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Facebook Campaign To Save Condemned Dog ‘Bolt’

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Bolt greets visitors at animal shelter where he waits for execution.


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.”

mckenzie leedom

McKenzie Leedom’s injuries after being bitten by Bolt. (Leedom Family)

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.

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  • Joe

    No one ACCIDENTALLY LAYS on a 140-lb dog. I’m sorry for the girl, but she was very likely either negligent, malicious, or just stupid.

    That said, it gives me pause that this isn’t the first attack from this dog.

    It also sounds like the mother is casting a lot of blame on an animal to hide the shame of a promiscuous, negligent teenage daughter.

    I hope Bolt can be saved and that the girl learned a valuable lesson (or more) from this. If Bolt is killed, the girl will come away from the situation with nothing but scars – physical AND beyond.

  • Dino

    If bolt is not spared , girl , family and fire chief will become victims of payback, Turlock is a rough town you never know what can happen in that crazy town.. And like you said … Everyone knows everyone

  • jdobrovolny

    PLEASE SAVE BOLT! This is the third time I've heard of when a person has laid on top of a dog when they were sleeping and the dog bit. I was one of them– my own family dog. It was my fault and we didn't kill our dog. Unfortunately someone else I know killed theirs which disgusted me. It's like if you come across a dog hit by a car and they bite out of fear– this was startling a dog and it's their instinct to react. Please everyone write in to save Bolt. Prayers are with Bolt and his family he will be spared.

  • logicqueue

    this is ridiculous!!!! sounds to me they had a bad break up and now this Women is trying to retaliate on him by trying to legally murder his best friend!

  • leaxo

    ill do more damage to this girls face than the dog did. this is soooooooo sad. this poor dog was jus protecting himself not knowing that a underage drunk girl was going to pounce on him. wtf.

  • bethany

    what are you talking about? This dumb broad was 20 – not even the legal drinking age. She layed on the dog in the middle of the night, most likely not even a conscious decision. Yeah, if you suddenly lay on a dog in the middle of the night when he’s fast asleep, you’re gonna get bit. This is not a dangerous dog. This is a dangerous girl. An underage drunk gets bit by a dog so she tries to get him killed. Hell no.

  • Dino

    There will be a group of people ready to unleash hell on city of Turlock and small group of cowards trying to harm this animal , please be ready animal shelter, fire station, it’s a hard place to live and SURVIVE , yes we all know where and who the drunk girl is that attacked bolt while he was sleeping,

  • bethany

    You are completely right. This is ridiculous. This chick was drunk, underage, and probably doesn’t even remember what happened too. This dog was startled when she decided to lay on him… -_-

    Like, how are you gonna give a dog the death penalty?! This is 99% the girls fault. SAVE BOLT!

  • batoscano

    Anybody who has any idea what a dog is about, knows you do not startle a sleeping animal by rolling on top of him. He just followed his instincts by protecting by what he thoght was an attack on him. To put him down for this, makes us people look pretty intolerant and stupid. Always blame someone or something else, never take responsibility and think of consequenses. I strongly believe BOLT should not be put down, but given another chance and I hope whoever has to make that decision has the intelligence to do the right thing. I have had dogs all my life and is usually peoples fault when something goes wrong.
    I will pray for Bolt and for good news.

  • babycheek25

    – I VOTE TO SAVE BOLT ! He shouldn't be punished for a human's mistake. Dogs should be treated like human beings. They don't like being provoked in any way and they know when they can be in harm.



  • Anonymous

    Seems like a conflict of interest with the Fire Chief. He is a longtime friend and coworker of the family. Doesn’t seem like a fair hearing to me! Girl underaged/drunk = illegal/irresponsible…..

  • kfckat

    Why is this sick woman not being brought up on animal cruelty charges? She was laying on top of the dog – talk about a crazy sexual animal fantasy! Disgusting! Animals do not attack unless they are (1) trained to, or (2) have a damn good reason to. I would have bitten her too! An awful lot of people see something seriously wrong here. I even called this police department and spoke with a person in animal control who was hateful and doesn't even like animals – no surprise there and not one kind word of hope for this abused dog. A human can murder anyone and get LIFE – a dog defends itself from a woman's sick sexual attack, and gets DEATH? This mother should concentrate on getting her daughter some psychiatric help, instead of killing an innocent animal. This entire incident disgusts me to no end. PLEASE DO NOT KILL THIS ANIMAL – THIS IS SO UNJUST, SO UNFAIR, and all because of a sick 20 year old woman's sick sexual animal fantasies laying on top of a dog. Wow.

