The 11th Judicial District Court has ruled on the remaining criminal cases against Alison Brown in Chaffee County stemming from dog-barking complaints filed against her, moving to dismiss all three cases. District Attorney Molly Chilson filed the motion to dismiss the cases, citing the reason as “due to insufficient evidence due to witness credibility.” The dismissals were granted on Oct. 4 and the trial has been vacated.
“I am delighted that the district attorney elected to dismiss all of the dog-barking charges against me made due to complaints filed by my neighbors due to ‘witness credibility,’” said Brown in a written statement. “Although I had already been found ‘not guilty’ on prior dog-barking charges, and had evidence showing that noise from my dogs was within the state required residential noise levels, the vagueness of the language in the county’s current dog-barking ordinance (2001-004) opened the door for continued malicious prosecution by my neighbors, which has cost both me, and the county taxpayers, significant expenses from a lengthy court procedure to clear my name of these criminal charges.”
The original charges were filed by Brown’s neighbors, Chris Vely and Laura Barton, who also filed civil charges against her. Testimony during the civil court case this summer revealed that Vely and Barton appeared to be taking active measures to attract coyotes and mimic coyote sounds, using decoys and sound recordings, which were causing the dogs to bark. Brown won the civil case in District Court, which ordered Vely and Barton to pay Brown and her kennel, Headwater Hounds, more than $500,000 in damages.
In the motion to dismiss, the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Department was ordered to cancel all warrants issued to Brown due to dog barking.
“I hope that the county commissioners will now recognize the need for changes to their animal control regulations, which have been raised by myself and others, to prevent responsible county dog owners from facing this type of harassment in the future,” said Brown.