The Nevada Supreme Court has ordered a stay of execution for the dog that killed a 1-year-old Henderson boy.
The high court's temporary order Monday stops city animal control officials from euthanizing Onion before lawyers fighting to spare him can ask District Judge Joanna Kishner to revisit the case.
The judge ruled May 11 that The Lexus Project could not stop the euthanization because it had no ownership rights to the dog and had not exhausted its administrative appeals. Kishner's deadline for the written order on that decision was 5 p.m. today .
But lawyers for The Lexus Project, the New York-based group trying to save Onion, won't go before Kishner again until Friday to re-argue their case. They worried they might not have time to appeal a decision Friday unless the state Supreme Court stepped in.
Onion, a mastiff-Rhodesian ridgeback mix, has been marked for death since the fatal April 27 attack on Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan.
After a birthday party at the family home, the boy grabbed the 120-pound dog to help himself stand up, and the dog attacked. Onion latched his jaw around the boy's head and shook for about 30 seconds, breaking the tot's neck and mangling his face.
Jeremiah died the next day. The boy's family said Onion had never shown aggression toward him.
Henderson animal control officers declared Onion a vicious dog and scheduled him for destruction. Onion's supporters believe he shouldn't be deemed vicious because he was provoked by the child's actions.
In a public statement after the attack, the boy's father, Christopher Shahan, and the dog's owner, grandmother Elizabeth Keller, said they had relinquished their rights to the dog and no longer had an opinion on his fate.
But after the May 11 hearing, Keller signed a sworn statement last week saying that she had signed Onion over to the city under duress after the attack and that she wanted The Lexus Project to have the dog.