Two different dogs belonging to the same Riverside family were impounded by police earlier this week after a pair of reportedly unprovoked attacks left two people bitten and a small dog dead.
The dogs, a shepherd/beagle mix and a pit bull, were both declared “vicious” by Police Chief Thomas Weitzel and are being held at the Countryside Veterinary Hospital. Weitzel said he plans to seek an order for the dogs to be destroyed, but the owners have the option of requesting a hearing to appeal that request and suggest a remedy to the problem.
The owners of the dogs are out of the country, but are expected to return early next week, Weitzel said. After being served with the paperwork about the attacks, the owners have seven days to respond.
On Aug. 16 at about 4:30 p.m., police responded to the 400 block of Lindberg Road after a 67-year-old man reported being bitten by a dog. The victim was cutting his grass when a 24-year-old man walking a shepherd/beagle mix approached.
According to police, the victim turned off the lawnmower while letting the dog pass. But the 70-pound dog reportedly lunged at the victim, biting him on the hand and right side of his chest.
The victim reportedly declined to be transported to a hospital by paramedics, but he did seek medical attention on his own, Weitzel said.
Weitzel said it’s not the first incident involving that particular dog. The same dog reportedly was involved in biting incidents on two prior occasions in 2015. Weitzel said that after the latest incident other incidents involving the dog, previously undocumented, have been reported by neighbors.
Then on Aug. 18 at 2 p.m., police responded to the 700 block of Leesley Road, near Blythe Park School, after an 80-pound pit pull broke free from its handler – the same person walking the shepherd/beagle mix two days earlier – and ran about 150 yards to attack a 15-pound white Havanese outside with its 65-year-old owner.
Police said the pit bull jerked free of its collar and clamped down on the small dog. When the small dog’s owner tried to intervene, the pit bull reportedly bit his arm and hand as well. He subsequently sought treatment on his own at a local hospital, Weitzel said.
An officer responding to that scene scooped up the severely injured dog in a blanket and drove it to the Berwyn VCA Animal Hospital, where it died. It reportedly took three other police officers about five minutes to control the pit bull and place it into a police vehicle. The pit bull had been involved in no prior incidents, Weitzel said.
Police issued several citations to the dog walker and contacted the owners via Skype to inform them of the two incidents.