RIVERSIDE IL - 2 DOGS, A PIT BULL AND A SHEPHERD/BEAGLE MIX, WERE BEING WALKED SEPARATELY BY A CARETAKER BECAUSE THEIR OWNERS WERE OUT OF THE COUNTRY..THE GSD/BEAGLE ATTACKED A MAN IN HIS FRONT YARD AND A FEW DAYS LATER THE PIT CAME OUT OF HIS COLLAR AND ATTACKED A MAN AND KILLED HIS HAVANESE!
(Internet picture of a Havanese)
Police impounded two dogs following separate attacks this past week that left two men injured and another dog dead in Riverside. Both dogs belonged to the same owners who are out of the country, Chief Tom Weitzel said.
The Riverside Police Department responded to a report of a dog bite incident around 4:29 p.m. Aug. 16 in the 400 block of Lindberg Road. A 67-year-old resident told police he was cutting his lawn in the front yard when he saw a dog and dog walker approaching him.
Police said the man turned off his lawn mower so it would not scare the dog. After the lawn mower was shut off, the dog, a 70-pound SHEPHERD/BEAGLE MIX, allegedly lunged at the resident. The man was bitten on the right side of his chest and hand.
Weitzel said the officer conducting the investigation determined the shepherd-beagle mix had two prior dog bite incidents last year, which were reported to the Riverside Police Department. The officer notified the police chief, who declared the shepherd-beagle mix a “vicious dog.” The dog was immediately impounded pending a vicious dog hearing.
The resident who was bitten refused an ambulance to a nearby hospital for medical attention. The man stated he would seek medical attention on his own. The officer learned the dog’s owners were out of the country on vacation. The shepherd-beagle mix was being cared for by a 24-year-old dog walker, who was also taking care of owner’s other dog.
A few days later, around 2 p.m. Aug. 18, numerous people called 911 to report a dog attack in the 700 block of Leesley Road, near Blythe Park Elementary School, police said. When the first officer arrived on the scene, he found a man holding down a PIT BULL.
The officer observed a small, white dog covered in blood and showing signs of serious injury. The dog was having a difficult time breathing. The officer got a blanket and immediately scooped up the dog, putting him the squad car. The dog was taken to the Berwyn Veterinary Center for emergency treatment.
After arriving at the animal hospital, the dog was pronounced dead. The same dog walker involved in Tuesday’s incident was also allegedly involved in what police termed a second vicious attack.
Police said the dog walker had taken the 80-pound pit bull for a walk. During the walk, the pit bull saw the smaller white dog about 150 yards away. The dog jerked out of his collar, got loose and clamped down on the white dog before attacking it. The 65-year-old owner was also viciously attacked by the pit bull when he tried to save his dog.
The 24-year-old dog walk was cited for disorderly conduct, no dog license, dog at large and other citations. Other citations will be issued to the dog owners once they return to the United States in addition to those from the first attack by the other dog. Both incidents were documented and reported to the Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control.
Weitzel said both dog attacks were unprovoked. In the second alleged attack where the dog was killed, the police chief described it as a “gruesome scene.” Riverside police took custody of both dogs, who are now at a vet clinic due to public safety concerns. The owner has also been notified via Skype that the dogs are deemed to be vicious. A vicious dog hearing is pending in accordance with Riverside village ordinances.
"I have had numerous phone calls about this incident as it occurred near Blythe Park School,” Weitzel said in a news release. “I want to assure the residents that the dogs have been removed from the community at this time are pending a vicious dog hearing and/or disposition. In the incident where the pit bull attacked another dog, three officers struggled for over five minutes to subdue it without thankfully incurring any injuries to themselves or others.”
The investigation remains ongoing. Other citations and possibly changes to the current charges may be forthcoming in the coming weeks. The dog that was attacked and died was a white Havanese weighing 15 pounds.