HENDERSON, Nev. -- City of Henderson officials announced Thursday they have agreed to release the dog that killed a 1-year-old boy to an animal sanctuary.
The announcement ends a legal battle that lasted nearly two years.
The case involved Onion, a dog responsible for mauling and killing 1-year-old Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan in April 2012.
Onion's owners turned the dog over to the city to be euthanized. The Lexus Project, an animal rights group, later intervened - saying the family changed its mind about the dog's fate.
The group filed a court motion to prevent the dog from being killed. City of Henderson officials contested that motion - setting off the legal battle that reached the Nevada Supreme Court. In December 2013, the court ordered an evidentiary hearing be held to determine who owns the dog.
City representatives say they decided to release the dog to spare Eskew-Shahan's family additional grief.
"As part of the court proceedings, family members would have been required to testify and relive the horrible details of that day," said Bud Cranor, spokesman for the City of Henderson. "We didn't want the family to have to endure that tragedy all over again."
As part of the City of Henderson's agreement with the Lexus Project, the city is absolved of future liability for the dog. Onion will be transferred to an out-of-state animal rescue facility and can never be placed in an environment where children are present.
The City of Henderson is also requiring the Lexus Project pay for a memorial for Eskew-Shahan that will be placed in a public park.
The Lexus Project declined to comment on the agreement, citing respect for Eskew-Shahan's family.