By Sheila Burke
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A mutt who sat on doggy death row for more than a year before given a reprieve is now officially free from government captivity and headed toward TV stardom.
Prada, the 4-year-old pit bull mix that was ruled vicious and ordered put down, was released Thursday from Nashville’s Animal Control facility, where the dog had been held since January 2011.
Prada was ordered put down after attacking several other dogs. A judge spared the dog’s life after the Villalobos Rescue Center in New Orleans agreed to take the animal.
The center is featured in Animal Planet’s reality TV show “Pitt Bulls and Parolees,” which puts ex-convicts and abused dogs together in order to rehabilitate both man and animal.
“Prada loves these people,” Nicole Andree, the dog’s former owner said after a representative from the rescue center came to Nashville to collect the dog.
Andree, a 35-year-old childless real estate agent, fought a lengthy court battle to spare the dog, vowing never to stop until she got Prada off death row.
Andree eventually agreed to give up her beloved pet to save the animal’s life. The judge lifted the death order after Nashville lawyers said they would not object if Prada went to the rescue center. The dog, however, must stay there for the rest of its life.
Andree says she plans to visit Prada at the center. She also said she believes the dog will have a good life there despite never being able to leave.