Dog owner denied justice in euthanasia judgment

April 4, 2014 

Staff Photographer

Karen Erskine is comforted by supporters outside the Manatee County Animal Services facility in Palmetto after her dogs Buck and Bill were euthanized under court order on March 27, 2014. FILE PHOTO/PAUL VIDELA/Bradenton Herald


Weighing in on the deaths of the two dogs this past week. I've read several articles and they leave me with some questions.

I could readily see the dogs being seized and quarantined until the owner was found and they were tested for rabies, etc. I could also see the owner paying fines and stipulations given for their return.

One question that does come to mind is why this one case garnered so much attention? Why would someone go to such lengths arguing for the deaths of these dogs?

As I can see it, there can be two options. One, to label a dog as vicious and apply stipulations for their confinement and the other for destroying the dog.

This dog owner had even agreed to take the dogs back to her property and not bring them again to Manatee County.

Were the dogs ever evaluated after confinement for aggressive behavior and a report made that lent itself to this decision?

One article even states they were "therapy dogs." Even some pit bulls and otherwise deemed "aggressive dogs" after they are removed from their fighting environments are retrained and go on to be adopted out and lead normal lives with their new owners.

Were these dogs afforded the same?

It's obvious the owner cared deeply for the dogs and was willing to do whatever it took to comply with regulations and to secure their release.

It's a shame the owner was not given a choice. Instead they were doomed to die?

These were dogs that unless it was proved beyond a reasonable doubt that they were vicious and would repeat this action again did not need to be destroyed. They should have been given that second chance!

Janice Cavileer


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