  • Dino

    TURLOCK… Isn’t this the same city were the girl at the candy store threatened to kill our President??? Now it’s your Fire chief who want to kill a dog that Defended itself … Sounds like a great town ….jeez

  • zoe

    That’s crazy we would get upset if someone fell on us when asleep it was a accident a young dog cannot die over a mistake this is crazy leave the dog alone let gime live

  • andrea smith

    I feel that the wanting to put down this loving dog just because some stupid drunk girl scared the dog by rolling on top of him while he was a sleep should see the dog around children before killing him. It is not Bolt’s fault that a drunk person scared him while he was a sleep. Bolt reacted like he was being hurt. Human beings do the same thing and we don’t kill every human that has ever defended themselves because they got scared by another human and feared that they would be hurt. So before you go killing Bolt for defended his self because he thought that the stupid drunk girl was going to hurt him then you might as well line every person in your town up in a single line that has ever been in a fight and shot them right in the head because that is the same thing you are doing to Bolt for the same thing. I swear people are so stupid that they want to kill an animal for any reason what so ever. SAVE BOLT

  • anonymous

    It’s as simple as this..the girl who was bit needs to grow up and take responsibility for her actions. Yes, its horrible that she was injured in this incident but to go as far as killing a dog because he was protecting himself is BEYOND ridiculous. The mother also needs to grow up and be a parent. Of course, like any mother would, she is protecting her daughter. But this whole incident has gone way too far. Girl who was bit-I’m sorry that you were injured but seriously?!?! Grow up and take responsibility for your actions. To the mother, BE A MOTHER and yes, while no mom wants to see their child hurt and wants to protect them, all that should be coming from this is a lesson to your daughter- don’t drink underage( or maybe until youre old even until you’re old enough to control your alcohol intake), and don’t disturb an innocent- sleeping animal..or anyone for that matter because the reaction you will get won’t be a good one. To Dan, I’m so sorry that Bolt is suffering through this. I signed the petition for him and pray that good will come from all of this.

  • Rita George

    We also have a malamute who sleeps with us and we have learned he has dreams and interrupting them just like humans during this period is never knowing what the instinct of being woken up will be. This is not his nature naturally just a product of his brain in sleep pattern. What a shame on us for instinctual wanting to kill him. My husband lashes out in dream mode but I don’t want to put him down!!! Experts of dog nature should be called to input their expertise before jumping to kill a living creature!!

  • HuskyMomma1

    This is absurd to put Bolt Down because of Her Stupidity. Anyone with the knowledge of these animals knows they are loyal to their owners and she is or was ONLY THE GIRLFRIEND meaning there one day and gone the next. Dan is Bolt's Family not her and she obviously acted in a manner which made Bolt feel as if he needed to protect His Family. I have had GSD and SIberian Huskies all my Life and know many with Mal's they are Gentle Giants and he should NOT BE MURDERED BECAUSE OF A HUMANS ACTION.

  • Anonymous

    Hahahahaha all of you people are rediculous. This dog mauled the face of a girl that weighed 40 pounds less than the dog. Regardless of the fact that this girl may have startled the sleeping dog, it is not okay for the dog to react by attacking the girl in her face. For a dog to attack someone in the face and neck area, is trying to seriously injure or kill. If she had woke up and startled the owner of the dog in the same way and that person reacted by attacking her with a deadly weapon, they would be spending many years in prison regardless of the fact that they were startled by her. A dog that will attack a human when startled is a vicious and unsafe pet and should be put to sleep. This girl probably shouldn’t have been trying to snuggle with a huge sleepin dog, but she isn’t a pervert and she doesn’t have animal sexual fantasies. She IS a victim even though she caused it to happen. All of you seem to feel for the dog that is going to die, but why don’t you feel bad for the pretty girl who’s face Is now permanently scarred because of her boyfriends mistrained dog. And the cherry on top of the sundae is the fact that the dog attacked another girl a week earlier. It’s a vicious dog that is not under the control of its incompetent owner and unfortunately because of that the dog must be put down. It’s sad that the owner and the dog have a sweet loving relationship, but the dog doesn’t respect the owner. The dog thinks that it is the alpha and is therefore unpredictable. . Also everyone who reads this should know that I am a huge animal lover and have a couple large dogs of my own, a bullmastiff and a Rottweiler, both weigh more than that malamute and if either of them seriously attacked a human I would have them put down just as the owner of bolt should do. However my dogs are well trained and not vicious and they do not try to kill you when you wake them up. What if it was a baby who was attacked? What if the girl died?? The owner is pathetic and the Facebook campaign which people are handing him money through is rediculous.

  • Anonymous

    You are so sick for suggesting this girl is a pervert with animal sexual fantasies. That is just not the case, she was trying to snuggle with the dog, that’s what people do they love dogs and hope to get love back, but not in a sexual way. That’s disgusting. Unfortunately or this girl, when she tried to give this dog some love it startled the dog, and the dog attacked her. A dog tht attack when scared is a vicious dog. It’s not a safe dog and the girl was not attacking the dog in any way dot make up a messed up and untrue story . The girl was tryin to give that dog some attention

  • Christina

    If you didn’t wanna get bit by the dog then why would you lay on him? Learn to handle your liquor, and it’s pretty sad that the girl Mackenzie says she doesn’t want the dog to die, but yet she’s letting her dumb mom who wasn’t even there pursue the execution. what kind of sick cruel world are we coming to where A dog defends himself and gets put on death row, but a serial killer can literally get away with murder. Grow up lady, TAKE RESPONSIBITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS. There’s a life lesson. And if the dog does end up being executed there’s gonna be a ton of people barking up you back. Would you execute me if I bit you? Because I would love to.

