SEPT. 30, 2015 UPDATE: This morning, Orange County Superior Court Judge Corey Cramin overturned his original ruling to have Karma euthanized.
A dog named Karma is on death row. Why? Because he killed a cat.
Yes, it’s terrible that the cat died, but most other dogs who have done the same thing have not been ordered to be euthanized.
Why Karma? Because the Husky mix is allegedly a wolf-dog hybrid.
Karma was taken in by Orange County Animal Care in Orange, Calif., after his owners, Joshua and Tiffany Ogle, were arrested for domestic violence May 24.
Jennifer Hawkins, director of OC Animal Care and its chief veterinarian, decided Karma should be euthanized. After all, Karma had killed that cat in 2012 and was therefore “vicious.” Also, a DNA test showed he was part wolf, and it’s not known whether rabies vaccines are effective on wolf-dog hybrids.
“OC Animal Care staff took great care to weigh all the facts of the case and does not take lightly the euthanasia of any animal, wolf-hybrid or domestic,” Hawkins said in a statement, according to ABC7. “Ultimately, it was determined that euthanasia is necessary to ensure public safety.”
The Ogles appealed, but Orange County Superior Court Judge Corey Cramin upheld Hawkins’ decision.
Animal experts argued that any dog could test positive for having wolf DNA. And as for Karma being a danger to public safety, a hearing officer determined in June that he was not vicious — but that decision was reversed by Hawkins.
As news of Karma’s impending death spread on social media, more than 350,000 outraged animal lovers signed an online petition urging his life to be spared.
The effort apparently worked. The Orange County Register reports that Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer, who opposes Karma’s death sentence, successfully convinced the Orange County Board of Supervisors yesterday to vote 3-2 in favor of asking Cramin to reconsider his ruling.
“You have to convince me personally that there is more aggressive behavior before I’m going to end the life of a beautiful dog,” Spitzer told ABC7. (That’s him visiting Karma in the photo below.)
Joshua Ogle’s sister, Ruby Sanford, told the OC Register she was relieved by the board’s vote. Her three children grew up with Karma. “I’m overwhelmed and nervous,” she said. “I want her to live so badly.”
Sanford’s 8-year-old son, Vincent, thanked Spitzer. “Karma never did anything wrong,” he told him.
Cramin will hear the case tomorrow. If he decides to spare Karma’s life, the dog will be taken in by the Full Moon Farm wolf-dog sanctuary in Black Mountain, N.C.
Nancy Brown, who owns the sanctuary, told the OC Register she was “so joyful” when she heard the news. “I agreed to the terms, as absurd as they are,” she said.
Spitzer told the OC Register that while he respected Hawkins’ decision to have Karma euthanized, the board of supervisors “are the ultimate decision makers when it comes to the county.”
Brown said wolf-dog hybrids are “the bastards of the canine world.”
“Wolf people don’t want them because they think they’re dogs, and dog people don’t want them because they think they’re wolves,” she told the OC Register.