Las Vegas Dog that Killed 1-Year-Old on Birthday Given Reprieve

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Nevada Judge Rob Bare granted an 11th-hour reprieve to Onion, the Mastiff-Rhodesian Ridgeback that killed baby Jeremiah-Eskew-Shahan in Las Vegas last week as family members tried to save the child.

The six-year-old trusted family dog was scheduled to be euthanized by animal control officials on Tuesday for grabbing the little boy’s face in his mouth in an unprovoked attack and ripping it off as he shook the little boy, breaking his neck.

The incident occurred when Jeremiah crawled across the floor to the dog he had known since he was born and grabbed his fur to pull himself up and give Onion a kiss goodnight.

According to theLas Vegas Review-Journal,the District Judge made the order late Monday, May 7, after attorneys for a Long Island-based dog-rescue group filed a temporary restraining order.

"We're happy about [the judge's decision]," the group’s president toldthe Daily News."Now Onion will have his day in court.It's a tragedy what happened.  But on the other hand, the dog didn't do anything wrong. He doesn't know what he did,” Lexus Project president Robin Mittasch said.

On Friday the judge will make a decision on whether to allow authorities to put the dog down or send him toBlue Lion Rescue in Colorado, which takes in and does adoptions on large-breed dogs with a history of aggression.

Chris Eshan, Jeremiah’s father, said last week that the dog deserved to die for killing his son. But on Monday, he told theLas Vegas Review-Journalthat he and his wife were “overwhelmed by online commenters who had blamedthemfor the baby's death.” He said they now simply want their suffering to end.

On April 27, little Jeremiah's grandmother, Elizabeth Keller had just given him his bedtime bottle when the fatal attack occurred at around 10 p.m.The baby crawled over to Onion and grabbed ontothe 120-pound Mastiff to stand up, as he had been doing all day while they played together, reports the family. Without warning, the dog clamped its jaws around the boy's head and shook Jeremiah viciously..

The grandmother tried to stop the attack but could not.Chris Eshan ran down the stairs upon hearing the noise and got Onion to release the baby.The mauling lasted only about 30 seconds  but was so brutal that the little boy died a few hours after arriving at the hospital.The family said that Onion had never acted aggressively before and they had him since he was a puppy.

Chicago-area dog rescuer Les Golden started the on-line effort to flood the offices of Henderson, Nevada, officials with pleas to save the dog’s life and release it, against the wishes of Jeremiah’s family, who relinquished the dog for euthanasia.

Golden argued that the dog should be spared because Blue Lion Rescue would make sure he was never around children again. "There's nothing to be gained from killing this dog," Golden declared, accusing Chris Eshan of just wanting revenge.

"The only people that will come in contact with him are the handlers and vet at Blue Lion Rescue," Golden said.  However, the Blue Lion Rescue site shows numerous animals that have aggressive backgrounds and are being offered to new homes.

Some critics have claimed that Golden and the other rescue groups in this effort are using this family tragedy to gain high-profile attention in the media.Gus70 wrote to theChicago Tribune, “Stay in Chicago where you belong! Quit trying to ruin a community that knows the right thing to do.”

The grieving grandmother, Elizabeth Keller, told reporters, "I don't care if they save the dog or not.We need to get past this."



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