  • 9mix_aznbaby648

    yeah thats true cuz i honestyly think a dog should have the rights as a human dose, if that girl was intoxicated while she was lying on the dog then i dont blame the dog to do what he did, cuz at the same time its common sence "dont try to mess with a dog if the dog dont know u". personally i think she was so intoxicated enough to even get the dog hyped enough where he attack her, becuz she was probably being a theart and he got in attack mode and striked at her and therefore she got what she deserve.

  • Chelsay

    Save This Dog, he is a victim too.!!!

    The thing I don’t understand about this whole situation is why isn’t someone punishing this underaged girl for drinking – breaking the law! Sure the dog shouldn’t have bit her but honestly how else do you expect an animal to communicate when it doesn’t like what a human is doing to them. As a human we can verbalize when we don’t like something, but dogs or animals have no other means! People who can’t see that need to have their head examined! Drunk underaged girl isn’t punished yet she lays on a sleeping dog and doesn’t expect him to react??? She must have really been drunk! They won’t punish her for breaking the law but the want to kill an animal for defending himself???? Seriously!

  • Melinda

    You are the ridiculous one!! It’s easier for you to blame an innocent animal who can’t speak to defend themselves. The one who needs training and discipline is the drunk girl that got bit. Her mother claims to be so afraid of Bolt’s future reactions. She should be worried about her own daughters reactions. Like being an underage drunk, for example. I hope she never goes camping and sneaks up on a bear because she wants to “cuddle” in the middle of the night.

  • Anonymous

    Hahah bears are not pets and that dog should not be either. When a dog bites two different women in the face on two separate occasions in a matter of months something must be done about it. It’s too late for that dog the whole Facebook campaign is pointless. if somebody wanted to save that dog the owner should have trained it properly and disciplined it the first time it bit a girl in the face. Also the dog is not the only one at fault here the owner is as well, and deserves to pay the hospital bills of both girls that were bitten, which I believe he offered to do. Aside from that the family of the girl who was bitten stand to gain nothing other than the satisfaction of knowing that dog will never bite a person again. People should stop handing the owner of the dog money to fund his selfish legal endeavor to keep his pet.

  • Anonymous

    She did not jump on the dog, she didn’t fall on the dog, she didn’t attack the dog or hurt it in anyway. She laid down with the dog to give it attention but the dog was startled and attacked. As cute as the dog is and as loving of a relationship as the dog has with its owner, it is still vicious and unpredictable. It also bit another girl in the face weeks before this incident. As much as I love dogs, this one made serious mistakes and needs to be dealt with.

  • Anonymous

    You can’t murder a dog. Murder is defined as one human killing another and yes we as a society and our laws do value the life of a human over the life of a dog, as we should. The dog will die to be sure that he never attacks again and has no chance to take the life of another. The judge in charge of this case will have no choice but to put the dog to sleep, because if it is allowed to live and attacks again, that blood will be on the hands of the judge, rather than on the hands of the owner, as has been the case so far

  • Elizabeth

    If this dog were to have tried to kill her she would have far more than 8 stitches. So NO he wasn’t trying to maul her.

  • Bigbilly1983

    This dog is a liability to the city of Turlock and Stanislaus County. This dog has bitten 2 women in the face scarring them for life. These were unprovoked attacks and the EXPERTS at Animal Services in Turlock have deemed this dog as vicious and dangerous. I don't want to take a chance on this dog attacking another person. What if it was a child or one of these poor women had died as a result? This is just crazy. I hope both these women sue the pants of this irresponsible dog owner. He should not be allowed to own any animal. He has proven to not be responsible enough to own a dog. KILL BOLT! KILL BOLT!

  • Littlelolah

    What's really sad here is all of you "adults" posting insipid comments about the girls that were bitten and the mother. Grown folks bullying young adults? Grown folks calling others names? Seriously? I question the intelligence level of those that can't state an opinion without calling names. What's next? My dad can beat up your dad? Are you gonna tell your mom?

  • RaachelLK

    Bolt has been taken by the animal control in Turlock Ca He is a loving dog, that sleeps with his brother Milo and owner every night. They all share the same room and are very close. The other night a girl came to the house intoxicated and went into the bedroom shared by Bolt, his brother Milo and his owner. She jumped onto Bolts bed and grabbed him in a head lock. Bolt half asleep bite her in a warning manner. Bolt has been around so many people during his 4 years of life, with no problems. We are asking everyone to please sign this petition and help us bring Bolt home where he belongs. His brother is so sad without him. Bolt is also sad and doesnt understand what is going on. We miss him and can't wait to hug him. Please keep Daniel and Bolt in your prayers.