Dozens of French bulldogs were rescued from a hoarding situation in July, but now the shelter caring for them could be facing a lawsuit from the Animal Law Center.
The ALC is currently representing people who say they owned the dogs before they were discovered in the hoarding case, but the Denver Animal Shelter could only verify two of those claims.
Once those dogs were given to the owners, Jennifer Edwards with the ALC said “it almost seems like they [the shelter] are performing experimental, or practice procedures on these dogs.”
9NEWS spoke with Edwards over the phone on Wednesday night and she said “we are going federal on this one,” referring to the lawsuit they plan to file against Denver Animal Shelter.
Raven is one of the French Bulldogs given back to the original breeder and being fostered by Angeline Leto. She brought Raven to Dr. Jena Questen, a veterinarian in Conifer on Thursday afternoon.
After being rescued in July, Raven had several surgeries at the Denver Animal Shelter, including a vulvoplasty, which removes skin around the genitals, and a nares resection, which opens up the nostrils.
"Those two procedures are definitely not something that are routine, not done very often at all,” Dr. Questen said.
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Questen was hired by the Animal Law Center to be their veterinary expert in their cases.
Alice Nightengale, the director of Denver Animal Protection, disagrees with the ALC’s assessment.
“We do not practice on animals here,” she said.
She says all surgeries done to the French Bulldogs were necessary for their health.
"I am surprised and offended by the thought that a city and county of Denver agency would be considered to be of such quality that we would perform experimental or practice surgeries,” Nightengale said.
While the ALC is still fighting for the people who say they own the dogs, other than Raven and another dog, the shelter has determined the rest do not have owners and they will be up for adoption very soon.