Family allowed to keep dog as companion to comatose son

Dec. 4, 2013 at 2:31 PM   |   0 comments

BERLIN, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- A German family is being allowed to keep a dog they say appears to have a bond with their comatose son, even though it's a banned breed.

The decision follows a social media campaign after Eckhard Gerzmehle and his wife were told they would have to get rid of the American Staffordshire terrier, reported Tuesday. The family lives in Brandenburg, where the breed, closely related to the American pit bull, is banned on the grounds of dangerousness, although they first acquired Tascha when they lived in Berlin.

The Gerzmehles' son, Dylan, now 10, has been in a vegetative state since birth. But the couple said Tascha appears to have a calming effect on the boy.

Once the family was told the dog would have to go, the newspaper BZ covered the story and firefighter Jurgen Toepfer started a Facebook campaign, picking up 100,000 likes.

Authorities found a workaround to the Brandenburg regulation, allowing the family to register Tascha in Berlin.

BZ reported Tascha is now getting training as a therapy dog.

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