Grand Junction Mom Fighting to get Disabled Son's Dogs Back

By: Jessica Zartler Email
By: Jessica Zartler Email

It's a story you'll see only on 11 News--A Grand Junction mom is fighting to get her disabled son's dogs back.

She's hoping animal services will throw her a bone but animal services says its just enforcing the law.

Michael King says he's happiest when he's playing with his dog Ava.

Just three years ago, he was severely injured in this rollover crash and his dog helped him get back on his feet and deal with brain damage.

Ava had puppies a year ago and Michael's mom says she's ever seen him happier.

"Those puppies are his children, they sleep with him, he cares for them daily, he loves them," Terri King-Hamm told 11 News.

But last month, his two puppies were taken by animal control.

"I was really really sad," Michael King told 11 News.

Terri King–Hamm says Michael has not been the same since.

"It's really hard. It's hard to see somebody that's disabled to have one incident affect their whole life, it's heartwrenching," she said with tears in her eyes.

Mesa County Animal Services says the dogs were found running through the neighborhood atleast seven times.

Director Penny McCarty says she has evidence to believe the puppies attacked and killed other animals in the neighborhood.

"That neighborhood needs to be safe."

McCarty says animal services is just following the law and has to kennel the dogs until a judge can decide what to do next.

"We're going to keep that animal safely confined here or those animals until we are ensured, sometimes through a court order, that the owner is going to safely confine them so it doesn't occur again," McCarty told 11 News.

Terri King–Hamm says she built a kennel and has worked with Michael to keep the dogs in his yard.

"He knows now to be more responsible."

She says the dogs are not vicious.

"They are not dangerous. We play with them and out neighbor plays with them," said King-Hamm.

But until the dispute is resolved in court next week, Michael will only have Ava.

The hearing on the dangerous dog charges is scheduled for August 17th.

The King's say even if the judge lets them have their dogs back, they will have a hard time paying hundreds of dollars in kenneling fees to Mesa County Animal Services.

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