A 17-pound dachshund is at the center of a bitter battle between his owners, who say he's a sweet dog who wouldn't hurt anyone, and the Colorado city where they live, which says the 10-year-old pooch is a "vicious" hound.

Spork, who has been featured on animal magazine covers, bit a veterinary technician during an office visit for dental surgery, KDVR.com reported. Both the technician and the animal hospital filed reports with animal control, said Kelly Walker, Spork's owner.

"I was holding him and he bit her on the chin," Walker told the station. She also says the vet tech got too close to Spork's face with some scissors, and that scared him.

State law says people who work with animals are banned from filing charges in dog bite situations, but the city of Lafayette says that city rules apply and Spork's owners will face charges.

Walker and her husband received a ticket charging them with owning a "vicious dog." Walker fears the dog she tucks into bed at night will be euthanized, and they are fighting the ticket.

The animal hospital, meanwhile, is distancing itself from the city's legal action:

"Jasper Animal Hospital has not advocated for, or participated in any way in subsequent decisions by the City of Lafayette to prosecute Spork's guardians," the animal hospital's chief veterinarian, Donald Dodge, said in a written statement. "We remain very worried about everyone concerned — the dog, his guardians, and the injured technician ... and we sincerely wish the very best for everyone concerned, Spork in particular."

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