City of Austin Animal Services employees say they are getting death threats after the story of three pit bulls being euthanized hits social media. They say it's time to set the record straight. Readers who are making the calls they say aren't getting the full story.
On the Facebook page SaveLeoDawnAndGorgo, the three dogs are pictured playing in front of the Anytime Fitness in West Austin off R.M. 2222 and Jester.
It was there on September 6, that a man claims he and his dog were attacked by the three pit bulls
The owner of Leo, Dawn, and Gorgo's story can be found on Change.org.
Owner Chris Grant says he was training his dogs in the parking lot of Anytime Fitness. All dogs he says were leashed, harnessed and tied to his SUV, when they were attacked by an off-leash dog running loose in the parking lot.
Grant says the owner of the loose dog did not attempt to pull the dog away and repeatedly punched and kicked the pit bulls to get them to stop fighting back.
Grant says he was bit by the loose dog and did not witness anyone being bitten by his dogs.
On September 28, Leo, Dawn and Gorgo were euthanized by order from a municipal judge, which grant desperately tried to prevent with online petitions.
"There's always two sides to every story," said City of Austin Animal Services Deputy Chief Chris Noble.
On Thursday, Animal Services Deputy Chief Chris Noble shared what his investigators have learned about the incident through witness testimony and court proceedings.
He felt compelled to he says after receiving at least 100 threatening calls and emails from people all over the world who he says have gotten the wrong idea about what happened from the websites.
"[They're] advocating death, violence, and injury to our staff and court employees and the victim in this case. It's just very sad that people will take half of a story and run with it," Noble said.
Noble shared photos of the injured dog Grant claims bit him and attacked his dogs.
Noble says the lab mix was not on a leash, which is against city ordinance, but did not attack the pit bulls.
Noble says the pit bulls were not strapped to Grant's SUV. Noble says the three dogs circled the lab and attacked it.
Noble says when the owner of the lab reached in to save his dog, Leo, Dawn and Gorgo took several bites out of him.
The lab owner did kick the pit bulls.
"He was doing what he could to stop the attack and get the dog out of the situation," Noble said.
The lab lost its leg and the owner suffered a deep cut to his right hand, a bite on his left hand and one on his thigh.
"This is not a pit bull issue, this is an owner issue. That's very important. We have a shelter full of them and we do everything that we can to put them in good homes," Noble said.
Noble and his staff say if people wish to support pit bulls, adopting them from the shelter is a great way to show it.
Grant repeatedly asked viewers on his web pages to be courteous when contacting public officials.
His Change.org website for the pit bulls currently has 19,000 supporters. The Facebook site has 6,000 likes.
A fund to help Grant pursue civil rights action has generated more than $5,000. That is through what's called The Lexus Project.
According to Grant's attorney, the issue isn't the dogs' guilt or innocence. It's the fact that the city put the dogs down without allowing Grant to challenge or appeal the euthanizations.
The City of Austin does not permit appeals.
The Lexus Group attorney also says there were other procedural deficiencies in the court process.
The group plans to file a federal civil rights action against the city.