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Family Fighting To Save Dog That Bit 2 Children

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A Lancaster family is fighting for their dog's life after it was sentenced to be euthanized for biting two children.

"He was the perfect dog and the perfect family member and they just ripped him away from us," teary-eyed owner Denise Wheeler told ABC 7.

The one and a half-year-old German Shepherd mix named JoJo was taken by animal control and scheduled to be put down in May after he bit two children in the Lancaster trailer park where he lives with Wheeler, Travis Vasquez and their young child.

The dog allegedly escaped his property in May and bit a boy several times, and bit another boy in May, nearly severing part of his hand, according to ABC7.

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Vasquez, claims that in both instances, their dog was provoked into attacking. He told ABC7 that in the first instance, the child opened the fence and taunted the dog to come out and the second child threw rocks at the dog and then stuck his hands through the fence. "I feel bad for both the little boys that he bit, but my dog doesn't deserve to die over it," said Vasquez.

Aaron Reyes of L.A County Animal Control told the news channel there was no evidence of taunting. "We will follow the law in this case and do what we have to do and that is protect public safety."

The family hired a dog behaviorist, Dolores Burton, who said she found no signs of aggression and was unable to provoke the dog into attacking. A neighbor also said that his kids frequently play with JoJo and "they get along great with the dog."

Several rescue groups are working with the family to save JoJo. They successfully petitioned a judge to stay the dog's execution on August 14.

Reyes asks, "I guess my question would be, do you want this dog in your neighborhood?"

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"It's going to kill a piece of me. I'll never get over it," Wheeler said if JoJo is put down.

The dog's fate will be decided at a hearing on September 5.