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Richard Rosenthal, General Counsel and Co-founder, The Lexus Project
BY ERIK HELLING -- Dogs that kill are usually rounded up by animal control officials and euthanized. Not this time. Even though Onion attacked and killed a one-year-old child, he has been staunchly defended by the Lexus Project – a New York-based group that fights for animals that it says have been unjustly condemned to death. On Wednesday, the group’s lawyers will be in the Nevada Supreme Court arguing an appeal to keep Onion in the group’s sanctuary.
Onion, a Mastiff who attacked the one-year-old grandson of his owners after the toddler woke him, deserves a second chance, according to Lexus Project co-founder Richard Rosenthal. He says the dog was startled in the dark, and dropped the child immediately after being called by his owners.
Rosenthal also believes that animal control officials gave Onion’s owners no option in signing the dog over and that the owners are the people who contacted the Lexus Project to present Onion’s case.
“We put murderers and rapists back on the streets with them intentionally knowing their crimes,” said Rosenthal in response to the possible risk of putting dangerous dogs back in homes.
Rosenthal stresses that tragedies such as this are a result of pet owners becoming too “complacent” and over-humanizing their pets, which are still animals.
In terms of their appeal, Rosenthal believes that animal control’s methods go against the constitution, and hopes that the court will release Onion into the Lexus Project’s care, where he can be put into a sanctuary.
“When a dog can get along with other dogs, is not showing a tendency to attack without cause and can be saved, we believe it should.”