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Aurora Judge Spares Life Of Service Dog Heading Across Country

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Stallone gets a hug from his new owner, Freddie Katz (credit: CBS)

Stallone gets a hug from his new owner, Freddie Katz (credit: CBS)

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – A service dog that attacked another dog during a visit to the Denver area will be allowed to join an Army veteran.

A judge’s ruling spared the life of “Stallone,” a pit bull mix, bringing about an emotional meeting between the dog’s owner, Freddie Katz, and his service dog, an abuse survivor. It came after an international crusade that ended at Aurora Municipal Court.

Katz brushed away tears as he hugged Stallone for the first time.

“I bonded with him the first time I saw him. I know him already. I’ve known him for three weeks already,” Katz said.

It was an embrace Katz felt would never come after Stallone was seized by Animal Control, prompting a national crusade to free him.

“People from all walks of life who don’t even know each other coming together giving money, giving time, support,” Katz said.

Stallone was being transported from Arizona to New Jersey, where Katz lives, when the driver stopped in an Aurora dog park. Katz says Stallone, who has been used as bait in dog fights, had a flashback and attacked another dog. Because he’s a pit bull mix he faced a death sentence since Aurora has a pit bull ban.

Animal lovers from around the country joined Katz in appealing to the court. Katz told the judge he and Stallone need each other because they both suffer post traumatic stress.

“I want to help him as much as I know he wants to help me,” Katz said.

The judge granted leniency, allowing Stallone to resume his journey home to New Jersey.

“We’re going to have a party for him, he has his own bed made up,” Katz said. “He just going to be loved and spoiled.”

The family who had the dog that was attacked asked the judge to spare its life. The driver has to pay both dogs’ medical expenses and a hefty fine.

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