Chief of Police
451 N. 111th Street
Lafayette, CO. 80302
March 10, 2023
I would like to file a report of Police Misconduct report against one or two of your police officers. One works in animal control. Everyone tells me it is frivols to write the police department with a problem with one of their officers. And that is you won’t do anything about it. I’m hoping that you will.
Let me give you a little background first. I am age 82 soon to be 83 is an individual with disabilities within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. I have filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Civil Rights Division to file a claim against the city and Police Department.
The ADA defines a person with a disability as a person who has physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. This includes people who have a record of such impairment, even if they do not currently have a disability.
In 2015 I bought a Golden Retriever dog I named Princess Amber of Lakeshore. I had two other dogs before her that lived to about 16 years.
Sixteen years used to be the normal lifespan for a Golden Retriever 20 years ago. Today the average age is 7 to 9 years for a Golden Retriever. The reason is the food. It’s been proven that feeding your dog dry kibble every day for its life as well as altering them before 15 months will cut their lifespan by about 50%.
I read about this in 1996 and started to feed my new puppies a human grade dry mix made by Sojos.com This is a dry mix that you add water and your choice of cooked protein to. I still use this mix as well as to recommend it to other people. I experience by using this mix that you end up with a lot of fewer vet visits than people that continue to feed dry kibble.
I met a person at Pets Mart that had a boy golden retriever and asked if I was wanting to breed her. I said I didn’t think so. I was 76 years old at the time retired living on Social Security. But when she had her second heat, I decided to perhaps give it a try.
Princess Amber had 10 puppies of which I kept one of them I call Princess Rose. Having these puppies turned my life around. Really gave me something to live for. “Life is so Precious”.
But I have always been an animal lover. I send money each month to animal groups when I can. I belong to many animal groups in support for animals.
On August 31, 2022 an animal Control Officer named Amber Burtis from City of Lafayette animal control knocked on my door and asked if I had puppies in the house and asked to see them. I had five puppies I had gotten from another breeder to resell. I did have a License from PACFA to resell puppies I get from other breeders but I was not planning to renew this license in March this year as that part involves a lot of travel. But don’t need a license to sell puppies I breed personally if I breed 2 litters or less per year and place less than 24 puppies from the litters.
Amber Burtis officer looked at the puppies and said I needed a bigger pen it was 6 feet by 3 feet she estimated in my living room. That was 18 square feet. But according PACFA that size was fine for five small 10-pound puppies as they needed 10 square feet. In any case I enlarged it a little to 11 X 2.5 feet or about 29 square feet. Amber Burtis said she would come every day to check on the wellness of the puppies until they were sold which took about another 10 days. Amber Burtis told me under Lafayette city code a person can have 3 dogs and 3 cats no more than 6 pets.
At that time, I had 6 big Goldens. Amber who I have had since 2015, Rose her daughter since 2016, Jasper since 2017, Bailey and Ginger since 2020 and Doc who was one year old in January. Amber Burtis said I can only have three dogs now you have 11 counting the 5 puppies.
On, one of those visits she brought a person called Grace Frahm a Boulder County Co-Responder Team that helps people that are older. She asked me about my health issues which I told her High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, had bladder cancer and broke two hips, and have failing kidneys, as well as foot problems. Two of the dogs I have are Service Dogs I trained. They helped me get out of bed and chairs when I had surgery on my hips. They also help with mobility when I need them. I’m sure body cam video will reveal this conversation.
I also use the dogs to help with my nerve pain I have from a condition called Trigeminal Neuralgia which is often described as “the most terrible pain know to man.” It is characterized by a sudden attack of facial pain described as intense, sharp, like electrical-shock, or stabbing. The pain is most commonly felt in the cheekbone under the eye and lasts from a few seconds to as long as five minutes. It flares up when I have extra stress.
The animal control people also heard this. Grace asked if she could speak to my daughter and I said yes. My daughter told her that I was as sharp as a tack, can run a business, take care of himself and doing great with the exception of some of his health issues. I also have two roommates that help me with the dogs.
