Buck and Bill euthanized in Manatee County

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Posted: Thursday, March 27, 2014 7:25 pm

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.

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20 comments:

  • gatorgirl2 posted at 8:23 pm on Mon, Mar 31, 2014.

    gatorgirl2 Posts: 2

    I totally agree with you. If you work for EMS I commend you for telling it the way it is!!!

     
  • gatorgirl2 posted at 7:59 pm on Mon, Mar 31, 2014.

    gatorgirl2 Posts: 2

    God Bless Karen boys and her boys. Has anyone seen the pictures of these 2 beautiful dogs after being in the custody of Manatee Animal Contol. Someone needs to be charged with animal cruelity. Thses beautiful dogs will suffer no more , at the hands of animal services. These poor dogs were clearly mirstreated and neglected while in animal controls custody. Also what gave Manatee Countyn the right to refuse to give Karen her dogs bodies so she could take them homeand bury them. That is totally unexcuseable. I hope Karen gets to sue Manatee County for I am ashmed to be a resident here.

     
  • emtmd82 posted at 7:17 pm on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    emtmd82 Posts: 2

    Maybe you need to have all your facts before you run your mouth. The boy admitted to provoking the dogs, he stated he didn't know which one bit him or if they even bit him and it wasn't just from their nails. The family did not want them put down until a lawyer told them that they could get more money in their civil suit if the dogs were put down. The house the dogs were in had just been broken in to as well, so before you run your rancid mouth get your facts together before you spout hatred. I am guessing you are either someone from this family or you know them. If you are I hope you have nightmares.

     
  • emtmd82 posted at 7:14 pm on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    emtmd82 Posts: 2

    Ron Koper, Jr. is a piece of uncompasionate trash and had some kind of vendetta against Karen and Buck and Bill for some reason. He SHOULD NOT be in EMS any longer as he is a disgrace to the profession. He makes the rest of us who love EMS and love helping people and animals look disgraceful. You make me sick and you do not deserve the title that you hold. May God have mercy on your soul cause buddy when you meet him you'll need it. You should be ashamed.

     
  • Elle posted at 6:05 pm on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    Elle Posts: 3

    Shame on Florida & Gov. Scott! [thumbdown] He held the cards in his hands to pardon these dogs & did not. If I still lived in Florida, I would not be voting for him in the next election....

    I hope EVERYONE who has heard anything about this case will rally to campaign against him carrying signs with "Remember Buck & Bill" with their pictures. Post videos of those precious pups on the websites of Gov. Scott's opponent.

    I will be following that election & I will send $$ to help the election of his opponent. [angry]

     
  • Elle posted at 5:52 pm on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    Elle Posts: 3

    [angry] First of all, I am sickened that the powers that be in Manatee County allowed this atrocity to happen. Law or no law, this was inexcusable, inhumane, & downright evil. The MURDER (yes, murder - euthanize is just not the correct word here), of these beautiful, loyal, animals who were only doing their job to protect their owner & her property is beyond reprehensible. I am appalled that the courts wouldn't even consider allowing someone from OUT OF STATE to come in and remove the dogs if they HAD to hold this case to the L.A.W.
    Really? This was the only way to handle this case? Why these very same courts with the same prosecutors turn loose evil, hardened criminals who have committed MURDER & worse, back on the streets with little or no regard for the citizens who will become their next victim, but they couldn't give an out of state rescue group Bill & Buck? [angry] SMH That is a crying shame. That is sheer, unadulterated evil in itself!
    To hold them in quarantine for over a year & then barbarically kill them when the parents of the child came forward to ask these dogs to be released is the most illogical, asinine move I have ever seen or heard of in my life. I signed a petition asking they be returned to their owner or to at least be saved, if legally placing them back on that property was a problem. Was that even considered? With all of the neglect, abuse, & cruelty from citizens, it is disgusting when our own government is a party to animal cruelty. This tells me it is time for some laws to CHANGE!

    Unfortunately, I am no longer a resident of the once-great-state of Florida or I would have been a thorn in the court's side on this. [sad][sad][sad][sad][sad]
    This little case has placed a huge negative mark on this community, & I hope that it remains there until the laws change.
    This case touched the lives of dog owners (especially Australian Shepherd owners) around the world. Those of us who know the breed, we know what Bill & Buck did was their job. To be put to death for that is an injustice. Rant over....for now. [sneaky] [angry]

     
  • Elle posted at 5:51 pm on Sat, Mar 29, 2014.

    Elle Posts: 3

    @ WP:
    I don't think "brutally" is the correct term here. Besides if MY child had been "brutally attacked", I wouldn't have stepped forward to ask that the dogs be released. If MY child was "scarred for life", as you put it, I don't believe I would have asked for the dogs to be released. SO, either you think his parents are idiots, or he wasn't injured that badly - yes a dog bite is bad but there is a difference between a bite & a "brutal attack". I believe his parents saw the "attack", as you call it, for what it was (dogs responding to a bike being pushed at them), and did exactly what they should have done (come forward to ask the dogs be released). I commend them for that! I'd be willing to bet that the (then) 13 year old child is more scarred by the injustice that was dealt to these dogs than the bites he received.

     
  • aussielover posted at 11:08 pm on Fri, Mar 28, 2014.

    aussielover Posts: 1

    He was in a hurry to get to his awards dinner. Disgusting.

