When a terrified German woman bought a staffordshire terrier for protection from her axe-wielding ex-husband, she thought she could relax. After years of abuse, Lezime and her four children were beginning to have some semblance of a normal life. But when news came that her ex-husband was scheduled to be released from prison, the wheelchair-bound mother knew she had to do something.

She never thought that things would turn out in the horrific way they did…

Check out the story from Newser:

A German woman identified only as Lezime K. bought a staffordshire terrier named Chico eight years ago, before her ex-husband—who had attacked her with an axe and left her wheelchair-ridden—was released from prison.

She told neighbors she got the dog because she was afraid for her and her four children’s lives, but Chico ended up being more than the family could handle—and last Tuesday, Lezime, 52, and son Liridon, 27, were found dead after having been attacked by Chico in their home, the Guardian reports.

The dog was due to be put down, but may have its life spared after an outcry led to protests and more than 264,000 people signed a petition. They want the dog to get a second chance because authorities “should have removed it from the family’s home years ago.”

After taking notice of Chico’s “permanent aggression” and the trouble the family had with the dog, a social worker—who said in a report that Chico had apparently been “trained to be a fighting machine”—arranged for Liridon to bring Chico to a trainer.

That trainer recommended that the family bring the dog to authorities, who would have decided whether they were allowed to keep the animal. But the family never showed, and no follow-up was ever done. Nor was much done to address neighbors’ multiple complaints about Chico’s barking.

Local authorities are looking into the possibility of sending Chico to a facility for dogs with behavioral issues. Since this story first broke, literally hundreds of people have come forward, offering to adopt Chico.

Do you think Chico should be put down?

Or could he be rehabilitated?