DALLAS — The controversy surrounding Rusty the dog in Dallas is a complicated one.

“I can sympathize with the family,” Dallas Pets Alive! Director Leslie Sans told NewsFix Tuesday. “I can only imagine what they were going through.”


“We’re still going to work hard to save Rusty because he’s one of our own, and he deserves that, absolutely,” Sans said.

As we’ve said before, Rusty is a foster of our Ruff Life partner, Dallas Pets Alive! and Tuesday they talked to NewsFix first about his cloudy future.

He’s been sentenced to die, pending a January 26 appeal.

A big part of DPA’s defense in this appeal? The Dallas Police body cam video just after he bit two-year-old Luca Romero. We saw it, and and let’s just say Judge Judy was involved.


Their point was that any litigation on behalf of Romero’s family would come in civil court, not criminal, because they said the dog was on it’s leash so nothing criminal took place.

“It backed up everything we were hearing from the witnesses,” Sans said.

DPA isn’t asking for a total reset here.

“Adopting him out into a home with children, that’s not something we want to do,” she said. “We want him to find a place that’s safe.”

And they have that place.

“The opportunity for Rusty is for him to live out his life in a sanctuary in New York that specializes in dogs like Rusty,” she said.

With around 250 of these adoption events under their belt in five years, and with this being the only experience of its kind for Dallas Pets Alive!, Sans feels they deserve some leeway.

“The 3,000+ animals that we’ve saved over the past five years gives us the right to work hard for Rusty, and we’ve earned that right.”