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Bull Mastiff Euthanized After Biting Oswego Boy

Animal Control, Kendall County leaders discussing policies in light of incident at facility.

The bull mastiff that bit a 6-year-old Oswego boy in the face at has been euthanized, Warden Christine Johnson said.

The boy was petting Moose about 9 a.m. Sunday, July 3, as his father, who Johnson said was completing court-ordered community service hours, was feeding the dog inside the shelter. The father, a 33-year-old Plano man, told the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office Moose suddenly lunged at the boy and bit him in the cheek under the eye.

“(The father) advised he has had some previous contact with this particular dog as it has been on site for approximately two weeks and appeared to be very friendly; however he was not aware of the reason the dog was at the facility,” the Sheriff’s Office report said. “… He stated the attack was unprovoked and he had no idea why the dog had attacked.”

The incident gained publicity this week after the boy’s mother discussed it during public comment at a Kendall County Forest Preserve District meeting. Johnson said Friday morning that she was meeting with County Administrator Jeff Wilkins and Anne Vickery, who chairs the County Board’s Animal Control committee, to discuss possible policy changes in light of the incident.

Johnson said the facility has received a flood of animals, volunteers and community service workers since the economy faltered, so it might be time to reconsider the facility’s use of unpaid workers. She also said they might discuss ways better monitor the public inside the facility.

Leaders also might reconsider volunteer age restrictions.

“If they are under 16, they have to have a parent with them at all times,” Johnson said. “But that’s probably going to change.”

Animal control has no written procedures for responding to dog bites involving employees or volunteers, but this was the first dog bite at the facility or involving facility workers in about two years, Johnson said.

The followed its typical protocol with dog bites, which involves exploring the dog’s history of bites and vaccinations and forwarding the information to Animal Control, Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Scott Koster said. If the dog doesn’t present an immediate safety concern, police generally don’t take any other action; they also don’t investigate possible negligence in the situation.

“As far as we were concerned, the parent was appropriately supervising the child while he was interacting with the dog,” Koster said.

In this instance, Moose was at Animal Control because his owner did not pay the fee at a local veterinarian after a 10-day confinement for biting a mailman outside a Boulder Hill home, officials said. Moose had stayed at Animal Control for unrelated reasons two or three times in recent years without incident, Johnson said.

Since June 17, Moose was kept in a limited contact section of the facility, which has signs stating “employees only allowed in this area” and “keep hands and fingers out of the cages,” according to the police report. His rabies vaccination was current, and shelter leaders were holding him there while trying to decide how to respond to his owner not picking him up, the report states.

Johnson wondered if Moose suffered from poor eyesight, possibly biting because he didn’t see the human in front of him.

“I know (an Animal Control employee) went to give him a treat one time and he didn’t see it until it was almost in front of his face,” Johnson said. “But you never know, dogs don’t talk.”

cami July 29, 2011 at 01:05 PM
While I am so sad to hear of all of this, sometimes bad things have to happen for some good change to come about!!!!! I am grateful for all the people who work hard for all the homeless animals out there ( I am one who tries everyday to do the same for them), but I was personally completely turned off by this shelter. I donated A LOT of money and supplies. I NEVER received a thank you or even an acknowledgement of my money sent or when I dropped off the supplies. No one seemed to know what they needed or what they were doing there. This is a poorly run shelter. I offered to do a facebook page to feature the animals that are up for adoption and they rejected it. They are VERY behind the times at this shelter and need to get some people in there that KNOW how to run one well! I know that they are trying to do good things, but they fall short and they need to make some BIG changes. I was looking for a shelter to give my time to, and I went elsewhere after seeing how they lack any sort of organization or people skills. People should NOT be allowed to just enter the back. Are the dogs temperament tested and are the enclosures CLEARLY marked on who is qualified to handle each animal?? There needs to be organization and rules to keep the animals and public safe. While volunteering and rescuing is one of my passions, people need to be more educated on handling and working with animals on a daily basis. They are animals first and have instincts.
Katherine Manola July 29, 2011 at 01:25 PM
Cami - you are not the only one who feels this way - believe me. I totally agree with you that education is the key. Shelter employees should be REQUIRED to take training and behavor classes. I could go on and on, Katherine
Shannen Flores July 29, 2011 at 04:24 PM
Just so everyone knows, apparently Moose is still alive. It was confirmed in a meeting this morning. Seems we the public have been lied to by the very people we count on to help run our community. And "why" is a question I cannot even begin to answer. A sad day for Kendall County.
Beth Krane July 29, 2011 at 09:27 PM
@ Shannen - Where is Moose than? What a horrific mess. Can I please go and take over this facility, get it organized and running properly for everyone's benefit? Okay, I know a LOT of people on here and out there that would do a far better job than me, but I'm willing :)
Julie July 30, 2011 at 02:15 PM
I know for a fact that Moose was not euthanized. Kendall County was supposed to have him euthanized but they adopted him out to a family in Somonauk. He has bitten several more people (not severely) in the past 2 weeks.

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