Oct 24, 2014 Lawsuit: Plainfield Pit Bull Bit Off, Probably Ate Part of Youth's Ear

Plainfield - A pit bull bit off and likely ate part of a Plainfield youth’s ear, according to a lawsuit filed in Will County court.

The young man, Richard Coleman III, and his parents, Richard Coleman Jr. and Cindy Coleman, sued Alberto Guzman and Ana Velasco-Guzman, over the alleged ear incident.

The lawsuit said Richard Coleman III was a minor when the pit bull bit his ear in December 2009. Court records show he was 14 at the time.

Richard Coleman III was a “guest” at the Guzman’s Ruth Fitzgerald Drive home, the lawsuit said. He had gone there to “play with his friend, Remy Boudreau.”

Richard Coleman III had visited the Guzmans’ home “numerous times before and had played with the dog, Max, on multiple occasions,” the lawsuit said. He “had no reason to suspect Max was aggressive.”

As Richard Coleman III was getting ready to leave the Guzmans’ home, he “stepped over to Max and began to pet him,” the lawsuit said. “Suddenly and unexpectedly, Max growled, opened his mouth, and attempted to bite (his) face.”

Richard Coleman III “turned his head to avoid the attack but Max clamped down and bit his ear,” the suit said.

Richard Coleman III “immediately felt extreme pain and burning and saw blood,” the lawsuit said. “He felt his ear and noticed that a piece of it was missing. Other individuals at the (Guzmans’) home searched the entire room for the piece of (his) ear but were unable to locate it. It is presumed Max ate it.”

Read more:
Plainfield Patch

Oct 23, 2014 Pit Bull Advocate Gets it Mostly Right About Pit Bulls

This pit bull advocate gets things mostly right, right up to the erroneous conclusion.  After reading this, I can't imagine any sane person would want to adopt a pit bull as a pet.

A pittie-ful situation

Some see the breed as the devil incarnate, out to ravage men, women and children, not to mention other dogs, with vise-like jaws, lots of teeth and a hair-trigger temperament that has earned it a reputation as the fiercest canine on the planet. Others see a playful, intelligent pooch that’s loyal, wonderful with kids and simply misunderstood by humans.

“There’s two camps that I see mostly,” says Nate Shephard, who has as many as 14 pit bulls in his Springfield home at any given time and likens them to 50-pound Yorkshire terriers. “There’s people who hate them and people who think that they can’t do anything wrong. Both sides are dangerous to the breed.”

One thing is certain. There are usually pit bulls and pit bull mixes available for adoption at the Sangamon County Animal Control Center at 2100 Shale St., and Friends of Sangamon County Animal Control is hoping to do something about it with a so-called Pittie Party scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 25, which is National Pit Bull Awareness Day. There will be reduced adoption fees, a pit bull parade and door prizes at the two-hour event scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m.

There is no National Toy Poodle Awareness Day or National Tabby Cat Awareness Day, but when it comes to pit bulls, there is a certain stigma that helps explain why there are plenty of pit bulls available for adoption. Shephard, who takes in pit bulls from local animal welfare groups until permanent homes can be found, says that too many people are naive when they bring a pit bull home. Having acquired his first pit bull as a puppy about 20 years ago, he speaks from experience.

“Just like everyone else, I didn’t know what I was getting into,” Shephard says. “When she turned six months old, she got wild. I got her a buddy, which is exactly the wrong thing to do. It doubled my trouble.”

Don’t train a cocker spaniel properly and you might end up with a dog that barks too much or won’t listen when someone tells it to stay off the furniture. Don’t pay enough attention to a pit bull, however, and you’ve got bigger problems.

“They were bred for fighting for a long, long time,” Shephard says. “Just like any other working dog, they have some biological requirements that people overlook sometimes. Absolutely, dog fighting is not acceptable in our society anymore, and it’s disgusting and gross. But that’s what the dogs come from. They have to have an outlet for that energy, a constructive outlet for that energy. If they don’t have an outlet for that energy, it turns into destructive behavior.”

Which means, among other things, that pit bull owners have to socialize their pets to ensure that they will get along with other dogs. Regular walks are important, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to walk a dog, and walking a pit bull on a tight leash creates instant frustration, Shephard says. He recommends requiring the dog to walk right next to you on a 15-foot leash with plenty of slack.

“It’s all patience – patience and clarity,” he says.

Owners must be specific and clear when it comes to communicating expectations to a pit bull, Shephard says, and everyone in the household has to be on the same page. It won’t work if one person doesn’t allow the dog near the dinner table but someone else lets it beg for food. As with any other breed, prospective owners need to consider whether they have sufficient time and patience to handle a pit bull’s predilections and needs.

“They’re fantastic dogs,” Shephard says. “I love them. They’re not for everyone, obviously.”

But there are a lot of them. In 2013, 594 of the 1,958 dogs taken into the county animal control facility were considered pit bulls, according to Greg Largent, director of the Sangamon County Animal Control Center. Sheer numbers alone create challenges in finding homes, he said.

Jill Egizii, a volunteer with Friends of Sangamon County Animal Control, says the stereotype can be difficult to overcome.

“We find there are people who will come in and say ‘I want a dog, but there’s no way I want anything with pit in it,’” Egizzi says.

But the negative feelings can disappear. Pound pit bulls, she says, tend to fall into two categories: dogs that are low key and dogs that live to be petted.

“There have been cases where people say, ‘Absolutely no pits,’ and they walk out with a pit,” Egizzi says. “They will spend time with them and they’ll completely change their mind.”

Names can be a hurdle, and so a pit bull named Monster that was given up for adoption was rechristened Monty, Egizzi recalls. Similarly, a litter of pit bulls that included pups named Budweiser and Cigs was renamed.

