MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. - Two Australian Shepherds set to be euthanized after attacking a 13-year-old boy are expected to be put down Thursday night.
Buck and Bill are scheduled to be euthanized at 11:59 Thursday night, and the owner and her supporters are gathering to show that they will fight to the very last second to save the animal’s lives.
Karen Erskine, the owner of Buck and Bill, spent her day making phone calls as part of her last ditch effort to save her animals. But among all the calls, one stood out more than the rest. "An attorney just called me from Arkansas and he says he can help us."
Erskine's two Australian shepherds were placed on doggy death row 450 days ago after attacking a 13-year-old boy. Since then she's been fighting to reverse the move.
And while the newest addition to her legal team is now working save the animals, they are doing so against the clock, due to a recent decision by a Manatee County judge, which has started their final countdown.
"The order states that I have until 7pm to see my dogs; I only have 30 minutes to see my dogs. I can bring in my own vet. If I do, because they can’t assure that the dogs will really be dead if I bring in my own vet, they want to make sure that they’re dead by incinerating them in the community incinerator."
That’s news that has saddened Buck and Bill supporters.
"I feel for all animal lovers today. This is wrong, so very wrong," says Kimberly Hager.
“Manatee County don’t put dogs down for first bite incidents, ever. They can’t show us any examples of them putting a dog down for a first bite incident," says Kristi Lade."
In the meantime, Erskine says she will continue to fight to save her dogs until the very end. "Don’t ever, ever give up. I will be there until 11:59 and 59 seconds, saying we still have one second left, because that’s the way God works."
Both dogs are responsible for attacking a Manatee County boy on his bicycle in December of 2012. The dogs were taken by Manatee County Animal Services while a judge determined their fate.
Since then, thousands of people have expressed support online to keep these dogs from dying.
The young victim's family has said all along -- even in court – that they did not want to see these two animals destroyed.