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Court hearing held for owners of dogs involved in incident on Montezuma Ave.

Defendants get suspended fines; restitution and vicious dog charge pending

Two women who were issued citations for dog offenses related to an incident in which one dog allegedly bit a pedestrian appeared Monday in Cortez Municipal Court.

According to a police incident report, Cortez resident Sharon Peterson, 60, was walking near the 40 block of West Montezuma Avenue on the morning of May 7 when two barking dogs approached her from behind. One allegedly bit her on the back after she fell on the ground.

A passing motorist, David Christian, stopped his vehicle in the road, yelled at the dogs and helped Peterson into his car. She was later provided medical treatment.

Monique Wolf received citations for having an unlicensed dog and for allowing it to run at-large.

Gabrielle Wolf, whose dog allegedly bit Peterson, received citations for having an unlicensed dog, allowing a dog to run at-large, maintenance of an animal that disturbs the peace and keeping a vicious animal.

During a court appearance in front of Municipal Judge James Shaner, the charges of having an unlicensed dog were dismissed for both defendants after they provided proof of licenses, said Cortez deputy city prosecutor Drew Buffington.

Both women pleaded guilty to the dog at-large charges.

Gabrielle Wolf pleaded guilty to maintenance of an animal that disturbs the peace, Buffington said. She did not enter a plea for the charge of keeping a vicious animal, and a hearing on that charge will be July 12.

A restitution hearing will evaluate compensation for the the victim’s medical costs.

Monique and Gabrielle Wolf were given suspended fines for a year for the charges of dog at-large and maintenance of an animal that disturbs the peace, Buffington said. If no similar offenses occur in the next year, the fines will be dropped. The defendants paid court costs.

Monique Wolf said her daughter Gabrielle’s dog is a puppy and has completed one session of professional training and is signed up for weekly classes.

She said Gabrielle’s dog had not been out on its own prior to the incident.

“I think it startled him, and we’re very sorry that Ms. Peterson had to go through that,” Wolf said. “The first class went well, and we’re excited for the continued training. We’re doing everything we can to make sure this never happens again.”

The gate from the yard where the dogs escaped has been secured.

In an interview Wednesday, Peterson said she was glad that her medical costs would be paid, and that the dog was receiving training. She said she has recovered physically, but still suffers mental trauma from the “frightening” incident.

The experience will not stop her from taking her daily walks , Peterson said, and she now carries Mace and a golf club for protection.