Bolt Gets a New Attorney, New Court Date

Courtesy of the Rodrigues Family

Bolt may have a fighting chance to live with the help of a new attorney.

Dan Mendonca, the owner of Bolt, has hired San Francisco-based attorney Bruce A. Wagman, who focuses on animal law litigation, consultation, legislative affairs and education.

“Bolt’s new legal counsel is highly esteemed, credentialed, and experienced in this area,” said the Save Bolt campaign via Facebook.

“We are grateful for what Bolt’s first attorney accomplished, but a review of this case from an outsiders perspective gave us insight that Bolt needed a different level of representation.”

Bolt, an Alaskan Malamute accused of biting two Turlock women in September and October 2012, was slated to be euthanized following a November 2012 Turlock administrative hearing. Mendonca argues that Bolt was provoked by the women, and sought legal council to prevent Bolt's execution.

The case was originally represented by Modesto attorney Carl Combs, who successfully petitioned to put Bolt’s euthanization on hold. A hearing to determine Bolt's fate was postponed to Jan. 16, but was later delayed to March 8 to allow both parties more time to collect records and supporting documents.

According to the Save Bolt campaign, Mendonca is currently $4,000 in debt due to court and attorney fees. That's despite $6,000 in community donations Mendonca received to date.

With Bolt’s new attorney, who has been involved in multiple state and federal cases involving a wide range of animal law issues, the case is expected to begin moving forward more rapidly.

Mendonca also teamed up with Akita Angels, an organization based in Southern California that offers guidance and support for owners of large, dominant breeds. The group has helped hundreds of families with training, behavior issues, and finding veterinarians to meet their dogs’ needs.

While the details surrounding the incident remain unclear, it is expected that the new hearing on March 8 will bring to light many of the events leading up to the attack.

The hearing will also help determine whether the City of Turlock’s judgment was accurate in determining Bolt to be a ‘vicious animal’.

The City of Turlock has stated they will not comment on the case, as is city policy with pending litigation.

Despite passionate feelings on both sides of the case, the Save Bolt campaign requested that supporters remain civil until the hearing occurs.

“It is very important that everyone who supports Bolt conduct themselves in a peaceful and respectful manner,” the Save Bolt campaign wrote. “Please do not contact the City, the Animal Control, the Mayor, City Council, or, harass the victims in this case, in any way, shape, or form.”

Related Article:
Court Ruling on Dog "Bolt" Death Sentence Postponed

Comments 18

  1. Father John says:
    What "famous" cases has this lawyer been involved with?
  2. Lexilu says:
    Didn't the alleged incident take place in 2012, and not 2011 as reported?
  3. Dog lover says:
    Please save this poor dog. Your city should be ashamed of killing a beautiful animal like this because some drunk girls jumped on the dog while he was asleep and weren't they there to jump on the dog's owner because they were there for sex?
  4. logan says:
    Where has it ever said in any reports that these girls jumped on the dog. It is total make believe like the poison candy during Halloween. Everyone heard from a guy that knew another guy that said a friend of his said he heard from someones sister that the girls jumped on Bolt; come on get real. If you know she jumped on dog please provide link.
    • Tracie Janik says:
      It was NEVER said that she "Jumped" on the dog.. What was said, if you will READ.. Is... She came in DRUNK... She was TOLD NOT to go into the room with the dog ... She DID IT ANYWAY.. She then LAYED AND ROLLED OVER ON THE SLEEPING DOG WHICH STARTLED HIM!!!!... HE REACTED AS ANY SLEEPING, STARTLED ANIMAL WOULD DO BY SNAPPING AT THE NEAREST THING!!! ... HE WAS SCARED!!!! What would YOUR reaction be if YOU were started out of a DEAD SLEEP??? I, for a FACT know MY reaction is to COME UP SWINGING!! I don't care WHO it is.. My mother, sister, brother, son or daughter.. YOUR GETTING HIT!!!!
  5. Christina says:
    No dog should be euthanized for protecting themselves. Especially if they were startled or when someone tells the other person not to touch their dog or to bother the animal when in a circumstance of the dogs personal space. So the fact that the women are blaming the dog, instead of taking ownership of their part is just ridiculous. I hope that Bolt can be saved and back with his rightful owner!
  6. Who cares says:
    Nobody cares anymore. This is taking so long its a dead story. Excuse the pun. Sorry bolt but the city of Turlock knows how to kill public interest.
    • Tracie Janik says:
      If no one cared anymore then no one would be SUPPORTING BOLT!!! NO ANIMAL SHOULD BE EUTHANIZE FOR PROTECTING THEIR DOMAIN, THEIR OWNER OR THEMSELVES... PERIOD!!!! Why do the rules change for an INTELLIGENT animal? Do we, as human beings, have the right to say that DEATH is the appropriate action for ANY animal doing what he was TRAINED to do? NO!!! WE are not "PUT DOWN" when an intruder comes into our home and WE use deadly force to protect life and limb!! LET BOLT GO HOME... HE ONLY REACTED AS ANY MAMMAL WOULD HAVE GIVEN THAT CIRCUMSTANCE!!!
    • Valerie says:
      You dont care? Thousands of people care about this dog!!! What City of Turlock is doing is wrong! The girl Mckenzie should be cited for underage drinking! She should be doing comunnity service along with probation. If I were her family I would be worried about all the drunken parties she goes to and gets horribly drunk. Sooner or later she will kill someone while driving drunk. It could be your whole family. So, City of Turlock if that happens I will be sending all this information to the family of the dead/crippled/disfigured family you allowed this to happen to!
  7. Rachel says:
    I think Bolt was protecting his owner from those dirty girls. Its called Safe Sex!
  8. Jeeves says:
    Tracie ~

    Were you there when this all went down? If you weren't there then your comments are irrelevant. You illogical use of capitalization make your comments even sillier. Hopefully the dog gets a fair trial. Then I hope the girls sue the heck out of the owner. This is on him and no one else. I'm sick of all you "dog lovers" blaming the victims.
  9. Ask Me says:
    I'm sure Bolt's owner has lots of money the girls can extract from him. But then again, that would make the girls prostitutes.
  10. We love Bolt says:
  11. Bolt says:
    Someone just put me down please!!! I did it! I admit, this is my plead of guilt.
    • We love Bolt says:
      What are you 10 years old? Does your Mommy know you are up this late??
  12. Hamid Shirvani says:
    kill the dog already...shhhh it!

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