Should a Dog That Kills a Child Be Killed or Saved?


As of October 2013 no final decision has been announced by the Nevada Supreme Court

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) — The fate of Onion, the dog that killed a baby in Henderson, is still in the hands of the Nevada Supreme Court.

Onion’s owner surrendered him to Henderson Animal Control after the 120 pound Mastiff-Rhodesian Ridge back killed her grandson on his first birthday.

Jeremiah Eskew-Skahan would have turned two this Saturday.

Lexi Mains has no doubt about what should happen to Onion. She says, “Put the dog down.”

Mariesa Gutierre disagrees. She says “I think it should be kept alive.”

Onion is being kept alive at Henderson’s animal control facility while the Nevada Supreme Court decides his fate.

His owner agreed to have him put to sleep, but the New York-based Lexus Group, a rescue organization stepped in and sued for the right to send him to a Colorado animal sanctuary.

Animal rights activists have raised questions recently about Onion’s condition.

A police spokesman says the dog has had regular human contact and is being cared for by a veterinarian. But the public is not allowed to see the dog. The spokesman says it’s a matter of public safety.

Some feel safety should be the only concern once a dog has been deemed “vicious.”

Pamela Roush says, “They don’t care if it’s a little baby or a little child or a grownup or another animal, they’ll attack it.”  Others feel, in some circumstances, dogs deserve some lenience.

Matt Mitchell says, “They’re animals, and every animal should be wild no matter how much you domesticate them. To control them by killing them is ridiculous.”

The Lexus Project intervenes

The New York-based Lexus Project was originally formed to defend a so-called “vicious” greyhound named Lexus that was impounded after killing a Pomeranian dog, but it now helps defends all breeds of dogs. Chicago dog rescuer Les Golden originally spearheaded the campaign to save Onion. “The dog deserves to be saved,” he said, and started a nationwide campaign to save Onion. Lexus Project volunteers joined the effort by filing legal appeals to take Onion into custody and later transfer the dog to Blue Lion Rescue located near Denver, Colorado. According to Lexus Project attorneys, Keller signed over dog ownership to the Lexus Project.

ONION picWe recall that several years ago a dog dragged a child around the yard by her scarf, killing her. The dog was not killed (probably due to its breed, Golden) and went to San Diego Helen Woodward Animal Center, where over 200 people vied to be able to ADOPT the dog that killed the child.  We don’t doubt for a second that if allowed, there would be a lot of people who would adopt this dog since he had never shown any tendency of aggression to people but perhaps toward other animals, which is not necessarily illegal, but must be very carefully controlled.

A livestock guardian dog is generally assumed to understand how to protect livestock against predators, if started early.  However we noted that the Appellants claimed the child was walking and tripping near the dog in the dark, and if true, no owner should have let the baby walk and trip anywhere near the dog. Even if the baby had grown up with the dog (the dog is now 8 and the baby would have been 2; this happened when the baby was one.) The sad part is the dog ripped the sides of the child’s face from the shaking and the child died. and would charges be brought for owner negligence against the owner? We doubt it.




  1.  City of Henderson (April 28, 2012). City of Henderson news release: 1-Year-Old Boy Dies After Being Attacked By Family Dog. Retrieved on 2012-06-11.
  2.  The city of Henderson asserts that ownership rights were assigned to its animal control, but an organization called the Lexus Project also claims ownership. See Top Nevada court grants another stay for dog that killed baby. Las Vegas Sun (June 4, 2012). Retrieved on 2012-06-13.
  3.  Haynes, Brian. Group hopes to save dog that killed 1-year-oldLas Vegas Review-Journal, May 5, 2012. Retrieved on 2012-06-11.
  4. ↑ 4.0 4.1 Toplikar, Dave. Judge says dog that killed 1-year-old boy can be euthanizedLas Vegas Sun, May 11, 2012. Retrieved on 2012-06-11.
  5.  Ryan, Cy. Top Nevada court grants another stay for dog that killed babyLas Vegas Sun, June 4, 2012. Retrieved on 2012-06-11.
  6.  Wingert, Gregan. 1-year-old killed at his birthday party by family’s 120-pound dog identifiedLas Vegas Sun, April 30, 2012. Retrieved on 2012-06-11.
  7.  Nevada killer dog case heads to settlement deliberations; rescue group fighting euthanasiaThe Republic, Columbus, Indiana, June 13, 2012. Retrieved on 2012-06-13.
  8.  Las Vegas Sun, August 27, 2012, “Supreme Court: City can’t euthanize dog that killed child” at [1]
  9.  Cheese, Rikki (Apr. 26, 2013). Legal battle continues over the fate of OnionKTNV. Retrieved on 2013-05-03.



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