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Patch Poll: Put Down or Spare an Accused Killer Dog?

An Allegheny County judge has set a hearing for Thursday to discuss the future of a husky dog blamed for killing its owner's newborn son. Should the judge spare the dog? Or move forward with an order to euthanize it?

In the latest twist to a controversial case, Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Edward J. Borkowski has scheduled a hearing for 9 a.m. Thursday to review the fate of a pet husky blamed for killing its owners' infant son.

The judge last week ordered the dog to be quarantined and euthanized, but he held off after for the dog. Uhring also filed an appeal on the dog's behalf, contending that other dogs also were present in the child's home and may have bitten the child.

Uhring told Forest Hills-Regent Square Patch that he views the child's death as a tragic accident and that he wants to save the dog's life.

"“I know a lot of people say I could bail on him, but I want the dog," he said. "He’s a great dog and I want to move forward.”

This week's hearing is scheduled for Room 514 in the Allegheny County Courthouse, Downtown.

The dog—called Nikko, Nico or Halo—is blamed for mauling newborn Howard Nicholson Feb. 16 after the child's mother, Brandy Furlong, left the infant in a carrier on the living-room floor in their McKeesport home. When she returned to the room, the baby was bleeding from a severe head wound and the dog's snout was bloody, authorities said. 

The baby died at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. His death spurred renewed interest throughout Western Pennsylvania in pet-safety classes, including the Animal Friends to prepare families planning to bring babies into homes with dogs.

Borkowski last week ordered that the dog be seized and put down within 10 days, prompting Uhring to file his appeal. The judge also ordered McKeesport Animal Control Officer Ken Feree to quarantine the dog until the appeal and issues of potential dog-law violations are resolved. 

What should the judge do now?

Should he spare the dog and allow it to live on in another home? Or should he make sure the dog is put down to eliminate all risk that it attacks another human?

What do you think?

samantha March 08, 2012 at 01:54 AM
uh hello this was a NEWBORN baby 2 to 3 days old who leaves a baby on the floor and the poor dog didn't even know what the baby even was, he probably thought it was a toy or something.. for the shame on the mother.
Danielle Scherer March 08, 2012 at 01:27 PM
When we bring animals into our homes, their actions become our responsibility. We can't blame the animals.
Bill Painter March 08, 2012 at 05:06 PM
The dog killed a human, the dog needs to be put down.
AJ March 08, 2012 at 08:02 PM
parents fault sorry. I let our dog sleep with my daughters blanket b4 bringing her home, for 3 days. my dog is the sweetest dog in the world and I would of never ever put my baby on the ground and walk away. that's just irresponsible. also I don't know if this happened in this case but look how dogs pick up their puppies...
RoastPuppy June 20, 2012 at 05:04 AM
I agree with Jim Hart. If a dog so much as nipped a child, it would be history, because no matter how highly I valued it as a pet, it is, after all, just another animal, no better than the pigs, chickens and cows butchered at the slaughter house. This being said, the mother of this child had the killer and three other large dogs in her home along with two other children, she is on welfare, yet, she had another child. If she has to depend on the taxpayers to feed, clothe and house her family, how the heck did she manage to feed and care for four huge dogs?! Answer: She didn't you and I (the taxpayers) fed and paid the vet bills for those worthless fleabags! The dog should be euthanized immediately -- shooting would be my preference, but the dog freaks wouldn't stand for that -- and this irresponsible mother should lose custody of her two remaining children, lose all government benefits and be forced to get a job and do something besides have children and adopt dogs!

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