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National group hopes to save dog that killed baby

National group hopes to save dog that killed baby

By Marco Villarreal. CREATED May 6, 2012

Henderson, NV (KTNV) -- The family dog that killed a 1-year-old last week is scheduled to be euthanized on Tuesday, but a national group is appealing to the City of Henderson to stop that from happening. 

The group of animal activists calls the dog's attack a first-time offense, and says that as humans we should show forgiveness.

The family who buried their little boy on Thursday says they still love their pet, but have made the tough decision to put him down.

"As horribly, horribly tragic as it is, the dog was basically a good dog and deserves better," says Les Golden of the Lexus Project.

That group wants to save Onion the dog and pay to ship him to the Blue Lion Rescue Animal Sanctuary in Colorado to spend the rest of his days.

"They have a national reputation, particularly with large-breed dogs that are considered aggressive," says Golden. "It's not going to kill again. It will never be adopted. It will never be in the presence of another human being outside of the handler and the vet."

Action News spoke with the family and while they asked not to go on camera, they reiterate what was said after the deadly accident.

"The dog needs to be put down because he attacked a baby, but he was not a bad dog," said the boy's father, Chris Shahan.

Expressing their love for the pet, they hope it will help the family move on and bring peace to Onion who may never understand why his family never came for him again.

Community dog owners are on both sides of this campaign.

"If they can guarantee that the dog will never be next to any type of humans, let alone children, in the future, save the dog," says dog owner Michael Ciari.

"It's sad that the kid died, but they should just let the dog live and put it somewhere where it won't be near kids anymore," says another dog owner T.J. Cheng.

"We're talking about an animal here. We're not talking about a human being," says Brian Izuma. "For the family's wishes. If that's what they want, that's what should actually happen."

The Lexus Project worries the family is making a decision based on grief, and argues the decision is now up to city leaders since the dog was signed over to Henderson after the accident.

Onion is scheduled to be put down on Tuesday.