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Onion, Dog That Killed Las Vegas Toddler Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan, Released to Animal-Rights Group

| by Phyllis M Daugherty

Onion, a 120-pound Mastiff-Rhodesian Ridgeback-mix dog that killed little Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan on his first birthday at his grandmother's home in Henderson, Nevada, has been turned over to the Lexus Project, an animal rights group based in New York.

Onion got a stay of execution because the Lexus Project petitioned the Nevada State Supreme Court to consider the case after Distinct Judge Joanna Kishner ruled that the group did not follow proper procedure and had no standing to intervene to take Onion to a sanctuary rather than allowing him to be euthanized at the Henderson Animal Shelter.

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On Thursday, May 24, 2012, the Nevada Supreme Court rejected the petition to hear the case, saying that its intervention was not warranted, according to the Sun report.

However, that Friday, in a ruling that was not publicly distributed until Tuesday, May 29, the State Supreme Court ordered any action in regard to Onion delayed for 72 hours until District Judge Joanna Kishner ruled on the appeal to save the dog. The action to delay was necessary because Onion could have been euthanized on Tuesday.

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According to the Las Vegas Sun report, after Kishner ruled, the Supreme Court ordered that the Lexus Project report back on the status of the case. The court indicated it would decide then whether to hear it. The Lexus Project said it wants Onion released and sent to a sanctuary in Colorado.

ONION RELEASED TO ANIMAL-RIGHTS GROUP “TO SPARE FAMILY MEMBERS GRIEF”

On January 23, 2014, Henderson officials announced they have turned the dog over to the Lexus Project. City officials decided to give up the court fight “in an effort to spare family members the grief of reliving the tragic events of the dog attack that killed” 1-year-old Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan.

“As part of the court proceedings, family members would have been required to testify and relive the horrible details of that day,” city spokesman Bud Cranor said in a statement. “We didn’t want the family to have to endure that tragedy all over again.”

Robin Mattasch, president and co-founder of the Lexus Project, confirmed the settlement, reports the Star Valley News.

Mattasch would not say where Onion went, but she said he will not go to the Colorado sanctuary to which the group originally sought to send him.

According to the city’s statement, its agreement with the Lexus Project indemnifies the city of future liability for the dog, “which was picked up from the Henderson Animal Shelter well cared for and in good health.”

“It also requires that the group transfer the dog out of state to a licensed dog-rescue facility and provides assurances that the animal will never be allowed to be adopted out or in an environment with children present.

“The city is also requiring the Lexus Project to pay for a memorial for Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan that will be placed in a city of Henderson park.”

“The litigation for Onion has been dismissed, and he has been relocated permanently to a rescue,” Robin Mattasch said. “And out of respect to the family of Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan, we will make no further comment on this subject. It’s over.”

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Source: Las Vegas Sun