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Australian Sheperds from Manatee County put to death | News

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Australian Sheperds from Manatee County put to death

Manatee County, Florida -- Day two, and protesters return to block the front gate of Manatee County Animal Shelter in a last ditch effort to keep Buck and Bill from being euthanized. But for the dogs' owner, Karen Erskine, the news that the last legal avenue to save them comes in a text from her attorney. The dogs will die at 7 p.m.

Manatee officials allow her to be present as the life drains from their bodies, and Erskine greets the men who will administer the deadly serum. They are vets of her choosing, but protesters still aim their anger at officials.

"No way. You're murderers. It's murder," scream protesters.

Pain is clear on tear-stained faces. It leads to prayer.

"Right now, Karen is what is important. Keep her in your arms and keep her safe," the crowd chants.

Then, pain turns to rage -- and confrontations.

"Stop, stop! What are you here for?!"

STORY: Owner to see beloved dogs one last time

After 40 minutes, Erskine reappears at the gate. Her face tells the story. She escorts the vets to their car before being swarmed by her supporters. As she speaks, she is at peace.

"I held them while they passed and I blessed their lives and let them go to God and thank Him for allowing them to be with me for the better part of a decade," said Erskine.

As the Manatee officials who mandated Buck and Bill's death leave the facility, severe words are hurled as they drive out.

""Murderers!" chant the protesters.

Despite her gratitude for the time she had with Buck and Bill, there is a new desire -- consequences for those who she says insisted her dogs should die.

"Well, now we regroup. I grieve, I do it in a healthy way, and we keep moving forward and make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else again. This is hell," said Erskine.


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