After the puppies were placed I and my roommate applied for 6 dog licenses from the city of Lafayette and Amber Burtis granted them. So, the six dogs are all licensed by the city of Lafayette. But she still said I need to give up 3 of my pet dogs. So, I gave three of my dogs to my daughter and a neighbor to comply. But I needed to take three back to watch because of the holidays in January.
On January 4th Amber Burtis knocked on my door again and asked if I still had the three dogs. She had a new recruit called K. Evans. I explained I had them all back temporarily. She then said I hear puppies and I said my Ginger had a litter on October 27 and I have placed all but 3. She wanted to see them and came inside. She said I should make the pen bigger again it was 3 X 6 feet which again was fine for PACFA rules.
SincoPet Washable Dog Pee Pads with Puppy Grooming Gloves,Puppy Pads,Reusable Pet Training Pads,Large Dog Pee Pad, Waterproof Pet Pads for Dog Bed Mat, Super Absorbing Whelping Pads 36x72
The puppies were about 8 to 10 pounds each and required six square feet minimum for the three. They had 18 square feet. but to please her, I increased the pen area in my living room to 2 .5 X 11 feet the next day. Now they had 29 square feet. With that much extra room they can run around a lot. She gave me a ticket for having more than 3 dogs. She said I had 5 too many. But most cities and counties in Colorado don’t count puppies under 4 months of age as connected to the mom.
When she came back, she said that was good. She did say that the puppy’s water was empty and I mentioned that they always played with the bowl and I was continuing adding water. She said she would be back every day until I sold them. Since I’m retired, I am home every day I am able to watch them all the time. She also asked me why I don’t use deposal puppy pads instead of the permanent washable cloth type I have used since I started breeding and I might add most home breeders use these as well. I told her small puppies like that only want to rip them apart and I am afraid they will chew them and choke on them. But she continued to talk about using me using the deposal ones.
Amber Burtis would complain if she saw a speck of poop on a puppy or on the whelping pad that was dried or if the pad was damp in places. She said it would cause urine burn. Let me explain this. Puppy mills keep the mama dog outside or in a barn in a cage with the puppies hopefully in a controlled temperature room. The cages have slats so the puppy poop and pee gets dropped below so the puppies don’t step on it. But home breeders don’t like that kind of setup because the cages are very small and the open spaces in the floor is uncomfortable to the puppies’ feet.
I will say my house is messy and very few places to store things. But I always made sure the puppy area was cleaned each morning and disinfected and two clean 48” X 60” pads were put down twice per day. Once in the morning and once at night. This is how most home breeders do this. We are not a puppy mill. The puppies are born and raised in my home and not in cages outside. I would pick up the poop when I saw it and dispose of it. It does leave a dried residue on the pad. If you look at the photo above you will see that. Even Amber Burtis saw me do that.
So, she or K. Evans came on the 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 of January. She would always make little suggestions but never said the puppies were abused in any way. But it always seemed like
she was looking for something to complain about. Amber Burtis and I seemed to get along fine. She told me when she came the next day, I didn’t need to put the big dogs which were five outside.
The next day on the 11th she came to the door with two other police people. I gestured I would put the big dogs outside because I don’t like them jumping on people. When I opened the door. One of the dogs, Amber went past her outside. She looked at the dog and said “that dog has a cut on its leg.” Amber Burtis said she was going to give me a ticket for animal cruelty and wanted to take all the five dogs and the three puppies and asked if I would give them up. I said no! So, she said she would get a warrant to get them. I did show her the dogs foot up close and explained that is where she lays on the floor.
So, she left to get a warrant and I decided to take the dogs and puppies to my other house in unincorporated Boulder County where you can have 7 dogs. About a mile from the other home on Flagstaff Road I see flashing red lights so I stopped and the police man was from Lafayette. He told me, “Do not drive to your other house. If you do, I will arrest you, and take you to jail”. He repeated himself. I needed to give him the dogs or I would be arrested for obstruction of justice. So, I did as he commanded but I believe he was out of his jurisdiction as well was an illegal search and seizure. His name was J. Thompson.
