I have found several small quotes from the victim in various news articles, mostly claiming that she feared for her life and her son’s life because a German Shepherd was running towards them).

    All dog owners should be responsible for their dogs and have them under control AT ALL TIMES – Rolo’s owner did not have control over the dog at the time of the incident and that should not go unpunished. But does this punishment fit the crime?


  4. I don’t want or expect people to take my words as biblical on this blog. The victim in this case claims to have received hate mail and is moving out of Arvada – that is truly sad and no one should be sending anyone hate mail. Obviously the entire situation has gotten slightly out of hand with some people.

    Here’s a link to the original news story about Rolo the dog. There have been several since then too. You can read and decide for yourself whether this “attack” deserves the death penalty.

    Here’s a quote from the Animal Control Office in the case:

    “This case has been bothering me,” Animal Control Officer wrote to City Attorney on Sept. 7. “The bite was very minor, in fact, the EMT that examined the bite wasn’t even sure to call it a bite, as it was just a scratch…”

    He adds that Animal Control has had other cases in which those dogs did more damage, and that the dogs weren’t put down.


  5. Thank you for keeping this in the public eye. I have been joining a group of dedicated Rolo supporters, we have been picketing peacefully in Arvada since December lobbying for the dog to be spared. We feel strongly about this for the very reasons you described. In January the courts put a gag order on the owner so she can no longer protest in public or talk to the media. They silenced her, they took away her voice, so the rest of us have to speak up for her which we continue to do through our peaceful public protests. In general we get a lot of cars honking and waving to show support. Occasionally we get people driving by shouting rude things at us. A couple times when I was alone (before other protestors arrived) I was personally harassed by people walking up to me and screaming at me and accusing me of all sorts of things. But in general the public’s reaction to our protests has been overwhelmingly in support of Rolo.


  6. The victim never spoke up, she is hiding. The case is fraudulent as it can get.
    Rolo is a sweet dog whose reaction was startled by ridiculous screaming behaviour. Did he know this woman was a mom ? NO !! He went and warned her to let go of the child. Rolo never got NEAR the child. Had he wanted to, had he been AGGRESSIVE OR DANGEROUS, he would have not just scratched or nipped at the dress. He is a protective breed and that is what he was doing. Do you think if you are next to a large German Shepherd and start screaming like crazy and move fast, there will not be a reaction ????
    It is time this woman should take her own responsibility and quit the fraud. It is a shame a voiceless animal is used and blamed. Learn more about canine minds and behaviour, it is clear what Rolo was trying to do. K-9 Experts assessed Rolo as sweet and a goofball. The only victim here is Rolo and Laura Hagan, the other one never speaks out, never shows her face much and has nothing else to say… seems fishy and unbased… They system needs change, for the protection of all dogs and dog owners. Because there are many more out there, who take advantage of it and paint an over the top dramatic picture for the sake of personal gain. Rolo is innocent and not guilty of ANYTHING !!!


  7. Liza….where are you getting your information. NOT from the legal documents OR the actual witnesses. Isn’t it strange to you…that Animal Control and the Parametics, call it a SCRATCH….no broken skin?? IF a Shephered bites…YOU are going to have more than scratches!!!!

    PICTURES??? Now how did you get to see photos since they are ONLY suppose to be available to the prosecutor and defense attorney??? Somehow I am CERTAIN you are aware there is a gag order in this case…are you aware, you may have just damaged your friend’s case???

    Also, as someone who has worked with costuming and makeup….even an 8 yr old can doctor a mark to make it appear more bruised for a photo. There had better be a doctor who is willing to come that can verify HE shot the photos. A $2 Halloween makeup kit can do wonders…ask any elementary school kid…or work in the costume businesss.
    AGAIN, would someone explain to me….why a 14 mo old is walking so far BEHIND it’s mother…that she has to ‘whip’ around to save it??? What if it had been a car?

    This is about GREED…fattening the pockets at the expense of an animals life and a young woman’s income. Shame on all of you? Instead of going after this dog…maybe you should instruct your friend to get parenting classes….my baby was never allowed to ‘follow’ BEHIND me…I guess that’s why God gave us hands and arms. (Unlike a dog that doesn’t have them.) Rolo has served more time than a child sex offender. Why not spend this time, money and energy going after something that truly is a threat to any child.

    HONESTY….read your Bible…see what it says about honesty, and also what it says about animals. Shame on all of you.
    Rolo, is in all of our prayers.


  8. Also wanted to add that professional dog trainers and a former police K-9 handler, all who met and spent time with Rolo, have said publicly that he is not a vicious dog. it is in the more recent news articles. The K-9 handler, along with another police offier, went with denver radio talk show host Peter Boyles back in December to see Rolo in the shelter that he was being quarantined at. They said Rolo was totally friendly and didn’t even bark when they entered his cage. He didn’t show any aggression even when they took away a rock he was playing with. They said that if he might even be a candidate for search-and-rescue training! And then as protestors we have picket signs that show a photo of Rolo sharing his food with a cat. Clearly this is not a vicious dog who has the intent or propensity to harm people or babies. Just because someone thought he was going for her baby, doesn’t justify putting him down, for all we know she could have been very mistaken or over reacted in her panic.

