An Alaskan Malamute named Bolt is on doggy death row, but his owner and supporters are fighting for his life.
On Halloween weekend, the 3 and half-year-old, 140 pound dog bit McKenzie Leedom after she laid on top of him in the middle of the night. She was dating Bolt’s owner, Daniel Mendonca, at the time.
But Mendonca’s family members are taking up Bolt’s cause, saying he should not die for a human error. They say Leedom, who works at a pet store and has several dogs of her own, was warned to stay away from Bolt.
The victim has several puncture wounds across her face, and required stitches. One tooth came just millimeters from an eye, according to her mother, Rayanne.
“She has visible scars on her face,” Leedom said.
She added that Meondonca’s family is trying to mislead the media, showing photos of McKenzie that do not depict the wounds, in an effort to save the dog’s life.
“Dan begged my daughter not to turn his dog in. He knew it would be put down,” Rayanne Leedom said. She ultimately pushed for an investigation saying, “Nothing Dan can do will provide the public with any safety.”
Bolt is due to be euthanized on Dec. 11 after Turlock Animal Services declared him a vicious dog. FOX40 cameras caught Bolt licking Rodrigues on the face and holding out his paws to Mendonca’s uncle, Aaron Harris, as they visited the dog in Turlock.
The dog’s owner’s sister, Diane Rodrigues, says he plays with small children without a problem.
“He has never shown any aggression whatsoever to anyone I have ever seen,” said Rodrigues. “That’s why it’s so shocking what has happened,” said Harris.
A Facebook campaign to save his life has gotten a thousand signatures. One of those who signed was Mendoza’s friend Dominique Carvalho, a dog groomer. She says Alaskan Malamutes are not inherently aggressive despite their size. She believes the 109-pound woman surprised Bold and invaded his space.
“It’s provoking them and they will strike at you if you provoke them,” said Carbalho.
One of Leedom’s friends was also attacked by Bolt in a separate incident.
Bolt’s supporters have hired an attorney to attempt to halt the execution and are seeking another hearing for the dog because they feel more evidence has come to light. They also say they would accept another home for Bolt or assigning him to a dog rescue group.
McKenzie’s mother has her own attorney now too, and says human safety should be placed before the life of an aggressive animal’s life, adding “I will not settle for anything less than the dog being euthanized.”
“There is absolutely no reason for the dog to be alive one more day. No shelter or rescue will accept a dog with aggressive bite history,” said Rayanne Leedom.