SALEM, Mo.--A major effort is underway to stop a three-year-old Labrador Retriever in Salem from being put to death.
The ordeal started a year ago, when Phineas the dog, nipped a little girl.
"I want my dog back," says Lexi Sanders fighting back tears. Phineas's owners say he was protective of his family. They say he was a kind and gentle four-legged friend.
"If another dog would come in the yard, he would stay between that dog and our kids. He would follow them around everywhere," says Phineas's owner Amber Sanders.
For almost a year, Sanders has been in-and-out of court, fighting for her dog.
"I take my kids to church and try to teach them right from wrong. I teach them not to lie. This whole thing has just proved me wrong," she says.
Last June, Sanders says Phineas bit a seven-year-old girl in her backyard. Phineas was taken to animal control. The young girl went to the hospital for treatment. Sanders says pictures taken at the hospital were changed to have the bite look worse then it actually was. The mayor disagrees.
"That is a crock. A big crock. That was taken by a police officer. No one doctored any picture," says Salem Mayor Gary Brown.
Mayor Brown says this wasn't the first time Phineas bit, but it was the worst.
"With that being the first serious. Maybe the other two nips, just scratches. But with this brought blood," he says.