“They (the original owners) named them after their pastimes, smoking and drinking,” Egizzi says.

Contact Bruce Rushton at brushton@illinoistimes.com.


Oct 23 2014 Mail carrier attacked by pit bull in Carpentersville

Carpentersville - a mail carrier was taken to the hospital Thursday after a pit bull busted through a screen door and attacked her.

The mail carrier has bites and cuts on her arm and head and she is reported to be recovering, but no news outlets have even reported whether she is still in the hospital or has gone home.

Animal control officials caught the dog and took him to Dundee Animal Hospital for observation, police said.

Police continue to investigate, and have not yet determined whether the dog's owner will be charged.

Read more:
ABC 7 Chicago
Chicago Fox 32 News
Daily Herald
CBS Chicago
Northwest Herald

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Carpentersville and Kane Co. attacks:
May 28, 2013 St. Charles Pit bull mauls Newfoundland
Jan 07, 2013 Pit bull attack and near miss recounted
Nov 11, 2012 Kane county Health Dept. confirms that First Responder Dawn Brown killed by Bullmastiff
Nov 17, 2010 Carpentersville pit bull suit settled
Jun 25, 2012 Elgin police shoot 23 dogs (almost all pit bulls), killing 19, since 2008 

Mail Carrier attacks:
All posts describing pit bull attacks on mail carriers

Oct 13, 2014 Galesburg Still Dealing with Pit Bull Issues

Galesburg - Over a year after, Ryan Maxwell, one of Galesburg's children was horrifically killed by a pit bull, and after Galesburg refused to take breed specific measures, Galesburg is still suffering from pit bull attacks.

Citizens are still contacting the police about dangerous and/or loose dogs believing that their call is a report that will become part of the record on the dog that will get the dog deemed dangerous, but the calls are not reported.  And neither the police nor animal control seem willing to convey this important bit of information to residents.

Alderman Jeremy Karlin said that a part of the problem is that animal control services are handled by the Knox County Humane Society.  The suggestion is made that the humane society is unwilling to inform residents that they should file a dangerous dog report when an attack happens to make sure the dangerous dog is taken care of because they're only concerned with the humane treatment of animals and not the humane treatment of humans.

City Manager Todd Thompson said that citizens should not attempt to make a dangerous dog report with animal control and  urged citizens to go to the police and specifically request that report be made.  And when they do so, they should not allow themselves to be "dissuaded" from filing a report.

How insane is this?  Instead of making citizens fight with city agencies that seem to want to protect dangerous dogs and give not one whit about the citizens who pay their salaries, why doesn't the city of Galesburg require police and Animal Control to do their jobs and  file a dangerous dog report when they are contacted by a citizen about one?

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Galesburg pit bull attacks

Oct 13, 2014 Oak Park Pit Bull Attacks Baby at Sitter's Home

Oak Park - An 80-pound pit bull attacked a 1-year-old boy at his babysitter's home around noon Oct. 7 in the 1100 block of South Highland Avenue, according to Oak Park Police.

The Department of Children and Family Services was notified and the dog was impounded at the Animal Care League for a 10-day rabies hold, said Oak Park Police Commander LaDon Reynolds.

According to police, the dog was "quartered" on the back porch of the residence. The dog was known to the babysitter, although it was not her dog, Reynolds said. When the back door was opened, the dog rushed into the house and attacked the baby, police said.

The child was taken to West Suburban Hospital where he was treated for puncture wounds on the head from the dog's teeth and lacerations from the dog's claws, hospital staff told police. The child's wounds, according to staff, required three surgical staples.

The babysitting arrangement, according to Reynolds, was "informal."

The dog owner was issued a local ordinance citation and will appear at a vicious dog hearing, Reynolds said.

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UPDATE Oct 12, 2014 Lawsuit: McHenry Former Mayor and Prominent Lawyer Attacked by Pit Bulls

UPDATEJudge bars 2 pit bulls from returning to their  owner's home.  The pit bull owner says she "feels bad" her pits attacked a puppy for no reason, but she wants them back even though this is not the first time they've shown aggression.  The neighborhood wants them gone.
facebook photo of the pit bull owner  who wants to keep
the mauling pit bulls.
UPDATE - the former mayor of McHenry and his wife have filed a lawsuit to have the pit bulls that launched an unprovoked attack on their golden retriever puppy removed from their neighborhood.
Addie, the Golden Retriever Puppy attacked by pit bulls

The McHenry county health department has received several calls from outraged residents asking why the pit bulls had not been remove before this incient because there have been several previous complaints about the pit bulls.

The McHenry County Health Department spokesperson says that there is an ongoing investigation, but they will do nothing to abate the potential risk to human safety in the mean time for fear of violating the irresponsible pit bull owners' property rights.

UPDATE: Because the victims have some influence, a Chicago outlet picked up this McHenry pit bull attack story including a video interview, video of the golden retriever puppy victim  and background footage showing the well-to-do neighborhood.

McHenry - Irresponsible owners put their pit bulls behind an electric fence from which they repeatedly escaped.  Their pit bulls decided to attack a small dog owned by a prominent lawyer.

"Addie went through two surgeries on a thigh and a front leg at Companion Animal Specialty and Emergency Hospital in Crystal Lake, Cuda said. She came home Wednesday but is also covered in puncture marks and is “at wit’s end.”

“It was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever gone through,” Cuda said. “The more my dog screamed or cried, the more vicious the pit bulls became.”

In the last four years in Illinois, a lawyer, his wife and dog; a circuit court judge; a plastic surgeon's daughter; a Lake County board member's dog; a Rockford alderman and daughter and an Elgin mayor have all been attacked or menaced by pit bulls, and nothing is being done about the pit bull problem.

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