Fight to keep death row dog alive continues

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Posted: Friday, November 8, 2013 5:52 pm | Updated: 11:45 am, Wed Nov 12, 2014.

SARASOTA, Fla. - The legal fight to save two beloved dogs is underway.  The animals escaped from a window while visiting a home in Manatee County, and then bit a teenager 7 times.  They were set to be euthanized for the attack but their owner isn't giving up.

"I would just like to see the county take a set back and from the hard line stance they're taking and let the dogs go home to live out there lives," said David Allen, an animal activist who supports the owner's fight to save the animals. 

He's talking about Buck and Bill, the Australian shepherds being held at Manatee County Animal Services.  They're awaiting the day they will be put down after being sentenced to death for what officials call a vicious attack on a 13-year-old in December.  But, some disagree with the decision saying the law allows for leniency.

"Section 767.12 indicate that's if it is the first time that a dog has bitten or attacked a human, they can be declared dangerous and confined for the rest of there life," added Allen.

The support to keep Buck and Bill alive is growing, with many petitioning for the dogs to be released back to their owner.  There is even a Facebook page with more than 3,600 likes. 

Still, the county says the law is clear.  "As long as the court process is pending the statue mandate that the dogs remain in the counties custody. So, I want to stress that the county has followed the law to a 'T' and we are doing the things we are mandated by the statutes to do," said Manatee County Attorney Mitchell Palmer.

But the dogs owners disagree, appealing the decision to the county and then to the Circuit Court but both upheld the ruling.  And, now a third appeal is under way in the 2nd District Court of Appeals. In the meantime, allegations of animal neglect have surfaced because one of the dogs developed some type of growth.

But the county says that's far from true.  "A local veterinarian has pronounced these dogs to be in good shape as recently as this past Monday.  There is some type of a growth on one of the two dogs, but the veterinarian has labeled it as benign and further labeled it as not at all threatening and not an emergency situation," said Palmer.

But even with a good bill of health, Buck and Bill supporters say the animals should not be put to death.

"They attacked the young man, that can not be disputed.  But, they were doing what dogs do," said Allen.   "My hope and the hope of a lot of people who care about these dogs is that they will be allowed to basically go home to the family farm and live out there lives," Allen added.

That family farm is about two hours away. The owner has says if the county released the animals she will make sure they don't bite anyone ever again.

As for the victim's family they were unavailable for comment.

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  • L Novak posted at 9:14 pm on Sat, Nov 9, 2013.

    L Novak Posts: 2

    Manatee County has handled this incident poorly from the very beginning. Not only is Animal Services guilty of neglect and abuse, the attorney handling the initial hearing - which was requested by the owner of the dogs - completely botched it procedurally by not allowing testimony or statements. Instead the 'attorney' didn't "HEAR" anything and assumed that the owner agreed with the County's assessment of the situation. That couldn't have been more wrong. Please go to Save Buck & Bill from being killed page on Facebook, and sign the petition here:

    While other "bite" dogs are held for 10 days and released, Manatee County has decided they will not relinquish these old, and NOW sick, dogs to the owner - who lives over TWO HOURS away. The dogs wouldn't even reside in this area.

    The bad press Manatee County is getting will not go away soon and the bad reputation they are earning is well placed - the story is spreading and dog lovers everywhere will not stand for it.

  • talula posted at 7:59 pm on Fri, Nov 8, 2013.

    talula Posts: 1

    you got most of right Sarasota 7. The boys parents signed the affidavit not to have the dogs put down. Its on their facebook page.
    Did the county say they had proof? If you go on their fb page Karen, the owner took pictures of the sores on the dogs which do need medical attention. The one dogs private parts are swollen. The want to get these dogs to such a condition where they can determine to put the dogs down. Thats the sneeky way their trying to destroy the dogs. If the county shelters are so full, let them go home to the owners and be quarentined on their farm. It's cruel. It's inhumane. These commissioners can't seem to read all the way through the Florida Statutes of Animal Cruelty. The Veterinarian is also consider the Officer of the law when stated in the Statutes. They won't let the dogs have any medical treatment since it's the counties way to get rid them slowly but surely. Swallow your pride! Your shelters are over crowded, but then they remain incarcerated. THEY NEED VET CARE AND THAT IS THE ONLY THING KAREN WANTS, TREATMENT.


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