     
  • kerlevin posted at 10:13 pm on Fri, Mar 28, 2014.

    kerlevin Posts: 1

    I only wonder if the kid knew the dogs prior to his biting experience? Did he regularly taunt them or bother them in some way? I got chased down once as a kid by a pack of dogs on my bike and was bitten by them. They were only impounded to make sure there was no rabies. Then they went home. Why do some people take control so far?
    Some people should NEVER be given power over others.....they take it way too far as in this case. The lady DID secure her dogs to the best of her ability. Just wondering why the dogs felt so intimidated by this 13 year old????

     
  • LA Novak posted at 8:21 pm on Fri, Mar 28, 2014.

    LA Novak Posts: 3

    Thank you for this report, Max & ABC7. It is a heartbreaking situation and it never should have come to this. These dogs should have been treated like the other dangerous dogs in Manatee County, allowed to live out their lives with their families. All over SEVEN stitches - and a neighbor's very exaggerated (based on the boy's and his parents' depositions) account.

     
  • jon posted at 6:59 pm on Fri, Mar 28, 2014.

    jon Posts: 1

    Apparently, you are not an educated person.

     
  • LilTIGER posted at 5:36 pm on Fri, Mar 28, 2014.

    LilTIGER Posts: 1

    I HOPE AND PRAY THAT ALL PEOPLE WILL REMEMBER THIS GOV AT THE TIME WHEN HE IS BEGGING FOR YOUR VOTE, REMEMBER HIS NAME AND I REALLY HOPE HE LOSES HIS JOB BY GETTING VOTED OUT.

     
  • katie posted at 1:11 pm on Fri, Mar 28, 2014.

    katie Posts: 1

    He was bit by one dog. On the leg, and hand. The only injury that needed treatment was his hand. He needed seven stitches and was running for his track team the next week. He couldn't identify the dog that bit him but admitted that they only bit when he pushed them away with his bike (which is what they tell you to do if a dog comes towards you). The family of the boy bit stated several times that it was a singular incident and that they didn't want the dogs to be put down. He was not pinned down by two dogs, he was bit by one when he pushed them with a bike. No they should not have bit. The dogs then went back home, in through the window. Animal control then broke into the house to get them and took them immediately to the shelter. They were never even deemed dangerous which would have allowed a rescue to get them and work with them. They were just killed. Plenty of dogs who bite get second chances and some of those incidents are worse than this one. Like the dog who bit half a four year old's face. He got a second chance. So why not two former therapy dogs.

     
  • misshobo posted at 10:52 am on Fri, Mar 28, 2014.

    misshobo Posts: 1

    I believe the term is murdered Buck and Bill. And for Ron Koper denying the minutes for Karen to take a call for the Gov. and taking her phone that conduct is reprehensible.

     
  • patswife0416 posted at 10:52 am on Fri, Mar 28, 2014.

    patswife0416 Posts: 4

    First of all, know the whole story before you comment... the kid wasn't BRUTALLY attacked and the family of the boy didn't even want the dogs to be put down. These dogs aren't aggresive by nature.

     
  • Parkerll posted at 10:45 am on Fri, Mar 28, 2014.

    Parkerll Posts: 1

    No. These dogs were not "euthanized" or "put down". They were killed. Stop misusing these words.

     
  • WP posted at 6:56 am on Fri, Mar 28, 2014.

    WP Posts: 2

    Wait a minute! What about the 13 year-old-boy who was brutally attacked?? This boy is scarred for LIFE! What about the fact that these dogs broke out of a window in the house and then attacked this boy?? When you have pets, it is your RESPONSIBILITY to keep them contained. Believe me - my heart goes out to the dogs' owner. I, too, had a dog for over 8 years. And at the age of 8, she learned to climb our fence. She bit two people, and tried to attack the neighbor's dog. I had to do the RESPONSIBLE thing and put her down - and I did it BEFORE anyone got hurt. It was heart wrenching - but when a dog starts biting, it WILL continue. And the owner is responsible! Thank goodness a neighbor was driving by when this happened - he may very well have saved that boy's life!!

     
  • k2 posted at 8:46 pm on Thu, Mar 27, 2014.

    k2 Posts: 1

    This is one of the saddest situations I have seen in a long time:( My heart goes out to Karen. I can't imagine her heartbreak right now. Shame on the "higher-ups" who wouldn't even consider letting her keep her dogs. I have seen and heard many times of dogs biting people. I myself, work for FedEx, and have many friends who have had encounters with dogs. I was charged by a German Shepherd that got loose from its owner but I never got bit. This story makes me sick to think that anybody whose beloved pet might accidently get loose or slip out of it's collar (yes that happens more than you think) will automatically be put to death. A dogs natural instinct is to chase things. Sorry it happened to be a 13 year old boy, but maybe he's not telling the whole story:( Sad indeed. RIP Buck and Bill

     
  • Susan MacDonald Dunn posted at 8:40 pm on Thu, Mar 27, 2014.

    Susan MacDonald Dunn Posts: 3

    [sad] The state of Florida should feel ashamed. The Governor was on the phone right before the dogs were murdered and he refused to pardon the pups. I hope all residents of Florida remember these dogs at election time and may Buck and Bill's faces stay in the minds of those responsible for this unneccessary act of murder.

     
  • Marchw7 posted at 7:53 pm on Thu, Mar 27, 2014.

    Marchw7 Posts: 1

    I will never understand what kind of people murder two dogs in this way, and go so far as to threaten people jobs if these dogs don't get murdered ? What kind of politicians and judges are in Manatee county ? I'm adhered of every single person that carried out these murders, and a civilized society dies NOT treat animals like this. You will never see a dime of my money in your county, and I think it's fair to say Manatee county is now the most hated county in the universe. Buck and Bill , deserved better, and I'm happy I don't live in this horrible state .

     

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