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Dog bites customer in the face at Home Depot before owners flee; Victim required face surgery: Sheriff

Photo of two women whose dog bit a customer at Home Depot, authorities say. (Jefferson County Sheriff's Office)

Photo of two women whose dog bit a customer at Home Depot, authorities say. (Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office)

Law enforcement authorities in Colorado have identified two women whose dog they say bit a customer in the face at a Home Depot, causing “serious injuries” that required facial surgery.

Authorities say they were able to identify the women with the help of the public after posting several photos of them on various social media sites, though they have not released the dog owners’ names.

According to a press release from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, sheriff’s deputies and officers with the county’s animal control division responded to a Home Depot on March 31 in the 1000 block of Rancho Road in Evergreen, about 25 miles west of Denver.

Investigators say the two dog owners brought their dog to the home repair retailer as part of its training regime. Dog owners often bring their animals to pet-friendly establishments such as Home Depot to help them socialize by interacting with other people and animals.

Authorities say the two women explained to the victim that they were training their dog and asked the victim to give their dog a treat.

“The customer agreed and gave the dog the treat, and then the dog bit the customer in the face,” authorities said. “The victim sustained serious injuries and requires facial surgery as a result of the bite.”

Jefferson County Animal Control Supervisor Jennifer Dow provided additional details about the incident in an interview on Friday with Denver ABC affiliate KMGH-TV.

“The dog sat nicely, took the treat gently from her and then all of a sudden lunged at her face,” Dow said, according to the station.

While Home Depot employees were tending to the wounded customer, authorities said the two dog owners took their dog and left without leaving any contact information.

Investigators announced they had identified the dog owners on Thursday.

Authorities said dog owners are responsible for the actions of their pets and clarified how authorities proceed with instances of dog bites.

“The owner would be held accountable for restitution or in the event of any enforcement action,” officials said. “For dog bites, the dog is quarantined at their home for 10 days to ensure the dog is not exhibiting any behaviors associated with rabies.”

However, according to Dow, the dog owners now claim that the victim was not bitten but headbutted by the animal instead.

“It’s unclear right now whether it was a headbutt, basically, or a bite. We’re still waiting for more reports from the doctor’s office,” she told KMGH.

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.