ALBANY IL - TWO DOGS, AN ENGLISH BULLDOG AND A ROTTWEILER/BULLDOG MIX RAN LOOSE AND KILLED ANOTHER PET FOR THE SECOND TIME
(KWQC) – Two dogs in one small town have escaped their yards, attacking and killing another dog that was in its own yard – and it’s not the first time. It happened in Albany last year and again earlier this week. Now, the owners of the dogs that were killed are asking when enough is enough.
Police chief Wyatt Heyvaert says the two dogs, an English Bulldog and a Rottweiler-Bulldog mix, have been in town for a little over two years. The first time they escaped and killed another dog, they’d traveled for only about a block. This time, the dogs were on the loose for several hours as multiple police and animal control agencies and neighbors searched for them. The dogs ended up almost a mile and half away from home, and another dog, Thor, ended up dead.
The Copeland family had gotten him as a puppy. Now, only four years later, photos and memories are all they have left of him.
“Sad, angry,” Logan Copeland said.
“Frustrated,” Seth Copeland added.
On Monday evening, a neighbor heard noises coming from their yard. She notified the kids’ grandfather, John Copeland, who came rushing over.
“As I entered the yard, I climbed the fence over here and the two dogs had Thor trapped against this edge of the swing and they were mauling him right in this area,” he said. “I pitched both of them in this direction and then I shepherded Thor into the shed.”
Copeland then put Thor in the car and rushed him to the veterinarian. Copeland says she treated him that evening and he passed away the next day.
“What happens if it’s a kid next time,” Robert Copeland said. “What happens if it’s my son? What if they come back?
“It’s not like we let our dog run wild. He’s back here. He should have been safe.”
Dan Anderson feels the same way. He lost his dog, Nitro, in April last year.
“We were gone maybe 45 minutes … I left my dog out that day between the house and the garage on a leash,” Anderson said. “He had over 110 staples but he passed away the next morning.”
Heyvaert says, ever since that attack, the community has been up in arms.
“During the first time it happened, there was an Easter egg hunt,” he said. “This time, it occurred two days after Halloween and trick-or-treating.
“When someone feels that they can’t go out and work on their yard without looking over their shoulder, I think it alters their lifestyle and I think, I wish something could be done.”
He says many families want the dogs out of the area; some are calling for them to be put down. However, the owners won’t be ordered to do any of that, as the dogs have had two strikes – not three. In Illinois, it takes three separate violent acts upon another animal to deem the animal vicious. Once it’s deemed vicious, a judge can order it to be euthanized.
“The state looks at dogs as being people’s property and if he pays his fees and fines, we cannot keep his property from him,” Heyvaert said.
The owners of the two dogs declined to do an interview with TV-6. The dogs are currently at the Whiteside County Animal Shelter for a 10-day impoundment. Last year, the owners paid more than $3,000 in fines and fees to get them back. Heyvaert says they’ll likely have to pay at least that much again this time.
Several people in Albany have signed a petition saying they don’t want the dogs to be let back into the community despite the law. They plan to give the petition to the state’s attorney.