Let me start by saying…
** As a human to 2 “rescue dogs” – THANK YOU to the fantastic people who rescued this sweet girl…may the universe bestow whatever blessings it can on you for your kind spirits and acts.
** Thank you to the members of this community for providing, by far, the most meaningful forum for an “outsider” to gain some perspective on this issue.
** I am NOT a mountain climber (how I do envy you guys) and cannot claim any credibility to those related issues.
** I am NOT a lawyer and should not be considered an authority on law (particularly Colorado since I don’t live there), so a big grain of salt is appropriate.
** I’m providing the information and opinions in this post simply hoping to provide some objective context to the fine people on this forum.
** I believe the there are 2 Colorado laws that will drive the direction, assuming sufficient public pressure is brought to bear…
** RE: Cruelty to Animals http://www.animallaw.info/statutes/stuscost18_9_201.htm#s201
** RE: Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act http://animallaw.info/statutes/stuscost35_80_101_117.htm#s106_3
** If Mr. Ortolani is charged with animal cruelty, possible outcomes might include…
** Negotiated forfeiture of the dog in exchange for dropping charges
** Motion from prosecuting attorney for Mr. Ortolani to forfeit the dog upon conviction
** From my glancing through the law pertaining to animal facilities, if the dog has been abandoned for longer than 5 days (whether in or out of the facility’s direct control), the animal becomes the property of the facility/agency and they can do as they see fit. So even if no charges are brought, Mr. Ortolani may have slim legs to stand on for his request/claim.
The reason I point these out is to demonstrate to those so inclined that there are legal outcomes to pursue and leverage beyond moral outrage (as fair as that may be). As has already been said, thank goodness for the strong spirit of the sweet baby and the goodwill of those special folks who answered her call.
My wife and I are big believers in the concept of “natural, logical consequences”, when not inhumane. I know Mr. Ortolani says he had been mourning his dog’s loss and is hoping for a second chance. Perhaps the best outcome is for him, in fact, to “have” to mourn her loss (though not through death) and maybe find his second chance/penance in doing a better job as partner human to another deserving dog in need of its own rescue.
I hope I haven’t offended anyone; apologies if I have. Thanks again for a generally thoughtful discussion.