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Denver area woman charged for her three dogs attacking elderly neighbor

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In Greenfield, an unprovoked attack in the home of Shirley Croffard last Saturday as three large dogs broke through a screen of the woman's home and attacked her two small dogs, has now resulted in multiple charges on Tuesday against the dogs' owner, Karen Smith, reported kdvr.com.

In a frightening attack on Croffard's dogs, both she and her husband were bitten trying to protect their dogs; one of the small dogs remains in serious condition.

The dogs broke through the screen of Croffard's security door.

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Smith now faces 14 charges including three charges of leash law violation, three charges of dog bites, one charge of damaging property, and one pending charge of having a pit bull.

In 2004, the Colorado legislature banned breed specific legislation, and at the same time increased penalties for owner liability and dog attacks. The City and County of Denver contested the law stating they were a "home rule" city, and the state could not decide on their ordinances. Appeals are still being waged in court, however the pit bull ban still applies to Denver.

"Unfortunately high profile cases like this with the possibility of one or more of the dogs being classified as a pit bull will continue to fire the prejudice against the breed," stated Margaret Manning, a pit bull owner and advocate in Ohio. "Then the other problem is the person who evaluates the dog for his breed. A lot of dogs look like pit bull terriers because of the stigma that any dog who attacks must therefore be a pittie. Very sad situation we have here for dogs that are trained and abused by their owners."

Denver Animal Control is expected to evaluate the alleged terrier's breed on Wednesday. The dogs are being held in quarantine at this time.

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