May 22, 2005 Rockford Dogfight Bust - First Bust of Modern Era

Rockford - "Ten days ago, locl law enforcement officials found what they believe is evidence of a major dogfighting operation at a home on West State Street.  There to arrest a man on federal charges of credit card fraud, they discovered a makeshtip fighting pit in the home's basement; a stash of veterinary supplies, including syringes, training devices, 18 pit bull terriers, some with visible wounds on their front legs, wooden huts with heavy chains, signature housing for fighting dogs, a mound of paperwork and two computers, all of which was seized.

Then, less than 24 hours later, six of the dogs were stolen from the animal shelter - just another sign, experts say, that this was a dogfighting ring.

Not only was the discovery a first for the Rockford area, it was one of the largest busts in Illinois and neighboring states in the past year.  And it confirmed what officials had feared - organized dogfighting had found a home in Winnebago County."

The article states that this was the first bust in Rockford, but Rockford actually has a big history of loving dogfighting.

Rockford Register Star, Rockford, IL, May 22, 2005, p. 1D

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May 10, 2005 Chicago Pit bull that mauled a Child Had Attacked Before

Chicago - A dog that mauled a 3-year-old Chicago girl Sunday had been confiscated by the city last month after it bit another child, then released 10 days later.

The 60-pound pit bull reportedly broke loose from its chain in a Northwest Side home Sunday and attacked Akina Jackson, who was visiting the home. The dog knocked the girl down, bit her face and ear and dragged her across the yard and sidewalk before neighbors could rescue her.

The dog was euthanized Sunday night. Authorities declined to discuss the condition of the girl, who was released from the hospital Monday.

Last month Bruno, a 1-year-old pit bull owned by Devarryl Joiner of the 1600 block of North Moody Avenue, bit a 12-year-old boy on the hand and was quarantined for 10 days by the city's Department of Animal Care and Control, spokeswoman Melanie Sobel said.

A city animal control officer euthanized Bruno Sunday night. Joiner was cited for failing to restrain and failing to muzzle his dog, police spokesman Matthew Jackson said. He faces fines ranging from $300 to $10,000, Sobel said. He is scheduled to appear before a hearing officer on June 17.

Akina was treated overnight at Children's Memorial Hospital. Her family did not return phone calls Monday.

Lee Joiner, Devarryl Joiner's mother, said Akina was at her home Sunday to buy candy, which she sold from the second floor of her home.

Lee Joiner said the dog was restrained in the family's basement, but bit through a "thick metal chain."

"The dog broke out of the chains and came out the front door when the little girl was leaving," said Lee Joiner, who was not home at the time of the incident. The dog then attacked the girl on the front steps of the family's home.

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Chicago Tribune

May 04, 2005 Arlington Heights Pit Bull Kills Yorkie at Petsmart

Arlington Heights - A yorkshire terrier puppy was killed in a Petsmart.  Both dogs were waiting in line to got to the in-store vet clinic.  When the pit bull owner handed the leash to a store employee, the pit bull got loose and immediately ran to Pastina, a yorkshire terrier puppy grabbed it in its jaws, shook the little dog, immediately killing her.

Petsmart was very emphatic that they were not responsible at all for allowing pit bulls into their stores, but they did give the woman $1,200.

Daily Herald, Arlington Heights, Il, May 04, 2005

May 03, 2005 Belleville owner of attacking pit bull sued

Belleville -- The mother of an 8-year-old Illinois girl who was attacked by a pit bull is suing the dog’s owners for more than $200,000.

Demetria Spealman filed suit against Wayne and Judy Stonecipher of Belleville alleging her daughter Danielle Glasco suffered extensive head and facial wounds from a dog named “Midnight” on Dec. 4, 2004, while she was playing at their house.

“(The) dog had a vicious disposition and was accustomed to attacking and biting people, children and other animals,” according to the suit filed April 26 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Spealman claims the Stoneciphers were negligent because they advised her daughter and other children to go outside and play with the chained dog.

“Danielle Lee Glasco suffered severe, extensive and permanent injuries, both physically and emotionally, including substantial flesh wounds on her face, removing muscle, tissue and nerves, injuries throughout her face and head from the dog’s teeth and from the dog shaking her,” the suit states.

Spealman, represented by W. Michael Gnavi of Collinsville, claims her daughter has undergone plastic surgery and incurred substantial medical bills.

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