Owner of Rufus hires new lawyer in fight to save 1-year-old beagle

Nikki West pushes to bring home Rufus after he bit her 4-year-old son

ORLANDO, Fla. - The owner of Rufus, the 1-year-old beagle that bit the owner's 4-year-old son's lip and was scheduled to be euthanized, has separated herself from the official fight to save Rufus on Tuesday.

The former attorney for Nikki West tells Local 6 she has hired her own attorney, Dawn Berlanga-Helms, to fight to bring Rufus home.

West's son, Chazz was bitten by Rufus in the lip on April 9, forcing West to turn over Rufus to Orange County Animal Services. After learning the dog would be put down, the family changed its mind about surrendering Rufus, but animal services would not return the dog.

According to a post from West's new attorney, West said the Lexus Project has politicized the fight and made it a media spectacle. The Lexus Project still has their attorney fighting and is managing the Facebook page.

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