Rufus the dog returned to family - FOX 35 News Orlando

Rufus the dog returned to family

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

A dog that was scheduled to be put down after biting its owner's 4-year-old son in the face will has been released from confinement. 

Nicole West, the dog's owner,  had lobbied local government officials, including Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, and several media outlets to raise awareness of her cause to keep Rufus alive.

Following a meeting between county officials and an attorney representing the Wests, Orange County Animal Services Division Manager Dil Luther announced the release of Rufus in an email.

"Today, I reviewed medical documentation provided by a representative for Ms. West. This documentation contradicts initial information provided by Ms. West on April 9, 2013, and as a result, I have decided to release Rufus to Ms. West."

The plight of Rufus, the beagle-pug mix, gained national attention after the story went viral on the Internet through social media.   A New York-based animal rights group helped to organize and gather thousands of signatures in a petition to free the pup.

Florida state law requires that a dog be destroyed if the animal causes "severe" injury to a child.

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