'Dangerous dog' attacks 3 people in 6 months

Posted at 7:18 PM, Feb 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-11 22:49:15-05

Neighbors want answers about a "dangerous dog" who was allowed to live in a west Denver home for years despite multiple attacks on both neighbors and their pets.

The Rottweiler named "Loco" has bitten three people in the last six months, including a 20-month-old toddler who required surgery.

Denver Animal Protection now has the dog, but neighbors question why it took so long for them to get him off the streets.   

"I think that's a little too late -- that's four incidents too late. I think it should have been taken care of on the first incident," said one neighbor who asked us not to use her name because she fears retaliation.

Officials from Denver County's Animal Protection Services wouldn't give us answer, citing the ongoing investigation of the attacks. 

The dog's owner, Martin Pena, is now charged with a felony and misdemeanor charge for unlawful ownership of a dangerous dog.

"I think the dog is vicious," said the neighbor.  

"Do you feel safe?" asked Denver7 Reporter Jennifer Kovaleski.

"Not at that end of the block -- no, I will not walk on that end of the block," she said. "He'll growl at you and then he does start to bark -- once you know he's growling at you -- you know he's ready to attack."

The neighbor said Pena has let his Rottweiler roam the neighborhood for years.

"He chased me down the street, he chased me down and I tripped over the porch to get in the house away from him," she said.

Out front of Pena's house there are signs that warn of the dog, but that hasn't stopped Loco from biting four people and a handful of pets.

Court records show Loco first bit and hurt someone in 2011. The dog attacked an 11-year-old girl who was walking in the alley behind the owner's house.

Following that incident, the dog was impounded and deemed a "dangerous dog."

Loco was allowed to go back to his owner's house after Pena agreed to keep his dog confined to a crate. However, in the last six months the dog has bitten three other people.

According to court documents, in two of the cases, Loco broke their legs.

Kovaleski tried to get answers from the owner, but when she stopped by his house no one answered the door.

Denver Animal Protection would not allow Denver7 to see the animal and it's unclear what will happen to the dog after the pending criminal charges against its owner.

Neighbors want Loco gone for good.

"It's kind of horrific for a person to have their children out no knowing if they're going to be attacked," said the neighbor. 

So what does it take for a dog to be considered "dangerous" in Denver? The City of Denver considers a dog to be dangerous if:

  • The dog is known to attack without being provoked, or
  • The dog has attacked or bitten a person or another animal


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