They took the dogs and puppies to the shelter in Boulder.
I had a hearing the next day at court and asked to get the dogs back. So went before the judge I pled not guilty on the ticket and asked for a jury trial and asked to get my dogs back. Amber Burtis told the Judge that the one dog had a cut on her leg which was a lie as it was a floor mark she picks at and I have medicine to treat it. The judge set a hearing for February 9. My attorney on this case told me I will need to pay the shelter for keeping the 8 dogs which could be thousands.
The police also violated my rights under the ADA because they failed to reasonably accommodate my disability in the course of interactions with me and potential arrest by Detective J. Thompson when stopped on the way to my Boulder County home causing me to suffer greater injury, trauma, and indignity in that process.
In light of my disabilities, the City of Lafayette failed to adopt policies and procedures, or adequately train its police officers to safely interact with elderly people who suffer such common disabilities. Some reasonable accommodations for a person with disability’s include employing non-threatening communications, using less confrontational tactics, allowing the passage of time to defuse the situation.
I have already gotten many letters from people who have gotten puppies from me to give the court at the impound hearing. However, my attorney gave the letters to the Judge who put them in a file without reading them. And at the hearing I found out my Princess Rose gave birth to 8 puppies at the shelter.
Here is what I have been told by other attorneys. Amber Burtis of animal control doesn’t want me to breed dogs in Lafayette nor have more than 3 dogs. I believe this may be a way to put a stop to my breeding which was one or two litters a year at the max. She is looking at little things she thinks I have done to try to make a case out of it. My home in Lafayette is a mobile home not any place to put a lot of stuff so it does looks cluttered.
I also found out that the city counsel last year talked about making it a law not to sell or breed puppies in Lafayette. This is not a law now, but I believe that the unlawful act of Amber Burtis to take my dogs was also used as fuel in the hopes to get the city council to adopt the proposed law this year.
If you ask most anyone about me that has been here or know me, they will say I don’t abuse animal’s period. I donate money every month to help dogs in trouble in Thailand. I even go as so far to give my dogs a human grade diet I have used since 1996. To buy this diet already with freeze dried meat cost more than $10:00 a pound. I teach about nutrition on my website for dogs.
Amber Burtis also knew that when she came to my home it caused my blood pressure to rise because I told her. I have been told I should file a lawsuit for police misconduct under color of law and for elder abuse violation of disabilities laws. ECT.
I believe Amber Burtis over stepped her bounds by taking my dogs to a shelter I have looked at the discovery on this case. I felt that there was no way a jury will convict me of animal cruelty. In discovery they talk about a messy house and the fact the puppy pen was too small and the fact I didn’t use disposal puppy pads. That I need to do a better job of picking up dog poop outside. My roommate Gabriel helps with that. But we had two large snow storms and still have some snow and Ice in that part of the yard.
Amber Burtis also filed a compilate with the Lafayette code people telling them the floors in the home was rotted out among other things. Two of the code people came to my Lafayette home, did not find any rotten floors and said they felt I was in compliance.
I believe what Amber Burtis has done is animal cruelty if they cannot live in a place, they have been for most of their lives. Have a special human grade diet that will add years to their life. I even have a pet trust set up to provide persons that take my dogs when I pass to give them money to continue feeding them a human grade diet. I buy pet insurance for their health.
Miss Burtis even went so far as to call my daughter who sometimes has Jasper and wanted to take him as well to the shelter and also my neighbor who had Bailey but since adopted. All this is on video. She sent police to his house to get Bailey. My roommate has a license from Lafayette for two of the dogs. A Burtis knew that why didn’t she discuss taking the dogs from him?
In addition, I have watched video in discovery of one of your other officers lying to another person. There are two people that will swear to this happening.
At a impound hearing on February 17 the court said I can keep only three of my dogs. Plus, I would need to get them fixed. One of my roommates wanted to keep two of the dogs when I died as he is a co-owner with city license in his name. I can make a little money by letting people using my stud dogs. My thought was for me to move back to my other home in Boulder where I can have up to 7 dogs and continue having a litter once or twice a year.
