Last week Stu, a 10-year-old rescued dog that has been incarcerated by the city's Animal Services Department since 2005, had faced extermination July 23. His case had gone all the way to the state Court of Appeals, which recently affirmed the right of the county to put him down. Following a Monday meeting of the department's board of commissioners, however, it looks as though his life might spared. According to Board Watch, a blog
operated by Stu's owner that monitors the board's actions, "Commissioner [Kathy] Riordan introduced a motion that the Board [ask the L.A. City] Council to amend the Los Angeles Municipal Code section covering 'dangerous' dogs . . . Commissioner Riordan stressed that the amendment be retroactive to cover Stu's case."
It's now anticipated that the board will make such a recommendation at its next meeting and, if the City Council approves it, the board will be empowered to reverse Stu's death sentence. L.A. Examiner quotes a City Attorney spokesman as saying that office would help draft the motion if asked by Animal Services.
For four years Stu's owner, Jeff de la Rosa, has claimed that his dog bit a sitter after having himself been attacked by another dog -- a chain of events that led to Stu's being impounded and held in custody for an unusually long period.
Stu's situation became a cause celebre among Los Angeles pet owners and his imminent death stirred an outcry nationwide. It's possible
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that the exit of controversial LAAS general manager Ed Boks has given the board the
cover it needs to legally reverse the decision, made on his watch, to
euthanize Stu. For the first time in a long while, though, it looks as
though Stu may be going home.