Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs visits Rufus, promises his safety

Published On: Apr 29 2013 11:39:11 AM EDT
Updated On: Apr 29 2013 01:59:27 PM EDT
Mayor Jacobs, Rufus (2)
ORLANDO, Fla. -

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs visited Rufus, the 1-year-old beagle that bit the owner's 4-year-old son's lip and was scheduled to be euthanized, over the weekend.

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Jacobs said she expects a "positive resolution" for Rufus as she tweeted pictures of her visit with Rufus on Sunday, which included taking him out for a walk.

The 25-pound dog was turned over to Orange County Animal Services by the owner, Nikki West, after biting the family's 4-year-old in the lip April 9.

West's attorney, Jamie Halscott called the mayor's visit "propaganda" and said it isn't fair because the family isn't even allowed to visit their dog.

Thousands of residents have sounded off on Rufus' possible euthanization on a Facebook support group and on a Change.org petition. A Winter Garden commissioner even passed a resolution to keep fighting against Rufus' euthanization.

West's attorney filed an injunction to stop Animal Services from putting Rufus down.  The county says West signed the papers turning over the dog willingly but West said she was upset and didn't realize they had planned to euthanize the dog.

Since the appeal was filed, a hearing will be held and a judge will determine what happens to Rufus. It's not clear when the hearing will take place.

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