Beagle owner makes Facebook plea to save family pet after bite

Published On: Apr 25 2013 10:08:28 AM HST

Pleas are pouring in from around central Florida to save Rufus.

The Orange County beagle may be put down after an incident where the dog bit the owner's 4-year-old son on the lip so hard he needed stitches.

Rufus' owner, Nikki West, who has set up a Facebook page for her cause, said the incident was an accident and that Rufus was excited to eat his new dog food.

"He was excited, and my son came around and startled him, and he was excited too, and it was like two excited things, and it startled him, which had never happened before," said West.

West took her son Chazz to the hospital, which triggered a visit from Animal Control.

According to the report, West said she could no longer trust the dog, and she surrendered Rufus.

Orange County Animal Control said it is its policy to take the dog when someone suffers a severe injury.

"Our statute requires for a bite that is this severe that we proceed with humane euthanasia," said Diane Summers, from Orange County Animal Control.

Rufus was set to be euthanized on May 1, but the family filed an appeal, so now a judge will decide if Rufus lives or dies.

"He's a good puppy dog. We had an accident. Doesn't mean you just kill him," said West.

Rufus awaits his fate at Orange County Animal Control on isolation row, and the family makes daily visits to see him.

So far, the Facebook page has almost 10,000 likes.

West said Chazz has almost healed from his wound.


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