An animal rescue saves a dog that was thought to have been destined to be euthanized after it killed a Nevada toddler. Authorities turned the mastiff-Rhodesian mix to an animal rights group, officials said.
The staggering 120-pound pooch named Onion became the main attraction in a dispute after it fatally mauled a 1-year-old Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan nearly two years ago.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Thursday night that the city of Henderson, which originally sought to euthanize the dog, instead gave it to the New York-based Lexus Project.
City officials announced in a statement that they ultimately gave the dog up in the court fight “in an effort to spare family members the grief of reliving the tragic events of the dog attack.”
Lexus president Robin Mattasch has stayed mum on the dog’s whereabouts simply saying that it has been permanently relocated to an animal rescue. She has declined to say where exactly this animal rescue is, but that it would not be to the Colorado sanctuary as previously mentioned.
The toddler’s family had been celebrating his birthday on April 27, 2012 when the child tripped and fell onto the dog while it was asleep in a dark room. The boy lifted himself up by grabbing onto the dog’s ears and the startled dog grabbed and shook him, causing fatal facial and head injuries.
The city declared the dog dangerous and the owner turned him over to be put down. But the Lexus Project intervened in the plan, saying Jeremiah’s grandmother, the dog’s owner, had a change of heart and wanted to release the dog to the group.
In December, the Nevada Supreme Court returned the case to the Clark County District Court to find the facts of the case. The issue at hand was whether owner Elizabeth Keller voluntarily surrendered ownership to the city.
Ultimately Lexus Project has agreed to take responsibility of future liability for the dog and to pay for a memorial for Jeremiah that will go in a Henderson Park.