Family continues fight to save Rufus the beagle

Dog that bit 4-year-old on lip scheduled to be euthanized

ORLANDO, Fla. - A family fighting to save their pet beagle from being euthanized plans to take their plight to Orange County commissioners on Tuesday.

Rufus, a 25-pound beagle, was turned over to Orange County Animal Services by its owner, Nikki West, after the dog bit her 4-year-old son on the lip April 9.

[DOWNLOAD FREE WAKE UP! WITH LOCAL 6 APP:  iPhone | Android coming soon]

After learning the dog would be put down, the family changed its mind about surrendering Rufus, but animal services would not return the dog. Animal Services said Tuesday night Rufus would not be released that night but said they asked to meet with West without her lawyer present.

"I just want my dog back. I miss him, it's quiet even with a 4-year-old, it's still quiet," West said.

Although not on the formal agenda, West posted on the Save Rufus Facebook fan page that she expected supporters to use the 15-minute "public comments" portion of Tuesday's county commissioners meeting to urge the panel to return the dog to his family.

On Monday, Animal Services allowed the boy to be with Rufus in the play area of the shelter. 

Earlier, West's attorney filed an injunction to stop Animal Services from putting the dog down.  The county says West signed the papers turning over the dog willingly, but West said she was upset and didn't realize they had planned to euthanize her pet.

Since the appeal was filed, a hearing will be held and a judge will determine what happens to Rufus.

More than 88,000 people have signed an online petition in an effort to keep the dog from being put down.

Watch Local 6 News and stay with for more on this story.

Copyright 2013 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.