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."