The eight-year-old German shepherd named "Donzi," who was at the center of a great deal of attention on social media, has been destroyed.
The Palm Beach County, Fla., animal control had held the dog in quarantine following a bite incident and though there was a rescue agency who was lobbying for his release, the decision was made to have him put down.
For some reason, as tempers continued to flare via social media, the animal control agency had remained silent about the bid for his release, and their reasons for holding him.
On Monday, following the final decision to put Donzi down, the shelter director released this information:
I appreciate your interest and concern regarding Donzi, the German Shepherd that has created much attention in social media.
Donzi was relinquished to our shelter along with another dog and both were afforded the opportunity for adoption or rescue. Although the other dog was adopted and, to date, has exhibited no problems, Donzi caused concern early on in that he bit a volunteer in the face. Although the social media followers have portrayed the volunteer to be a child, this is not accurate. The facial bite required stitches. While this incident could have been grounds for euthanasia, we decided to give Donzi another chance. He was placed with a local reputable rescue and subsequently adopted by a resident. The dog resided in this home for one month before again biting the owner in the face. This bite also required stitches. Further, while Donzi was in this home he bit a neighbor. This bite also required hospital attention.
We can speculate all day about the circumstances, emotions, or environmental factors that cause dogs to bite but at the end of the day we must use common sense to protect an unsuspecting public. We can make presumptions and assumptions about what did or did not occur and what the dog did or did not need and what rescue is better than another; but it is all subjective and open to human interpretation.
It is a shame that we, along with all other open-admission shelters, have many dogs currently needing homes. Dogs without a history of three bites…
Donzi will be euthanized this morning as his bite quarantine has expired. He will not be placed with another rescue. As director of Animal Care and Control I have a responsibility to make decisions on difficult cases. Donzi was allowed to be taken by a rescue even after the first incident at out shelter. We, too, believe in second chances. That said, we now face a much different situation and the deciding factor is that Donzi is unpredictable.
Last, as a community leader from Pasco county, I am sure that you would want decisions that you make to be respected by officials from other regions. I am asking that kindness in return.
Dianne M. Sauve, Director
Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control
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