Friday, April 26, 2013

Rufus the Beagle: The Campaign Continues

Campaign continues to save pet beagle
Family uses Facebook rescue dog

Posted by: O Jefferson

Life has been a whirlwind for Rufus, the beagle mix who has become the talk of the nation.

Pleas are pouring in from around central Florida to save Rufus.

Rufus, who has his own attorney, was sentenced to be put down because he bit a 4-year-old boy in the mouth, resulting in a wound that required stitches. While that order is on hold, WESH wondered what a dog trainer who deals with dogs daily thinks about the Rufus cause.

Michelle Meredith reported live Friday from Orange County Animal Services where Rufus continued his stint on isolation row. Meredith asked John McGrath, who has been training dogs for 20 years, about Rufus, and if he should be euthanized.

"No, I think he needs a second chance," McGrath said.

McGrath added that Rufus is young and doesn't have a history of biting. He said Rufus could be trained or adopted by a family with older children or no children.

McGrath said that if Rufus were a pit bull, he would not stand a chance of being rescued from doggie death row.

"People have that stigma," McGrath said. "You see a cute, little dog being caged -- he bit a child -- it is downplayed. If that was a pit bull, and it did the same thing with four stitches, we wouldn't be having this conversation."

The discussion about Rufus' fate started earlier this month when he bit Nikki West's son. Rufus was being fed when the bite occurred, and the wound required stitches.

Under Orange County guidelines, that is grounds for a dog to be euthanized.

"He's a good puppy," West said. "We had an accident. That doesn't mean you just kill him."

The family has fought back through Facebook and filed an appeal. Now a judge will decide the dog's fate.

Rufus' attorney said his canine client has a respiratory infection, so he called Mayor Teresa Jacobs to ask that the dog be moved out of the shelter.

"(We want to move him) into a county-approved rescue, and we have actually isolated several rescues that would take Rufus at this point," said attorney Jaime Halscott.

The staff at the county shelter said Rufus is being treated with antibiotics to help with his infection.

Please visit the Save Rufus Facebook Page:

Please Sign & Share the petition to help Save Rufus:



  1. This is total bull was an accident

  2. I understand he's cute and all but the reality is this: good dogs are put down every day because no one adopts them. He bit a kids lip off. He should live an another dog who never hurt anyone should die instead? No. They need his cage. Every day he's using it, a good homeless dog can't. Accident or not. Give that cage to a more deserving dog. I'm sorry, that's reality.

  3. While you are entitled to your opinion Sirius black, I will COMPLETELY and 1000% disagree with you. Maybe you didn't read the entire story on Rufus or choose to believe otherwise. But fact of the matter is, Rufus DOES NOT deserve to die because of an accident. Please re-read his story. I do agree that dogs are being put down every day due to lack of adoption, however that fault does not lie on Rufus' owners in this case. That lies on irresponsible people who do not spay & neuter their pets and then of course there's the greedy breeders that continue to breed for the sake of earning the almighty dollar. Rufus does NOT deserve what he's going through due to an accident. Plain & simple, black & white. ~Ollie


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