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ALC Responds to Dr Dodge & Jasper Animal Hospital

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Press Contact: Kurt Holzberlein
Phone: 3 0 3 - 9 2 9 - 0 1 6 3

Wheat Ridge, Colo - We, at The Animal Law Center, are providing a statement, on behalf of our clients, Tim and Kelly Walker, in response to the statement made by Dr. Donald Dodge, on behalf of himself and Jasper Animal Hospital earlier today.

At no time have the Walkers ever sought to undermine Jasper Animal Hospital or the hospital’s devotion to the welfare of animals and their guardians. The Walkers have provided nothing other than facts in legally protecting their dog Spork against the criminal charges that were sought by a veterinary technician, employed and supported by the Jasper Animal Hospital. In fact, it was the outstanding reputation of the clinic that drew them to it in the first place. They don’t take issue with their reputation or the many good services they have provided. However, as with any veterinary clinic, Jasper Animal Hospital is responsible for the hiring, training and supervision of its employees. Further they are responsible for the development and implementation of hospital procedures to protect their clients, their animal patients, and their employees.

While the Walkers are perplexed by the City of Lafayette’s aggressive pursuit of the charges against them, they are also distressed by the veterinary technician’s desire to further this case. While they have been very upset and concerned about the injuries suffered by the tech, the Walkers are surprised that a trained veterinary professional would put an animal in her care in this position. In the police reports, it is clear other clinic employees were aware that Spork was distressed at the time of his visit. He was shaking and defecating in his owner’s arms. Given the visible state of Spork’s anguish, the Walkers are shocked that this veterinary technician, given her years of experience, would put her face anywhere close to Spork’s face. What is even more curious to the Walkers is why a trained tech would aggressively urge criminal charges in the matter when veterinary technicians are trained to handle animals, and there is an assumed risk that comes with the job. Colorado State Statute §18-9-204.5(6)(b) specifically exempts veterinary health care workers for this very reason.

To conclude, the Walkers have no issue with the Jasper Animal Hospital at this time. However, they are concerned with the hospital’s support of the technician’s decision in her pursuit of prosecution and the implications this case may have on other pet owners when they take their pets to a veterinarian or other animal service provider in the city of Lafayette, due to the laws and their interpretation by the City of Lafayette.

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