Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

Woman bitten, dog killed by three dogs in Berthoud neighborhood

February 06, 2015 | Local News

By John Gardner
The Surveyor

On Dec. 9, Berthoud resident Lisa Crook went for a walk with her two dogs, Kahn, a 5-year old golden retriever, and Maggie, a 6-year-old Corgi. They walked down Nebraska Avenue when she and her dogs were attacked by three other dogs that managed to get out of the yard where they were housed.

Crook and Kahn suffered multiple bites each, but Maggie unfortunately was so viciously attacked that she ultimately had to be put down due to her injuries. The whole incident was a nightmare for Crook.

“It was a horrible day,” Crook said.

According to the Larimer County Sheriff’s report, the owner of the three pit-bull mix dogs was identified as Kelsey Greathouse, 24, who was charged with animal at large, vicious animal, and two of the dogs were cited for failing to obtain dog license and rabies vaccinations. The dogs were ordered to a 10-day confinement at the residence, which upset Crook, who was bitten during the incident trying to protect Maggie; once on her left hand and again on her right elbow, according to reports.

“This has changed my life,” Crook said. “No one in this town should be afraid to walk the streets of this town because of dangerous dogs.”

Crook also incurred nearly $700 in veterinary costs due to the attack on her Corgi, which was ultimately put down at the advice of the veterinarian.

At the time of the incident, the three dogs that attacked Crook and her dogs were in Greathouse’s fenced-in backyard on Nebraska Avenue. Somehow the dogs got out of the yard when Crook and her dogs were passing by.

Greathouse said this is the first physical incident with her dogs and she said she was surprised by their actions. Police had previously responded to the house when neighbors complained of the dogs barking, but this is the first incident involving violence, according to Larimer County Sheriff’s Sargent Jim Anderson.

Greathouse, who was not at home during the attack, said she was horrified when she returned home and found out what had happened.

“I didn’t even know what to say,” Greathouse said. “That is horrible. It’s hard for me to even think that one of my dogs did that to another dog.”

Greathouse added that her dogs aren’t the “vicious” animals they’ve been made out to be, but this is an isolated incident.

Nonetheless, at a Jan. 15 municipal court hearing, Greathouse was fined $100 and was ordered to remove the dogs from the Berthoud town limits by Feb. 15, according to court documents. No restitution was imposed to cover Crook’s vet bill as part of the agreement, with Crook’s approval.

Greathouse, who’s only lived in town for about nine months, said she plans to move from town in the coming months. Until then, the dogs will stay with a friend in Longmont.

The interesting aspect of this case is there really isn’t any oversight on these dogs once they’re moved from town, possibly leaving another opportunity for this type of attack to happen again.

According to assistant town attorney, Jed Scott, Berthoud’s municipal code only specifies the municipal court has the authority to remove the dogs from town if deemed vicious.

Berthoud’s municipal code states: “No person shall own or keep any vicious animal. A ‘vicious animal’ is one that bites, claws or attempts to bite or claw, any person; bites another animal; or approaches any person in an apparent attitude of attack, whether or not the attack is consummated or is capable of being consummated.”

“I think the short answer is that there is room to address deep-rooted concerns about a dog that may harm others, animals or humans,” Scott said.

Despite the loss of her Corgi, Crook was satisfied that at least the court required the dogs be removed from town limits.

“I was glad that I was able to accomplish my main goal, which was to get rid of the dogs,” Crook said. “I feel they were still a danger to the neighbors and others.”

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