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Home sweet home

JANE STEBBINS
Summit Daily file photo/Reid Williams In this May 28, 2004, file photo, local students visit with Rosco, a dog injured by its former owners, at the Summit County Animal Shleter. The students raised money for the dog's medical care.
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FRISCO – Roscoe the boxer has a new home, far away from the man who is charged with abusing him.Summit County Animal Control officials took Roscoe, then 5 months old, into protective custody after they received reports this April that his owner was not taking care of the pup. Sheriff’s deputies arrested Nathan Suchecki, 23, and charged him with felony animal abuse.Roscoe weighed 27 pounds – significantly underweight for his age – and had several unexplained bone fractures in his ribs, legs and jaw.The brown and white puppy captured the attention of residents throughout the High Country. Children held a bike wash to raise money for the anticipated surgery and numerous tests the pup was expected to undergo. Adults contributed cash and donated services to get the dog back on his feet.

Roscoe – who will soon be renamed – is now living with a family on the Front Range, said lead animal control officer Lesley Craig. She declined to name the family or their hometown to protect the boxer.”This family has everything he needs,” she said. “They’re home all day, they have another boxer; he’s not going to want for anything in his life ever again.”That’s a far cry from April 13, when animal control officers took Roscoe into custody. The dog, now 8 months old, weighs 44 pounds and all his bones have healed. He spent the past few months in foster homes – one in Summit County and one on the Front Range – to become re-socialized with people and other animals.”He is on the mend physically and emotionally,” Craig said.Meanwhile, animal control officers interviewed the eight families who were interested in adopting Roscoe. They conducted home visits, interviewed prospective owners and introduced Roscoe to other family pets.

Roscoe and his new buddy, a 3-year-old boxer, hit it off immediately, Craig said.”They fit in wonderfully,” she said. “He took Roscoe in under his wing. They play like maniacs, he was licking his face, he was just being really sweet.”The family reports that Roscoe is eager to meet new people and has adjusted well to his new life.Suchecki faces a hearing at the end of the month to bind the case from county to district court.Craig said it’s rare that her officers see cases of physical assault on animals in Summit County – and even more rare that someone is charged with felony charges.

“This is really rare,” she said in April. “We don’t see them very often; most cruelty cases involve neglect.”The animal cruelty charge is a Class 6 felony, punishable by at least one year in jail and $1,000 to $100,000 in fines. The felony charge is relatively new in Colorado and allows for stiffer penalties in more serious cases of aggravated animal cruelty. Legislators passed it into law in July 2002.Summit County Animal Control and Shelter officials thanked all those who contributed the thousands of dollars needed for Roscoe’s treatment. For information about the shelter’s Emergency Medical Fund, including how to contribute to it, contact the shelter at (970) 668-3230.Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or jstebbins@summitdaily.com.


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