Manatee County, Florida-- Buck and Bill, two Australian shepherds, are on death row this night. Manatee County is planning on euthanizing both dogs after a judge signed off on the kill order.
The dogs were seized by Manatee County animal services back in December 2012 after biting a 13-year-old boy who was riding on his bike. The county has ordered the dogs destroyed because they are dangerous.
Dozens held a candlelight vigil outside the animal shelter Wednesday night. Miniature stuffed animals, candles, and angry signs lined the front gate, as dozens of people, sickened that the two dogs are on death row, stood about. These animal lovers prayed for an 11th hour miracle, but instead experienced a nightmare when the dogs' owner received word from her attorney that the dogs would die on Wednesday.
"I can't believe it has come to this. I called them my children because they have been with me through a divorce and deaths of members of my family. It's life-changing. It's gut-wrenching," said Karen Erskine, the dogs' owner.
The dogs have been held at the facility for more that 400 days while a legal battle to save them ensued, but late Tuesday, a judge ruled the dogs would not be saved. For the dogs owner, all she has left is desperation, and her hope is dwindling, but not her fight.
"This isn't over. This isn't over by a long shot. I am glad I was able to fight for them the past 400 days, but the fight isn't over. I want to make sure that nobody suffers the pain that I have," said Erskine.