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September 23, 2017

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Judge to consider motions regarding dog that killed baby

New York-based organization continues trying to rescue dog from being euthanized

Judge rules on euthanizing dog

KSNV coverage of judge's decision about euthanizing Onion, the dog that mauled a 1-year-old child, May 13, 2012.

The fate of Onion, a dog that killed a 1-year-old Henderson boy in April, remains in the hands of a Clark County District Court judge.

Judge Joanna Kishner is scheduled to consider two motions Friday that could decide whether Henderson animal control can euthanize the dog.

The motions have been filed by the Lexus Project Inc., a New York-based animal rescue group that wants to place the dog in an animal sanctuary in Colorado and provide funds to care for it.

On May 11, Kishner denied Lexus’ request for a temporary restraining order to save the dog.

The judge ruled that because the dog had been turned over by its owner to Henderson animal control, Lexus could make no property rights claim to the animal and had no legal standing to seek the temporary restraining order.

Lexus has filed one motion for the judge to reconsider her order and a second motion to stay the order. Kishner is scheduled to take up both motions privately in her chambers on Friday.

The court docket shows that a hearing has been scheduled for 9:30 a.m. June 8 to hear a motion from Lexus for a preliminary injunction to keep the city from euthanizing the dog.

Lexus has set up a trust in New York that would provide funds to house the dog at the Colorado animal sanctuary.

According to city of Henderson attorneys, Elizabeth Keller, the dog’s former owner, signed over her 6-year-old, 120-pound Mastiff/Rhodesian mix to animal control after the dog killed her grandson, Jeremiah Eskew-Skahan.

The boy was at his grandmother’s Henderson residence on Navarre Lane near Arroyo Grande Boulevard celebrating his birthday on April 27 when he crawled toward Onion to pet him, Henderson Police said.

The dog latched onto the boy’s head and began to shake him as the grandmother tried to pull the boy away from the dog, police said.

Henderson Fire Department paramedics took the toddler to St. Rose Dominican Hospital–Siena Campus, and he was transported by helicopter to University Medical Center. The boy died at the hospital Saturday. The family subsequently turned the dog over to animal control.

Meanwhile, the dog is being cared for by animal control while the court is taking up the matter.

“We are simply trying to follow the law,” Keith Paul, Henderson public information officer, said Monday afternoon. “This is a public safety issue. The dog was deemed vicious after it killed a 1-year old. We are simply following the law.”

Under the city ordinance, once a dog has been deemed vicious, the owner can turn it over to the city to be euthanized, the owner can have it euthanized or the owner can appeal the finding of the animal being vicious, Paul said.

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