Waggin' Train: Give Nikki the German Shepherd a Chance at Life
  • Petitioned Nannette LaRochelle

This petition was delivered to:

Waggin' Train Rescue
Nannette LaRochelle
Waggin' Train Rescue
Jane Kleinsinger
Waggin' Train Rescue
Katya Edwards

Waggin' Train: Give Nikki the German Shepherd a Chance at Life

    1. John Sibley
    2. Petition by

      John Sibley

      Bronx, NY

In October a beautiful young shepherd named Nike (Now Nikki) was turned into the Brooklyn Center of New York City Animal Care and Control.

A volunteer spotted Nikki in the lobby with a young boy, who was immensely upset that his dog had to go away. The volunteer promised the boy that Nikki would not be killed. Nikki was very upset in the shelter and difficult to handle for medical, but she was pulled by Waggin' Train rescue. 

Waggin' Train sent Nikki to a boarding kennel in New Jersey. German Shepherds frequently do not do well in either shelters or kennels, they tend to bond intensely with their families, are suspicious of all others, and do not do well in chaotic environments. At first she was reported to be settling into the kennel very well, where she was handled exclusively by the kennel's owner. As recently as early November there were reports that she was showing steady improvement. 

In late November the representative of Waggin' Train finally actually met Nikki. She lives several states away and had elected to manage this rescue of a dog with known behavioral issues from afar without ever having met her. She was not pleased with what she saw, and Nikki was moved to the home of an SAR (Search and Rescue) handler.

Several SAR handlers had now worked with Nikki, and the Waggin' Train representative seems to feel that they have all the experience that should be needed, even though SAR dogs are typically selected for non-aggression and there is no reason that an SAR handler would have any more experience than any lay person working with issues of fear aggression or socialization. There is no indication that Waggin' Train sought a consultation with a trainer or behaviorist experienced with these issues.

The representative of Waggin' Train has decided to kill Nikki in the face of available options. In her words, "the liability is just too high". Nikki's death is scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday Dec 27th. The Waggin' Train representative is sending a vet to the home of the volunteer fostering Nikki to kill the dog she has evidently met only once.

Waggin' Train has been offered, by a donor, a consultation with an actual qualified trainer for Nikki. They have refused. They have been offered a consultation with a canine behaviorist for consideration for sanctuary placement, and they have failed to respond to the offer. There is a third option of course, and that is to return Nikki to the shelter. While no one is a particularly big fan of that option, a return to the shelter would mean a chance at life and a chance at life is always preferable to a certain death.

Time is short. Will you help ask Waggin' Train to make the right decision? We need a one week stay of execution to have her evaluated by a canine behaviorist for possible sanctuary placement. Even if that is not an option, I would hope that Waggin' Train would spare her a certain death and return her to the shelter where a group might take her in who are willing to work with professionals with applicable experience. I too would not want to see Nikki in a situation where she may hurt someone or herself - but I'd also rather not see her dead. I am confident that there are people who can help her.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 750 signatures
    2. Killing Nikki

      John Sibley
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you all for caring about Nikki. In the past 24 hours the petiton generated about 750 responses, more than I ever dreamed of. Waggin' Train has received offers of help, of training, of financial help, and of sanctuary.

      Unfortunately none of this outpouring seems to have affected their decision, and they have shut down their Facebook group and stopped responding to emails. I do not have any confirmation but my hunch is that Nikki is likely, at this point, deceased. I hope I am wrong and that Waggin' Train had a last minute change of plan, but that does not seem likely at this point.

      I am deeply sorry.


    3. Reached 500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Deonca Williams JERSEY CITY, NJ
      • almost 2 years ago

      We should stop judging animals by human standards. People are dangerous not animals. With a small amount of training and love this poor dog can be a part of a loving family's home. So please do not murder her. Dogs do not commit burglary, child abuse, murder, bank robbing so why are you all trying to execute Nannette?

    • dawn cefalui PALM BAY, FL
      • almost 2 years ago

      deserves a cahnce to live

      • almost 2 years ago


    • Janet Nelson MACK, CO
      • almost 2 years ago

      Dogs act differently around different people. Give this dog a chance. You need more than one or two to decide if this dog really needs to be put to sleep. I can not think that it would. Someone is taking the easy way out.

    • Miya Burton NEW ALBANY, OH
      • almost 2 years ago

      I'm signing because I don't want this lovely German Shepard to die today! She deserves to wait until someone can/wants to adopt her! :)


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