Jul 31, 2014 Sangamon County Board Member’s Bull Breed Dogs Attack Dogs

Sangamon Co. - "A member of the Sangamon County citizens advisory board on animal control has been repeatedly caught allowing unaltered dogs to run loose with no proof of rabies vaccination. At least one of her dogs may be declared dangerous following an unprovoked attack on a dog and a Springfield woman."

On June 26, Christine Groves was walking Bella, her dachshund-beagle-chihuahua mix, at the intersection of Lincoln and Ash streets when two dogs owned by animal control board member Sheryle Henry attacked. One of the two dogs was unleashed, according to Groves and a Leland Groves police report. The other was being walked by a man identified as Henry’s brother, and witnesses reported that he had to repeatedly kick one of the dogs, which resembled a pit bull, to end the attack. The dogs were bull terriers, according to animal control records, that each weigh more than 40 pounds.

“This wasn’t a bite, this was a mauling – Bella weighs 20 pounds,” Groves said. “These dogs are not family pets. I thought they were pit bulls. She (Henry) has never contacted me. Early on, this would have been ‘I’m so sorry, let me pay your vet bill.’ But that is not what has happened. … When I sue her, it’s going to be ‘Sheryle Henry, animal control board member’ on the lawsuit.

Bella is recovering from bite wounds – the veterinarian bill came to $700. Groves suffered minor bites on her hands when she tried rescuing Bella

It was not Henry’s first visit to animal control, where records show that Pompeii had been impounded at least four times after being found running loose prior to the attack on Bella. On at least one prior occasion, in April of 2011, Pompeii was given a rabies vaccination after impoundment when animal control officials found no proof of vaccination. Animal control officials eventually required Henry to spay Pompeii, and the procedure was completed in the spring of 2013, after the fourth time the dog was picked up.

The vet bill for Bella Abzug, left, came to $700 after the pooch was bitten by dogs owned by a member of the Sangamon County citizens advisory board on animal control.

The state’s attorney’s office may get involved.

In addition to run-ins with animal control, Henry, who is an office administrator for the Illinois Department of Public Health, has twice pleaded guilty to misdemeanor shoplifting charges and has also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor marijuana possession, according to Sangamon County Circuit Court records.

Contact Bruce Rushton at brushton@illinoistimes.com.

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