Steamboat dog reportedly killed last week is alive and well |

Steamboat dog reportedly killed last week is alive and well

Derek Maiolo/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Apollo, a pit bull-mastiff mix, was discovered alive and well after initially being thought killed by his owner.
Courtesy Photo

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A dog that was reportedly killed by his owner last week has been taken to the Routt County Humane Society and is alive, according to Steamboat Springs police.

The Steamboat Pilot & Today published a story Wednesday about Christopher Dyer, a Steamboat resident, who told Steamboat police officers that he had knocked his dog, Apollo, unconscious then threw him over a bridge into the Yampa River.

An arrest affidavit obtained from the Routt County Justice Center described the situation, which erupted after the pit bull-mastiff reportedly bit Dyer several times in the face late Friday night.

That night, Dyer called officers about the incident from the Steamboat Emergency Center, where he was being treated for his injuries. He initially told them he had locked Apollo in his kennel before heading to the emergency room.

That story changed around midnight Saturday when officers gave Dyer a ride home from the emergency room and requested to see Apollo’s vaccination papers.

“I’m just going to come clean,” he told officers, according to the affidavit. “I killed him.”

Based on his statements, officers arrested Dyer on suspicion of aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony, for needlessly killing an animal.

However, Commander Jerry Stabile with the Steamboat Police Department reported Wednesday that Apollo has ended up at the Routt County Humane Society.

“He was checked out by a veterinarian and appears to be doing well,” Stabile said.

Apollo is currently on what Stabile called a “bite hold” due to the injuries he inflicted on his owner last week.

Stabile was not able to explain how or when the dog got there, but an investigation is ongoing.

The district attorney overseeing the case had not received this update from police, so no changes have been made to the felony charge against Dyer.

Employees at the animal shelter declined to comment and did not allow reporters to see Apollo.

Bob Peretic, a local resident who volunteers at the animal shelter, has seen Dyer and Apollo walking along trails around town. He described the dog as happy and loving, especially toward his wife.

“He’d give her kisses and stuff,” Peretic said.

He has worked with service dogs and ostensibly dangerous dogs, like pit bulls, for much of his life. He believes that such breeds are not innately violent, and that owners are mostly to blame for their aggressive behavior.

“You can make any dog mean,” he said.

Peretic was happy to hear that Apollo is alive and well. He and his wife have even considered adopting him, if possible, after he recovers.

To reach Derek Maiolo, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @derek_maiolo