Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Lexus Project's relocation of dangerous dogs, a good idea?

The Lexus Project has once again taken possession of a dangerous dog.  Onion, a mastiff/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix that killed his owner's grandchild, at the child's first birthday party, has been turned over to the Lexus Project.  After two years of legal maneuvers the Lexus Project has taken possession of Onion and has relocated him out of state to a rescue facility that they refuse to name.

Given the refusal to name the facility one must consider the possibility that local animal control on the receiving end has no idea what is coming, much less have the opportunity to inspect the facility to make sure that it meets the requirements of the agreement with the city of Henderson.  Per the Las Vegas Review-Journal "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.”
Representatives of the city of Henderson agreed to the transfer of ownership and custody of Onion in order to spare the family of Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan the stress of reliving the tragedy through testifying.   Per the Las Vegas Review-Journal  “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.”

Please note that the Lexus Project has no similar sensitivity and has blocked the euthanization of Onion, the dog that killed a toddler at his own birthday party, and was going full on toward court proceedings.  It is only after the fact that the Lexus Project developed any sensitivity.  The following is a statement from head of the Lexus Project Robin Mittasch "“The litigation for Onion has been dismissed, and he has been relocated permanently to a rescue,” she said. “And out of respect to the family of Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan, we will make no further comment on this subject. It’s over.”
Mittasch would not say where Onion went, but she said he will not go to the Colorado sanctuary the group originally sought to send him to.

An  interesting quote from Richard Rosenthal husband of Robin Mittasch, this one from The Daily Mail "Eskew-Shahan died just after celebrating his first birthday when the six-year-old Onion lashed out and clamped onto the child's head for 30 seconds with his massive jaws.The dog shook Jeremiah as he bit down, breaking the boy's neck and mangling his face. 'There is nothing vicious about the attack,' Lexus Project's Richard Rosenthal told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in May of 2012."

What planet do these people live on?  What might Rosenthal, lawyer husband of Robin Mittasch consider vicious?   Your average man on the street would consider grabbing a baby by the head and shaking that baby until he is dead of a broken neck and mangled face to be the very essence of a vicious attack.  

 More interesting quotes from Mittasch are found here," Mittasch told The Associated Press she is "overjoyed" with the outcome, "and so happy that (Onion's owner) and her family finally has closure that brings her peace."

Contrast this with family statements "‘For what he did to my son, he deserves to be punished,’ Jeremiah's father, Christopher Shahan, said. ‘I’ve already accepted the fact that he’s dead,' the Chicago Tribune reported.  Jeremiah's grandmother, Elizabeth Keller, watched in horror as the dog bit her grandson in the head. She sobbed as she told the Review-Journal that the public legal fight over Onion's fate was putting even more strain on the family.  'I don't care if they save the dog or not. We need to get past this,' she said.

Here are some thoughts on the transfer of a dog that has undeniably killed a toddler.  Has the Lexus Project given the placement of this dog more thought than they did with Bones, the dog too dangerous to remain in New York City?  The Lexus Project sent Bones to a supposed sanctuary for dangerous dogs in Toledo Ohio called North West Ohio Underdog without knowing anything about the organization or the facility. This did not turn out well, the "sanctuary" was a garage behind a tiny house in a tiny yard in a densely populated neighborhood.  The garage already housed 15 to 16 other dangerous dogs.  For more on the Bones disaster please click here, and here,  and here , and here, and here,  and here, and here, and here, and here, and finally here.
Tragedy: A judge ruled that Onion, a six-year-old mastiff-Rhodesian ridgeback mix who killed Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan last week, should be euthanised
This beautiful child was Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan, the dog is Onion.   It is to be hoped that the Lexus Project has done a better job here than they did with Bones.  The Lexus Project is once again responsible.