Buck & Bill supporters fight to save their lives

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Do you feel Buck & Bill's lives should be saved?

A judge has upheld a ruling to euthanize the dogs named Buck and Bill, who are responsible for attacking a Manatee County boy on his bicycle in December of 2012. Supporters say the dogs should be returned to their owner.

Total Votes: 752


Posted: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 5:52 pm

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. - Buck and Bill, two Australian Shepherds set to be euthanized after attacking a 13-year-old boy, will be put down Thursday morning, according to their owner, Karen Erskine.

The Manatee County Animal Services facility in Palmetto was shut down early on Wednesday. According to the owner of Buck and Bill, the decision to close the doors early was made out of fear over a small group of people protesting a judge’s recent order.

Earlier in the day, waves of cars left Animal Services under supervision of sheriff’s deputies.

"If that mass exodus of vehicles with the last car having my dogs in it, then my dogs are on their way to their death without me." Karen Erskine is the owner of the dogs, who have been on doggy death row for more than a year. Wednesday a judge issued a ruling denying Erskine's request to release to animals, which she says lifted the temporary stay the animals were granted back in February. "That essentially means that this is the dog’s last day. I was also promised by the county that I could be with them and I could make arrangements for them to pass into the next life, and I've been denied that."

Buck and Bill were set to be euthanized after attacking a 13-year-old boy on December 24th, 2012. Since then, Erskine has been fighting to reverse the decision, saying Buck and Bill made one mistake, but it shouldn't cost them their life. "I've never seen a government entity go to such extent to kill, and such waste and expense of county time and money, not to mention the staff’s lives, the public’s time and life, my time and life, my dog’s time and life...I've never seen anyone go to such extent to kill.”

But as the animals’ final hours approach, Erskine says she's losing a lot more than just a legal battle. "I've been offer $10,000 for Bill, and that wouldn't even come close to what I feel about him. He saved my life, physically saved my life twice, and that’s the kind of commitment and bond I have with my dogs, and they're family members and I promised I wouldn't let them down."

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • jhgramma posted at 6:43 pm on Thu, Mar 27, 2014.

    jhgramma Posts: 1

    The judges decision is shameful. I cannot believe that an acceptable solution could not be reached in this case. These poor dogs are as much victims as the young boy who was injured. Even killers get second chances after serving a sentence. Why can't they come up an acceptable solution to sparing their lives. Sounds like there is some vendetta going on against the owner at the expenses of these beautiful creatures. I pray they will come to there senses before it is too late!

  • Abby posted at 5:09 pm on Thu, Mar 27, 2014.

    Abby Posts: 1

    Someone needs to STEP UP and do the right thing! Everything about this case STINKS from beginning to end. There is nothing wrong with saying "we messed up!" It takes a bigger man/person to admit they were wrong! TWO WRONGS DON'T MAKE A RIGHT! These are not vicious dogs, as they have been kept at a shelter for over a year (a very stressful situation for them) and there has not been one incident. People have offered to take them---LET THEM LIVE!!! One bite does not a monster make. DO THE RIGHT THING!!!!!!!!!!

  • Peterl35 posted at 2:44 pm on Thu, Mar 27, 2014.

    Peterl35 Posts: 1

    I used to like the Manatee County area and I used to think that it would be a nice place to possibly move to. This story has definitely changed my about that! Also I grew up with Australian Shepherds and I have to say that they are the best and sweetest dogs around kids.

  • pderoo1 posted at 9:24 am on Thu, Mar 27, 2014.

    pderoo1 Posts: 3

    Well I, for one, will never spend a dime in Manatee County. I vacation up and down that coast of Florida, and I will avoid that county at all costs. It is simply insane that because an attorney did not do their job and filed documents in an "untimely manner", that these two dogs should die. If not for attorney Thomas Ostrander's mistake, these dogs would more than likely be back in the care of their owner, Karen Erskine. I simply cannot imagine how she slept last night knowing that her two dogs, one of which saved her life twice, are going to be put to sleep today and there's nothing she can do about it. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Karen, and as for the employees of the county of Manatee that played a hand in this trial, may your actions come back on you ten-fold. I have no place or pity for those that are so incompassionate. Karen, you are not alone in your grief, I assure you there are thousands of us grieving today right along with you. I pray that a miracle may happen today to prevent this atrocity.

  • Deborah Spigarelli posted at 11:54 pm on Wed, Mar 26, 2014.

    Deborah Spigarelli Posts: 1

    I Can't believe that you let murders free & you won't give these dogs another chance they have been willing to be bye there owners sides no matter what. But how about the people that kill children where are they. Just saying what do you do with them at any cause you need to give these dogs a chance with there owner that loves them & I'm sure she will make sure this does not happen again..Just saying if I was there owner I would be in such dis believef that this could actually happen to my beloved animals. They can't speak for them self's so who are you to judge regarding if they live or die. I just hope that the people that are judging hope that someone isn't judging your death. And Buck & Bill I have 4 grandchildren & I if they did anything to make you lash out I would understand because I have had animals all my life. I would never put one down because there is always a reason. Humans just don't understand!!!!!!!
    God Bless You Both & I hope you Both get release back into Mom's arms. AMEN!!!!

  • SlyKitty posted at 11:28 pm on Wed, Mar 26, 2014.

    SlyKitty Posts: 1

    Why are they so determined to euthanize these dogs when the owner is at fault for not protecting them and keeping them from harm. She should be fined and they should see to it the dogs are secured in her home or properly kenneled on her property. Whenever there is an issue with a dog the cure always is to put the dog down. They rehabilitate criminals so why not these dogs. The owner was wrong and she admits that by not keeping her dogs confined on her property so give her a hefty fine and check that her dogs are confined on her property and secured there. These dogs have become victims of the system. The staff managed to feed and care for these dogs without injury. The child will recover completely from the injuries and the dogs did not kill him. This is normal dog behavior for this situation. This judge is inhumane and does not understand animal behavior anymore than the owner does.

  • sandicarnes posted at 8:57 pm on Wed, Mar 26, 2014.

    sandicarnes Posts: 1

    This is a horrid situation and I could not imagine what the owner is going through..Time to release the dogies to their parents..Thank you Sandi K Carnes

  • inmyshoes posted at 8:37 pm on Wed, Mar 26, 2014.

    inmyshoes Posts: 1

    I would like to add that the judge who signed this order is Robert A. Farrance.I would also like to add that the family of this boy stated that they did not want Buck and Bill euthanized and changed their minds after speaking to a lawyer.

  • Susan MacDonald Dunn posted at 7:10 pm on Wed, Mar 26, 2014.

    Susan MacDonald Dunn Posts: 3

    Support and prayers from Canada for you Karen as well as to Buck and Bill. We have a winter home in Sarasota and I am ashamed of Florida. The county should be ashamed of themselves- there are safe alternatives for these dogs and having an incompetent attorney is NOT a reason to kill these dogs. Killing a life on a technicality is just WRONG !!!! I hope someone goes in and takes these dogs just like someone did with Phineas in Missouri !!!!!!!!!

  • Melanie posted at 6:36 pm on Wed, Mar 26, 2014.

    Melanie Posts: 1

    Supporters of Buck and Bill have been advised that only the Mayor can overturn the order for execution. Please join us in contacting him for his support. There are supporters who are willing to take the boys out of Manatee County and Florida - surely this would serve a better purpose than killing these poor dogs. My heart goes out to Karen, I know she if suffering a great deal.


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