    If the courts still feel a need to put the dog down, it will be a sad and alarming day for all dog owners in Arvada and other surrounding jurisdictions. what will be next – courts putting down dogs because someone gets scared of their bark or their appearance and “thinks” this means the dogs are trying to maul them? As the title of this blog page says very aptly “Dog Owners Beware”………

    HMKS, a big thank you for helping to call attention to the injustice of Rolo’s situation and for speaking up for him.


  9. Heidi I saw the picture of your German Shepherd somewhere else on your blog. Your dog is gorgeous! From German lines? I have a GSD too. They are wonderful dogs, very intelligent and also highly perceptive to people’s moods and reactions. my GSD watches me (and people in general) more closely than any other dog I’ve had, he can read my facial expressions so well it’s almost scary. Certainly a GSD would be freaked out if someone suddenly started screaming at him since it is highly uncharacteristic behavior for a dog to encounter in the average suburban neighborhood. if this dog had grown up in an inner city or a rough neighborhood on the other hand he would probably be desensitized to people screaming and shouting!

    many people are inherently afraid of German shepherds because of their appearance or size or other stigmas and bad press. I often wonder if Rolo had been a Golden Retriever or a Standard Poodle (both of which are big dogs too and can be the same size as german shepherds), would the victim have reacted in the same way, would the media have told her story in the same way (using words like ‘attacked’)? would the first judge still have ordered Rolo to be put down? Would the victim’s neighbors have been as afraid of the dog that they would want to go to court to testify?


  10. If the dog had been a different breed or a small dog I highly doubt this case would have been brought. It’s a case of breed discrimination at its worst. As a side note: the only dogs who have ever bit or snapped at me have been small dogs.

    As was pointed out above, if a German Shepherd BITES it won’t simply leave a bruise!! Have people ever seen those suits the k-9 police train with?? My personal opinion is that Rolo did NOT bite the woman. If he had, there would be blood and worse. As a GSD owner, this case is so scary. Unfortunately, as GSD owners, we have to be extra, extra careful with our dogs – train them well and keep them leashed!

    Thanks for the compliments on my baby! Her sire is V-Camp v. Sieger and I bought her from Adel Haus German Shepherds in Julesburg, Colorado. She’s incrediably intelligent – smarter than a lot of people! 🙂 And as you can read on this blog, I’ve endorsed her for President.

    I grew up with GSDs and they’ve always been my favorite breed. My husband, however, was bit by a GSD when he was about 10, so it took him awhile to warm up to the idea of getting one. However, Xena is now almost 5 years old and a total Daddy’s Girl. She has him so wrapped around her big, cute paw, it isn’t funny!!! Now he says he’d never own anything but a GSD.


  11. Thank you for pointing out how smart German Shepherds are. Truly smarter than people. I agree.
    Maybe soon it will become a total threat to own a protective breed. Because in sue-happy, paranoid America, they might be just the next pawn for someone who smells opportunity.
    Owning a dog to protect yourself or your house or in Rolo’s case, a child from some screaming overreacting dingbat who startled him – is a true risk here – Rolo didn’t know this woman is the mother…. Had this “mother” held her kid by the hand, she wouldn’t have had to act out and try to reach and scream … Which dog wouldn’t think she is harming the child ?
    Rolo warned her – that’s all – she blew it way over the top – anyone with a dog is at risk because there are so many people out there who would take advantage just like this woman does.
    Protective breed owners : WATCH OUT !! Your dog might be next !!!


  12. Interesting reading, in light of the dachsund Spork’s case.
    Without knowing the sources of info available to the above commentators, it is inappropriate for me to make snap judgements – but THAT’S JUST what several of these folks did, here!
    I’m sorry, but EVERY DOG large enough to be a danger to anyone MUST BE ON-LEASH in public, period. I guarantee these folks are passing judgement of the mother’s attentiveness, etc. but that is irrelevant. I was bitten in the thigh by a dog, while trail-running, and I threw it down the hillside. When its owner came into view, and was apprised of the incident, she acted offended, as if I had somehow initiated it!
    The staff of the clinic where Spork’s incident occurred was obligated by local statute to report the bite, yet they have received death threats!
    Your story here does nothing to enlighten whether or not a bite, or real attack occurred, but there also was nothing suggesting a mother, seeing a strange dog coming toward her, did anything other than react, which is her RIGHT. She and her child are worth more than the dog, oh, my bad, she did NOT PROVOKE the dog.


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