My attorney asked Amber Burtis while under oath why she thought the pen I kept them in was too small. Ms Burtis said it was about 6 X 3 or 18 square feet. My attorney pointed out that by state rules through PACFA all was needed for 3 ten-pound puppies was 6 square feet. Amber Burtis said in in court 18 square feet was too small. That was the problem I had with Amber Burtis. She made up her own rules and then tried to make me out to be the bad person by giving me a ticket for animal Cruelty.
I asked the judge at the hearing why I can’t keep all my dogs so long as only three stays in Lafayette. Plus, the 11 puppies are mine as well. I should be able to place them myself rather than have them taken from me. I even show the Judge the photos I took at the shelter see below that even the vets at the shelter was not giving proper care. But you probably already know in small courts Judges listen to the Prosecutor, and Prosecutors listen to the police who filed the action. It’s a crooked system and average people are starting to realize all the police brutality and Police mis-conduct there is.
On top of that I need to pay the shelter almost $10,000.00 for keeping the dogs. And I never took them there. How is that justice? I am a retired 82-year-old man trying to supplement his income by doing what he loves the most. Helping people get a healthy Golden Retriever. We have lost two of the adult dogs used for breeding and our pets, 11 puppies I could have place with qualified people that would agree to wait 15 months before they have their puppy fixed. Losing our dogs because of Amber Burtis and losing income from the puppies, paying the shelter $10,000, seems unjust.
What is also unjust as well as animal crudity is it is the policy of the shelter to alter the dogs as well as the puppies before they adopt them out. It is been proven by many different reports as well as vets that to alter a Golden Retriever before 15 months will cause joint problems and early cancer. In all of my contracts with clients I state very clearly that they can not alter the puppy before 15 months. Amber Burtis through her unlawful taking of these puppies has contributed to animal cruelty as it may cause them to have joint problems as well as early cancer.
I also went to the shelter to visit my dogs every day after it was approved by the court. My dog Amber still had the same sore on her foot without medicine on it. One of the three puppies at the shelter was covered in poop. Not once at my home did any of the puppies have that abound of poop on them. Yet Amber Burtis accused me of Animal Cruelty. Her body cam video shows otherwise.
One attorney also told me that Amber Burtis by her unlawful actions by taken away from me, my two service dogs for a month broke the law because it is a class 3 misdemeanor under Colorado law with financial damages in the amount three times my loss. C.R.S.A.ss 24-34-804 Harassment of/Interference with Service Dogs or Service Dogs in Training.
This is all because of police misconduct by Amber Burtis. She didn’t have to take the dogs away nor the puppies. It would have been proper to work with me until I had placed the three puppies as she had the first time. She even said to me on January 10 the puppies looked fine. It’s on body cam. She never ever looked much at the big dogs because she always wanted me to put them away so they would not jump on her.
So, if she never saw the big dogs to examine them and said the puppies seemed fine almost every day, why issue me a ticket for animal cruelty and ask to take all the dogs? That is police mis-conduct I have been told.
The vets at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley said that all the dogs and puppies were fine and no abuse that they could see. I have looked at the discovery provided by police and feel there is no serious abuse issues. One older dog needs tooth cleaned. Amber has ear infection which I have been treating, minor things. Many of my clients that know me and have been to my home are outraged at what animal control has done.
The prosecutor Trica McCarthy dropped the charged for animal cruelty. My attorney felt she would have never been able to convict me on that charge. I had 15 people lined up that would have given their testimony on my breeding practices as well as how good I took care of my dogs and puppies. Many had been to my Lafayette home last December and January. I will include some of their letters with this letter.
Also, I have never heard of a police officer or animal control going into a breeder’s home to do wellness checks. Many other people consider that to be harassment on top of police misconduct.
