By Beth Germano, WBZ-TVBy Beth Germano

FREETOWN (CBS) — A golden retriever sentenced to death in the town of Freetown has been given a reprieve and a second chance.

“It was emotional because it was up and down a couple of times, and we didn’t think we were going to be able to do it,” said Ruth Marshman, a volunteer at a New Bedford animal shelter who arrived at a deal with the town to save the dog.

It came so close for Skippy, whose saga began last fall when he was accused of twice attacking the one-year-old granddaughter of his former owner. The Freetown Board of Selectmen said it had no choice but to order the dog be euthanized.

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports.

“I think he didn’t get a good start, and didn’t have the proper tools,” said Marshman. But Skippy went viral, as his case became a Facebook phenomon with more than 5,700 “Likes,” catching the town’s attention.

“I think it brought people together for a common goal, made them aware of this going on where they may not have been aware of it,” she said.

The town set conditions on Skippy’s reprieve. Among them, that he be neutered, trained, not put up for adoption in Freetown, and not by a family with small children. Last month his previous owners agreed to give him up, and now Marshman is grateful he got a second chance.

“I don’t think it could get much better really, unless we save another animal in his predicament,” she said.

Skippy is now in foster care and will be put up for adoption when his trainers believe he’s ready.

Comments (16)
  1. Chris Livernois says:

    I will take him! Please don’t put him down, i have a golden, cheesy mix that will teach him well. Please i beg you, he will get a good home. Sincerely, Chris & jinx .

  2. Chris Livernois says:

    Please give me info about this dog… I will rescue Skippy, and he will have a wonderful home with love.

  3. Kathy Van Dyne says:

    I will take Skip in a HEARTBEAT!

  4. barry says:

    i would love to have him. i own a home in norton. no kids. please send info on where i cant start the prosess

    1. Ruth Marshman says:

      Are you still interested in adopting SKippy?

  5. Cynic says:

    No Death Penalty for People that kill People….Just for a Dog being a Dog.

    1. Krys Lewis says:

      excellent comment!!!!!!

      1. Ruth Marshman says:

        Krys: Get in touch with me.

  6. Krys Lewis says:

    Also, if you read the entire story, you will learn that Skippy was falsely accused by the child’s mother who was gettiing even with her father for a family feud… has all ended well and Skippy has hundreds of people who want to adopt him and give him the love and attention that he so desperately needs. However, if you would like to help, the facility that Ruth is working with him at, C.A.R.E. could really use any kind of small or large donation to help with his ongoing care. Skippy needs to be treated for lyme disease and the medications cost…go to Free Skippy on Facebook and you can find out all you need to know about helping this beautiful and loving boy!!!!!! Thank you so much!!!!!

  7. horselover says:

    i love dogs and i love that this one has been saved, but if it were a pitbull would it have been teh same outcome? I just do not like that there is discrimination with dog breeds when a lot of dogs out there are okay (even the pitbulls!)
    I think every case (no matter the breed) derserves the same evaluation as this dog received.

  8. Labadorer says:

    @horselover Well, actually in September 2010 in Dudley, MA (if I remember correctly) there was a similar incident that had a similar outcome and that dog was a “pitbull mix” that had been running at large. Similar terms were set by the Selectmen in that town and the dog was saved. It is all about education – both dog and owner. The more cases that are put to the test the smarter people will become….maybe. I mean they still don’t get that ALL dogs need training – they don’t just “arrive” and are “good with kids”. That is why every case is important and an outside evaluator should be brought in – however, the problem is always going to be “the cost”.

  9. Krys Lewis says:

    It is a well known fact that Goldens are a GENTLE, loving and easy going breed. Unfortunately, through their own fault or through the fault of the stupid people that buy them, train them to be mean and dump them because they are, pitbulls are a well know dangerous breed, not just with children but with other animals and grown ups to. There are many pitbull rescue groups should you be so inclined to help out. Also, note that Skippy was falsely accused due to a family squabble. As I said in my comments, I am hoping that Skippy’s story will help many many many more poor lost souls be rescued from shelters and taken to safe and loving homes as well they deserve!!!!

  10. emom says:

    OK if this dog was accused of something that it didnt do, WHY isnt it then the person that FALSELY ACCUSSED HIM is not being prosecuted, she should be held liable for causing such a problem. She lied not once but twice. The owner sould have been able to regain the dog back, and then barred their daughter from coming around. I mean how cruel to do that to the entire family. SHE is one sick person, and she has kids… what message is she sending to the kids, its ok to falsely accuse people and get away with it,, what next .. This is how criminals are created….. how sad the dog had to go thru all that for nothitng , all because of a lie. a viscous lie. I hope someone makes this woman pay for all the trouble she caused, AFTER ALL THE DOG WAS INNOCENT AND SOMEONE HAD TO CARE FOR HIM.

  11. emom says:

    I have a crazy question,,,,, if this dog had not bit that child those two times, then why is it he needs to be nudered and RETRAINED,, had there been something he had done wrong, OR NOT. I would think if some are claiming the mother of that child LIED so bad because of a FUED with a family memeber, then the dog need not to be altered. If the dog was as gentle as its been claimed,. something is still not right with this … but in the end the dog lives , lets hope those that caused all the grief, confusion, strife, learns from this, I fear for that child in the end, to be a part of a family that is out for turmoil and caos is no way to raise the child or live.

  12. Brian R. says:

    I have two dogs, a Golden and a Pyre. Both get along tremendously. I will take Skippy in a heart beat. Goldens are one of the most gentle breed around. Maybe the daughter should be fixed…….PLEASE GIVE ME INFO TO ADOPT SKIPPY. WILL LEAVE TOMORROW TO PICK HIM UP.

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