Rescue Rusty - Keep Pup From Being Killed!
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Please note: this is the official #rescuerusty petition for Dallas Pets Alive! Any other petitions pertaining to this matter, or their expressed viewpoints, are not affiliated with or represent the opinions of DPA.
Rusty is a rescue dog facing euthanasia after biting an unattended child at an adoption event hosted by Dallas Pets Alive on Dec. 16, 2017. The child was treated and released at a local emergency room and, thankfully, is recovering quickly. The City of Dallas has seized Rusty for having caused “serious bodily injury” under Texas Health & Safety Code 822.001 - 822.004. This would allow a court to order Rusty be killed.
Dallas Pets Alive greatly values the health and safety of our community and takes dog bites very seriously. That being said, they firmly believe that the death of an animal should never be the first step in resolving a first-time single-bite incident. Dallas Pets Alive wants to keep both the community and Rusty safe and has offered a positive solution to the City of Dallas to ensure that our community remains safe and that Rusty is given a chance at life. However, the City of Dallas still wants to kill Rusty even with a positive solution in place that ensures our community remains safe and Rusty is given a chance at life.
It would be a failure of justice if Rusty were to be killed after one incident when a peaceful resolution that meets the needs of all parties is readily available. We are asking the City of Dallas to reconsider moving forward with costly legal proceedings at the taxpayers’ expense and release Rusty to a rescue for rehabilitation, NOW.
Please do not let Rusty die alone after spending more than a year looking for a permanent home. Give him the chance at a real life and a real home with people who have had repeated success rehabilitating dogs that have never had a real chance.
Please sign this petition to urge the City of Dallas to work with Dallas Pets Alive toward an agreement that addresses the concerns of all involved parties.
Background on Incident:
After taking the time to perform a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident, Dallas Pets Alive has come to the conclusion that Rusty (the rescue dog), who has no history of aggressive behavior or biting, most likely bit the child out of fear. While the child had been in the area prior to the incident with his mother, at the time of the incident, he had approached Rusty on his own. Rusty was on a leash and in a seated position and had shown no signs of aggression at the event. This leads us to conclude that when the unattended child approached Rusty, the dog likely reacted in fear.
The American Veterinary Medical Association states that dogs bite as a reaction to something (stress, fear, protection, etc.) and in Rusty’s case we believe it was an isolated incident given the exciting, but still stressful, environment of a busy park with strange noises/smells and an unknown person on his level reaching for him. Medical providers, park personnel, and the police were immediately contacted and have completed reports as well. Although Rusty was current on all vaccinations, Dallas Animal Services was also contacted to initiate the mandatory 10-day quarantine after such an incident.
Dallas Pets Alive’s first priority always is the safety of potential adopters and children who attend their events, and this is the first time they have experienced an incident such as this. In the course of their lengthy investigation, they reviewed their existing policies and procedures for adoption events and have implemented additional policies regarding children and rescue animals in an effort to even further minimize the likelihood of this happening again.
About Dallas Pets Alive!
Dallas Pets Alive! is a volunteer-based organization dedicated to making Dallas a no-kill community for companion animals. They pull urgent and at-risk dogs off the euthanasia list at the city shelter, Dallas Animal Services (where Rusty came from). They have successfully helped increase the city’s live release rate from 42.7% in 2012 to 73.3% in 2016. Dallas Pets Alive does not have a shelter facility, meaning they rely entirely on a team of volunteer foster families to care for pets until they're adopted into a “furever home.” Adoption events at local parks and other event venues are their main avenue for connecting adoptable dogs with potential adopters.
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