Las Vegas Sun

October 17, 2017

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Animal activists seek better treatment for dog that killed Henderson baby

Dog attacks, kills infant

KSNV coverage of fatal dog attack and interview with grief-stricken father, April 28, 2012.

Supporters for the dog awaiting its fate in the killing of a 1-year-old boy spoke Tuesday in defense of the animal's rights, urging the Henderson City Council at the bimonthly meeting to allow the dog exercise.

Gina Greisen, president of Nevada Voters for Animals, claimed the dog hasn’t had any human contact or a chance to go outside in the year it has been locked in the Henderson animal control center.

“This is wrong,” she said. “I implore the City Council to allow the dog some exercise while he awaits his fate. I know this is a heated legal battle, but please, think of the dog.”

Henderson Police spokesman Keith Paul said the dog has had regular human contact through veterinarian appointments and other basic care. Paul would not say if the dog had been allowed outside because the case is still pending in the Nevada Supreme Court.

Onion, a mastiff/Rhodesian ridgeback, was turned over to Henderson animal control officers by its owner, Elizabeth Keller, on April 27, 2012, after the dog attacked her grandson, Jeremiah Eskew-Skahan, who was at her home to celebrate his first birthday.

The boy reportedly crawled to the dog and pulled on Onion's fur to stand up, police said. The dog grabbed the boy by his face and began shaking him, police said. The boy died at University Medical Center.

After the tragedy, the city was expected to euthanize Onion, in accordance with its vicious dog ordinance. But a group called the Lexus Project intervened.

The Oceanside, N.Y., nonprofit organization has offered to provide funds to place and care for the dog in an animal sanctuary outside Denver. Lexus filed a motion for a temporary restraining order in Clark County District Court to stop the city from euthanizing the animal.

Greisen said she hasn’t taken a stance as to whether the dog should be euthanized or not, she just wants the animal to have humane treatment.

“This is inhumane and cruel,” she said. “There is absolutely no reason they can’t get one of their trained professionals to take this dog for a walk.”

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