Advocates for animals, especially those who support pit bulls have recently been enraged over two different federal cases unfolding on two separate ends of the country. Niko, a Pit Bull in Albemarle County, Virginia has been imprisoned for over two years at the county shelter awaiting his case, which is currently pending in the Federal Court.
Baby, a Pit Bull in Colorado has also suffered the same fate and has been imprisoned since September 26th, 2014.
Baby’s situation started when Northglenn City Police arrived at the home where Baby was residing. The dog, in fear escaped and was picked up a half mile away from the home terrified and bleeding. A kind citizen whose home Baby ran to, described the dog as extremely friendly and non-aggressive. However, despite this report, Baby and another dog who also resided in the home, were impounded. The female dog was released after a few days, but Baby was kept in impound.
The city of Northglenn violated their own municipal code which clearly states that within eight hours of a dog being impounded, the city must make a record as to why the dog was impounded. The city of Northglenn failed to document a reason for Baby and for the other dog that was released.
In February of 2015, the city called Baby’s owner Serena Campbell, a single mom and disabled veteran, and told her she could come and pick Baby up from the shelter. If she did not respond in five days, the dog would become property of the state. Serena went to the shelter three different times within the five-day window and each time the dog was not released to her as initially promised.
Then, to make things more convoluted, the Northglenn police showed up and stated a hearing was going to be held to determine if Baby should be released or euthanized. The case (Number AC-2015-9) was allegedly created fraudulently as there was never a summons or any complaints filed against the dog to justify this type of hearing. Per the Northglenn Municipal Code, this case was held illegally, and the judge wrongfully deemed Baby as dangerous based on falsified documents from the animal shelter. When Serena requested copies of the documents, they were denied to her thus leaving her with no ability to subpoena the animal shelter workers who supposedly submitted the statements. When Serena was able to actually view the statements, one had a statement but no signature. Serena disputed the hearsay of the shelter workers with a video of her dog’s behavior that completely contradicted their statements.
Despite obvious hearsay and a hearing that was held illegally, the judge still handed down an order for Baby to be euthanized (euthanasia order ID # A100540) Serena was not going to give in and have her dog killed unjustly. She appealed the euthanasia order on the grounds that the sentence was handed down during an illegal hearing. Campbell reached out to a local animal attorney, who put in a request to the Northglenn Municipal Judge to overturn the illegal euthanasia order. A federal appeal was also sent to the Supreme Court, and while it was pending for approval or denial, it was costing Serena $7.00 a day to keep Baby alive. If she did not pay, Baby would be euthanized. This expense created financial hardship for Serena who is a single mom surviving on a disabled veteran’s income.
Not only are a dog’s rights at stake here, but the rights of Serena Campbell, a veteran who served her country faithfully. She has her own case pending in the Federal District Court for constitutional rights violations including illegal seizure and due process rights violations. Of course, the county and the city of Northglenn have filed motions to dismiss the case. At this time the case is in a waiting period for the judge to make a decision. Meanwhile, Baby must sit in a cage for over two years with no fresh air, no exercise and no sunlight.
The tragedy of the matter is; there are people in authority who can easily make the decision to move the dog to a more humane facility or release him from impound altogether while the case goes to federal litigation but no one will make a move to do so, thus the dog continues to sit in his prison through no crime of his or his owner. Concerned citizens and those who want to see Baby freed are encouraged to write to the Northglenn City Manager James Hayes expressing their views. He can be reached via email at JHAYES@NORTHGLENN.ORG or via regular mail addressed to:
City of Northglenn
11701 Community Center Drive
Northglenn, Colorado 80233
To date. Serena Campbell has accrued over $18,000 in legal fees and payments to keep Baby alive at the shelter.
A fundraising site has been set up to help defray the costs.
For updates on Baby’s case visit the Facebook page:
This is truly a case of illegal abuse of power and an unconstitutional murder order against an innocent dog and his owner.