Dog which killed two of its owners and shows 'permanent aggression' may not be put down after public outrage
Chico, the Staffordshire terrier who killed two of his owners, may not be euthanized after all and might get a new home!
Chico, the Staffordshire terrier which was responsible for killing two of his owners and who was set to be euthanized in the coming weeks, may receive a stay of execution after more than 260,000 signed a petition 'Let Chico Live' in a bid to save the dog.
The bodies of 52-year-old Lezime K and her 27-year-old son, Liridon, were discovered by firefighters who broke into their apartment in Hanover last Tuesday after the woman's daughter saw one of their bloodied bodies through a window and rang emergency services.
The firefighters managed to capture Chico, who was still inside the residence, by using a sling, according to a statement released by the police. An autopsy confirmed that they had bled to death after being attacked by the animal, with the report stating: "Initial examinations by a coroner suggest the 52-year-old woman and her 27-year-old son were killed by the dog."
Chico was subsequently placed in the animal shelter 'Tierheim Hannover' in the nearby town of Langenhagen and was set to be euthanized but may now be spared after German authorities admitted they had made some mistakes concerning the animal.
The Staffordshire terrier was reportedly bought by the woman eight years ago, shortly before the early release of her ex-husband from prison, who had attacked her with an axe. She was left in a wheelchair and had told neighbors she kept Chico in a cage because she feared for hers as well as her four childrens' lives.
However, later that year, a social worker arranged for the son, then 20-years-old, to take Chico to a trainer after finding that the family was unable to cope with his 'permanent aggression,' and a report written by the worker claimed that the dog 'had been trained to be a fighting machine.'
Based on the trainer's advice, the veterinary inspection office was due to have ruled on whether they would be allowed to stay with the family. But after the family failed to take the animal to the authorities, there was no follow up, and there was also seldom a response to the neighbors' repeated complaints about the dog's incessant barking.
The Guardian reported the comments of Udo Möller, a city spokesman who admitted that the authorities had made numerous mistakes concerning Chico. He said: "An expert appraisal, had it been carried out, would have led to the owner being banned from keeping this animal."
He added that the authorities were now looking at the possibility of placing the animal in a secure facility for dogs with behavioral difficulties: "We are looking into whether such a facility would be able to ensure the dog was no longer a danger for the public."
While the option will be considered, Heiko Schwarzfeld, the managing director of the Hanover animal welfare association, appeared to add some caution to the optimism: "If an animal sanctuary is seen as an option to save the dog’s life, it would then be a question of seeing who would pay for his keep."
There appears to be no shortage of suitors for the embattled terrier. Many have come to demonstrate outside the veterinary inspection office in Hanover protesting the decision to euthanize Chico and Tierheim Hannover say they have received hundreds of offers from those willing to give the dog a new home. There have also reportedly been attempts to break into the shelter and rescue the dog.
The petition, which is seeing an increasing number of signatories every day, reads: "Are the two dead people of Hannover a tragedy? Yes. Is her dog the culprit? NO! Because the problem with all "biting attacks", which happen again and again and fortunately rarely end fatally, lies at the other end of the leash. With the holders."
"That sounds cruel because now two people are dead. But it would not be appropriate to ignore the apparently wrong attitude of the dog. And it is also cruel, in the debate about fighting dogs - which are only called because people once made them - to call only for prohibitions. Or after euthanasia, which now threatens "Chico". THAT DOES NOT HELP AND PREVENTS NOTHING!"
"PLEASE LET CHICO LIVE! GIVE HIM A CHANCE! HE NEVER HAD A GOOD DOG LIfE! Please sign this petition!"