Family rallying social media support to save Rufus the beagle from being put down

ORANGE COUNTY - An Orange County family is doing everything in their power to prevent their one-year-old dog from facing a death sentence after it bit their young child.

They're turning to social media in the hopes that they can "Save Rufus".

Rufus, a beagle, bit a couple's four-year-old child on the lip, but the child's mother, Nikki West, says the puppy isn't aggressive and it happened to be excited about his new food.

When West took her son to the hospital, the boy only needed a few stitches, but she filled out paperwork deemed necessary whenever an animal bite is involved.

This led to Animal Control taking the dog and labeling him dangerous.

Under state law, Rufus had to be put on the euthanization list.

"Rufus severely bit a young child and per the state statute, that we follow, an injury of that severity requires an intent to destroy," said Diane Summers of Orange County Animal Services.

"The wording doesn't put in an exemption for inside your own house," said Halscott.

The family turned to social media, making a "Save Rufus" Facebook page and change.org campaign to raise funds for a legal fund. The Facebook page has over 7,500 likes and the petition has over 8,300 signatures.

To visit the Save Rufus Facebook page, click here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Rufus/440540432699891?ref=nf

To see the change.org petition, click here: http://www.change.org/petitions/orange-county-florida-save-rufus

The family's attorney filed an injunction Tuesday to keep Rufus alive while the family appeals the case.

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