Austin Pets Alive! promotes the safety of humans and of our animals.
Neville was taken into Austin Pets Alive!’s rescue program a few months ago. Neville is a young, friendly dog who has never shown any signs of aggression. On September 22, Neville was playing with other dogs in a play yard when a family entered the yard to visit the dogs. The parents were advised by a staff member not to put their small son on the ground, because the dogs were playing energetically and a toddler could easily be accidentally knocked over. However, the child was placed on the ground and allowed to grab Neville, who unfortunately bit the child.
It is a very unfortunate situation for everyone, as we would never want a child to be harmed. However, we believe this was entirely preventable had our staff’s instructions and common sense been followed.
The family pleaded to the court system to have the dog killed, and Municipal Court Judge Clervi issued an order that Neville be killed, despite the evidence we presented.
“We don’t believe this is a dangerous dog,” said Mike Kaviani, APA!’s Dog Behavior Team manager. ”He did not seek out the child to bite, he was simply reacting to the child who cornered him. We haven’t been given any options at all other than killing the dog or we would be taking them. We are saddened and outraged we were not given an opportunity to find a better outcome for Neville.”
“Dogs can’t speak to us and tell us they don’t like something we are doing,” said Kaviani “They have limited ways to communicate and it’s our job to understand that.”
Austin Pets Alive! has also created a donation link to raise funds for a legal defense against the threatened lawsuit. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/austinpetsalive?code=Neville If for some reason donations here exceed any legal fees, the funds will be applied to helping other scared dogs like Neville find a forever home.
If citizens would like to contact the Municipal Court, the e-mail address is [email protected].