A Staffordshire terrier that mauled two in Germany could be saved from being euthanized after a public petition gained over 250,000 signatures. 'Chico' was known to the authorities for being a violent dog, and social workers had previously been sent to the house to assess the risk he might pose to the family and wider community. The social worker described him as "having been trained to be a fighting machine", and recognised that the family were overwhelmed by the difficult dog but the authorities had not removed him from their care. Udo Moller, a spokesman for the city of Hanover, said: "An expert appraisal, had it been carried out, would have led to the owner being banned from keeping this animal."
Moller also spoke to confirm that other options in addition to euthanisation were being considered, saying: "We are looking into whether such a facility [for dogs with learning difficulties] would be able to ensure the dog was no longer a danger for the public." The victims are only referred to as Lezime K, 52, and her son Liridon, 27, and its understood he was bought by the family for safety some eight years ago. Mrs K had fled from an abusive relationship, and her ex-husband was due to be released early from serving his prison sentence. She was confined to a wheelchair from injuries after the man attacked her with an axe, and bought Chico to feel safe at night but quickly realised Chico was a danger. Neighbours have spoken to say the mother of four kept the dog in a cage out of fear for her and her children's lives, as the dog was extremely violent.
A social worker soon visited, and arranged for Liridon to take the dog to a trainer after acknowledging the family were struggling to cope with his 'permanent aggression' back in 2011. It's understood that the family were due to turn up to a veterinary inspection where a qualified officer would decide whether the dog should stay with the family, but they didn't turn up to the appointment and the authorities did not follow it up. The woman and her son were found after police broke into their Hanover apartment on Tuesday of last week, autopsies confirmed the pair had bled to death after being mauled by the dog. The creators of the petition think the dog should not be put down, as they believe the incident to be due to a failure on the part of the authority. One woman, who signed the petition to offer her support, wrote: "Chico deserves a second chance with someone who is experienced with dogs. Please help him to be able to finally enjoy a loving life, which is appropriate for his species."