Attorney defends death row dogs

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MANATEE COUNTY - A legal fight is underway to save two dogs from being euthanized. 

Australian Shepherds Buck and Bill are being held at Manatee County Animal Services after what officials call a vicious attack on a 13 year old.

"The attack was so severe the boy could have died," said Manatee County attorney Jim Minix.

The incident happened in Lakewood Ranch Community on Christmas Eve 2012.  The two dogs escaped from the window home and began roaming the community.  According to reports the 13 year old boy was riding his bike down the same street when the two dogs charged.

"The dogs were working in tandem and while one dog was being fended off the other dog would come behind the boy and bite him in the back of his leg. That's what caused the severe injuries.  But, twice the boy tried to run away and the dogs chased him down and knocked him to the ground and dragged him," said Minix.

The boy received 7 bites, all of which were too graphic to show on TV.  The incident resulted in an investigation that lead to Buck and Bill being sentenced to death.  The dogs' owner did appeal the decision but lost the case.  Which may be why local attorney Colleen Glenn filed legal documents on the behalf of both dogs

"They're trying to say the dogs should not be euthanized as far as the county is concerned we have followed all the procedures and have done it in great detail.  We don't understand where this motion will go if the court ask us to respond to it, we will respond to it," said Minix.

The dogs attorney wasn't available for comment but representatives from the Animal Legal Defense Fund says, the measure is necessary to save the Buck and Bill.

"An order to kill these dogs because of one incident when they're ten and  six years old when they've never engaged in this type of conduct before is just an over reaction in our opinion and is one that shouldn't be inflicted here," said Scott Heiser from ALDF.

But, Minix says the law is clear.  "The bites were severe and under Florida law, severe bites to a human means that the dogs shall be put down and euthanized"

The child in this case has undergone several surgeries and is doing better.