PALMETTO, Fla. -- The two Australian Shepherds at the center of a controversial fight in Manatee County have been put to death. The two animals were euthanized at Manatee Animal Services Thursday night.
"For me, this is the hardest day of my entire life," said Buck and Bill's owner, Karen Erskine.
Buck and Bill were placed on "doggie death row" after attacking a 13 year old boy in December 2012. Supporters rallied to save the dogs, but after a lengthy legal battle, Buck and Bill could not be saved.
Erskine had the opportunity to bring in her own veterinarian and be with the dogs during the procedure.
"I acted like it was a normal vet procedure. I held them while they passed and I blessed their lives before letting them go to God. I thanked them for being with me for the better part of a decade," said Erskine.
Erskine is also extremely upset over an alleged incident that happened inside the shelter. According to her, she received a phone call saying that Governor Rick Scott was looking in to the case, and could pardon the dogs based on the facts. Erskine says Ron Koper, the EMS Director for Manatee County, confiscated her phone, threatened to kick her out, and moved forward with the procedure.
"I couldn't believe it. I begged him. I'm in total disbelief someone could not wait a few moments so I could check my phone," said Erskine.
Erskine says she wants to see reform to laws involving dog bites after this process.