Family fights for beagle through Facebook

Orange County family fights to save beagle who bit child

Published On: Apr 25 2013 02:59:19 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 23 2013 10:08:12 AM EDT
Rufus the puppy
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -

A Central Florida family is using a Facebook support page to fight to save their 1-year-old beagle, who bit their 4-year-old child, after learning the dog is going to be put down.

The 25-pound dog, named Rufus, was turned over to Orange County Animal Services after biting the family's 4-year-old child in the lip, but they never imagined it would get to this.

Rufus' owner, Nikki West, said she was giving him wet dog food, a special treat for his birthday, when 4-year-old Chazz ran into the kitchen.

West said she rushed Chazz to Arnold Palmer Hospital and was told to fill out some paperwork, a standard procedure for dog bites. She said later that night at around 10:30 p.m. Animal Services came to her door with more paperwork to take Rufus for a 10-day evaluation.

"I would have never have thought that this would have happened when I signed those papers," West said.

If Rufus didn't show signs of aggression he would be adopted, West said. When she called to check on Rufus she says she was told the bite was too serious and that Rufus would be euthanized.

"He's scared he's just a scared little puppy in there," she said.

West has now turned to Facebook and started the "Save Rufus" page to raise awareness and hire an attorney. She's hoping to block animal services decision and keep her beagle alive.

You can also sign a petition to save Rufus by clicking here.

West could appeal the decision but as of now, West says Rufus is scheduled to be euthanized on April 27.

Local 6 in Orlando tried to contact Orange County Animal Services Monday night, but did not receive an immediate response.