When dogs kill humans, II
A group of dog lovers is working to persuade officials in Henderson, Nevada, to spare the life of a mastiff-Rhodesian ridgeback mix who bit and killed a 1-year-old boy last week.
Onion, six years old, is scheduled to be euthanized next week.
“This dog will never harm another soul,” said Les Golden, a Chicago-area dog rescuer who is leading the campaign to spare Onion. “The dog deserves to be saved.”
Golden told the Las Vegas Review Journal that he hopes a flood of supporters calling and emailing Mayor Andy Hafen will persuade him to stay the execution, which could happen Monday or Tuesday after the dog’s 10-day quarantine.
Onion’s family voluntarily gave their pet to animal control officials for euthanization. “For what he did to my son, he deserves to be punished,” father Christopher Shahan said. “I’ve already accepted the fact that he’s dead.”
Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan was attacked by the dog on April 27 after the family had finished celebrating the boy’s first birthday. He crawled over to Onion and grabbed onto the 120-pound dog to help himself stand up, as his family said he had done many times before
Jeremiah’s grandmother, Elizabeth Keller, was leaning over to pick him up when Onion suddenly attacked. Jeremiah’s father and others freed the child about 30 seconds later and he was rushed to a nearby hospital. He died the next day at University Medical Center.
Henderson animal control officers declared Onion vicious, which requires euthanization following the state-mandated quarantine.
“The dog attacked and killed a child,” animal control spokesman Keith Paul said. “It would be irresponsible of us to allow this dog to be adopted out.”
Lisa Kavanaugh, said she would welcome Onion to her 35-acre ranch near Denver called Blue Lion Rescue, where he would remain for the rest of his life.
“If it’s an accident, why not give him a chance?” Kavanaugh said. “He’s never, ever going to get a chance to hurt anybody else.”
Onion had been with the family since he was a puppy and helped Keller through her battle with lung cancer. The dog had never shown aggression toward anyone, family members said.
“I would love him to be in a sanctuary the rest of his life, but what sort of punishment would that be for killing a human being?” the father said.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal control, attack, baby, bites, blue lion rescue, calls, campaign, child, dangerous, dog bites, email, euthanasia, euthanized, group, henderson, infant, jeremiah eskew-shahan, killed, les golden, mastiff, mix, nevada, onion, quarantine, rhodesian ridgeback, sanctuary, save, shahan, vicious