This has affected my health tremendously. My rights have been violated under the ADA because Police failed to reasonably accommodate my disability in the course of interactions with me and potential arrest by Detective J. Thompson when stopped on the way to my other home in Boulder County causing me to suffer greater injury, trauma, and indignity in that process.
I have experienced physical pain, emotional pain, extraordinary trauma, humiliation, emotional distress and suffering and other damages as a result of the Lafayette Police and Amber Burtis unlawful conduct and violations of my civil rights.
I believe at the age of 82 what little freedom and happiness I have enjoyed in my life as an elderly adult with declining health, on January 11, 2023, was recklessly and deliberately obliterated by the Lafayette Police Department and Amber Burtis.
As a proximate result of the City of Lafayette and Police officers’ actions and inactions, I have suffered physically and emotionally, and I continue to experience fear, trauma, and anxiety in and outside of my home.
I have experienced physical pain, emotional pain, extraordinary trauma, humiliation, emotional distress and suffering and other damages as a result of the unlawful conduct and violations of my civil rights.
My blood pressure is running much higher than normal even with medication. I cannot get good sleep at night as I worry about my dogs as well as my financial future.
I have always felt that the role of the police was to serve and protect the citizens from the bad guys. I have done nothing wrong to have deserved what has happened to me through the un-lawful actions of Amber Burtis police mis-conduct and the police department.
Amber Burtis should be removed from her duties as an animal control person if she makes up her own rules. But probably will not happen. I say give her a desk job. She does not belong out in the field where she can affect the quality of people’s lives because she wants to be in control.
I also suffer impairment of reputation, personal humiliation, mental anguish, and suffering by virtue of the unlawful actions of these Police Officers and Amber Burtis under Color of Law as set forth herein, for which I am entitled to compensation of the Maximum damages under Colorado Law, and under Federal law, for Economic Damages, Non-Economic or General Damages, Punitive Damages, Malicious Prosecutions, and Elder Abuse, both financial, and Physical.
I don’t know your age but if I was your father at age 82 would you have treated me the same way Amber Burtis did by taking away my small business that supplements my Social Security income of only $1,034.00 a month? On top of that cause me to spend thousands of dollars to pay for the care at the shelter which includes dogs and puppies I won’t get back. I have also lost the income from placing the 11 puppies. And the poor puppies will get fixed to early in life which will cause early cancer and joint problems.
When To Spay Or Neuter A Golden Retriever
I understand that this letter in no way qualifies as a claim against the city for damages. That Notice will be filed within the allowed time frame with the City Clerk of the city of Lafayette.
729 Oriole Drive,
Lafayette, CO. 80026. 303-885-1424
Copy to: Lafayette Police Internal Affairs: Sargent Molander
My family now torn apart. The five on my bed and all six in the kitchen.
PS: I read somewhere that for Police Reform we need of course - law-enforcement personnel with integrity. However, these law-enforcement positions also attract people who: 1. want a government high paying job with pension and benefits 2. don't have a college degree 3. people who are attracted to having authority over society 4. people who like the idea of carrying deadly force on their hip. It's a recipe for a disastrous pool of dysfunctional and psychologically compromised people given community trust and power.
Reform MUST target that segment of law enforcement that fits the profile of this dysfunction. The start of the reform process should include a.) a more in-depth psychological profile of applicants. b.) newly created positions of psychologist-officers on patrol and mandated to be on the scene with suspect/individuals who appear to may have psychological or Disability issues to help diffuse and advise d.) annual psychological officer evaluations that include non-department reviews of complaints, behavior, performance, and overall updated psych profiles. THEN, and only then, will law-enforcement start weeding out bad actors on the forces.
Any officer that understands the concept of " peace officer / public servant " would not have gone so far to have taken my pets away and accuse me of animal cruelty when there was none.
When the average person thinks of animal abuse, they imagine pets that look sick, covered in poop and very much underweight, and dying at the hands of someone abuse. My dogs and puppies were very healthy had a good life eating a human grade diet and loved me and my roomates. If Amber Burtis had worked with me until the last three puppies were placed as she did last year the outcome would have been better off for everyone including my dogs and puppies.