AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– Tracy Abbato’s dog, Capone, will remain in an Aurora animal shelter one more week as she fights the city to prove the family’s pet is not a wolf hybrid.
“It’s hard waking up and he’s not there,” Abbato said. “It’s been heartbreaking. He’s our family member and we don’t have him here with us.”
Last month, Animal Control caught Capone after a neighbor called to complain.
“There was an aggressive dog in my backyard and he tried attacking us when we tried to get him off our lawn,” said Diana Montoya. “He would just run to us and try to jump us.”
Abbato’s attorney, Aaron Acker admits this isn’t Capone’s first offense.
“There was an instance where he had bitten somebody who had intruded into the yard, and that’s the only instance, and that’s something they are throwing in our face right now,” Acker said.
A DNA test was ordered by animal control after they say Capone’s characteristics were consistent with a wolf hybrid.
The City of Aurora says if the tests come back positive, they’d ask a judge to grants ownership of the animal to Aurora Animal Services. Their primary goal would be to locate a sanctuary that specializes in such animals and can provide the animal with a new home.
The ordinance in regards to keeping wild, exotic or dangerous animals or livestock, which includes hybrids, is just one of the charges in this case, including keeping an aggressive animal and animal running at large.
“It looks like a German Shepherd [and Labrador mix]. That’s what it was sold as, that’s what they believed it to be at all times, and now all of a sudden its being called a wolf,” Acker said.
Abbato says her dog of a decade is like family.
“He’s like my kid, I feed him, take care of him, give him water, and give him a place to live,” Abbato said.
Acker hopes their closeness will hold up on court.
“The bond between humans and their companions is something that is constitutionally protected, and I think that’s something that the city needs to take seriously,” Acker said.
A hearing to determine if Capone can go home, while the court waits for the DNA results, has been rescheduled for next week.
Capone’s owners will continue to pay the shelter for every day he’s there until a decision is made.
They’ve started a GoFundMe page to help pay for a new fence, attorney fees, and shelter costs.