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Dog on Death Row Gets Spared After Petition for Pardon

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By Edward Tan, JD on April 20, 2012 6:01 AM

A dog on death row was given a last minute reprieve from a Tennessee judge.

After being slated to be put down for more than a year, a 4-year-old pit bull mix named Prada will be headed to an animal rescue center. Prada was declared vicious after she escaped from her Nashville home and attacked several dogs.

Now the dog will soon be living the good life at Villalobos Rescue Center in New Orleans. The shelter is featured in Animal Planet's reality show "Pitt Bulls and Parolees.

So how why was Prada spared?

Thank the power of social media.

Nicole Andree, Prada's owner, vowed to save her pup. The 35-year-old real estate agent waged a legal battle for over a year. She petitioned the court to have mercy on Prada. Andree's father even died from the stress of the events, Andree claims.

Under Tennessee law, any dog that attacks a person causing serious bodily injury or death can be destroyed by court order. Owners can ask the court for alternative sentences, but there's no guarantee a judge will grant it.

So when things were looking most grim for Prada, Andree turned to the Internet for help. She launched a social media campaign requesting people to sign a petition asking Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam to spare Prada.

Although over 11,000 people sent in signatures, representatives from the governor's office said he had no power to free the pooch because it was a local matter.

But then Villalobos Rescue Center entered the picture. After local investigators vetted the organization, they concluded it would be an acceptable home to rehabilitate aggressive dogs. The judge agreed and signed an order authorizing Prada's transfer.

Prada's story shows that a doggy death row sentence doesn't always have to be fatal.

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