Deputies responding Friday afternoon, Jan. 18, to a call for assistance at a welfare check at a residence on Valley View, a street just north of U.S. 160 in the Pagosa Lakes Core Area, shot and killed a dog that officials say was attacking the law enforcement officers.
A deputy was sent to the address at approximately 2:45 p.m. to assist members of Axis — a local mental health organization — and a crew from Emergency Medical Services, who were at the residence on a welfare check of Vicki Previte, the resident.
According to Undersheriff Rich Valdez, a second deputy arrived at 3 p.m. and the individual at the residence, later identified as Previte, became increasingly agitated, opened the screen door and set her dog on the first deputy. That deputy shot at the dog as it attacked her, and missed. When the dog turned and reportedly persisted in its attack, the second deputy fired two shots at the animal, killing it.
An investigation is underway, with Det. Tonya Hamilton sent to the scene to garner facts and determine a more accurate picture of the incident. Det. Lando Garcia is also investigating the incident.
Further investigation of the incident revealed that the dog was not a red heeler mix as was originally reported, with Garcia calling it a Catahoula leopard mix.
Previte said her dog, registered as King Kupa Cub, was an Australian Catahoula that was registered as a service dog in Arizona.
When asked if she opened the door to her residence and whether she had her dog under control, Previte declined to comment on the incident pending discussion with her attorney, Michael Batey, of Durango.
Messages left for Batey by SUN staff seeking comment were not returned by press time Wednesday.
Garcia said Previte was issued a summons for misdemeanor menacing and unlawful ownership of a dangerous dog.
No charges had been filed as of press time.
Previte said the Humane Society is accepting donations to help her cremate Kupa, and donations must say, “for Kupa.”
Karl Isberg contributed to this report.