Second leash on life: Austin dog deemed dangerous won't be euthanized

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A dog who had previously been deemed dangerous and was set to be destroyed will get a second chance.

After several incidents of Roc, a 4-year-old pit bull, being aggressive toward people, Austin city leaders declared him a dangerous dog on July 21, and on Aug. 3 voted to euthanize the animal, despite him never biting or seriously injuring anyone.

But at a meeting Monday night, the city council voted unanimously to allow Roc to go into a rehabilitation program with Ruff Start Rescue and be placed in a foster home at no cost to the city, ABC 6 reports, instead of being put down.

Roc's story drew much attention within the community and nationwide, including that of a New York-based animal rights advocate, who helped Roc's former owner Sofia Smith appeal the city council's decision to euthanize the dog earlier this month, the Austin Daily Herald reported.

“The conduct of this particular dog has been somewhat mischaracterized as somewhat aggressive,” Attorney Lisa Dailey, who represented Smith, said, according to the Austin Daily Herald. “It’s not your typical situation where it’s a vicious dog or it’s aggressively trying to attack people.”

This temperament was confirmed by Ruff Start Rescue, which assessed Roc's behavior prior to Monday's city council vote.

"Roc scored very well," Ruff Start Rescue's Chris Maddox told the city council, the Rochester Post Bulletin reports. "He likely hasn't had any training, and is just a goofy, big pit bull."

So now, Roc will get training and rehabilitation through Ruff Start Rescue before and be placed with a foster family, who will know his status as a "dangerous dog" in Mower County, the paper notes.

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