A village will be sued for the latest dog attack
The village of Palatine will be named a defendant in a civil lawsuit to be filed in Cook County by the end of this week after two dogs who attacked two individuals and their dogs in Palatine in May injured another person and their dog, this time at Elmwood Park, lawyers said at a press conference Tuesday.
On August 20, Aneta Heinz, 48, was walking her 4-year-old retriever mix near Wellington and the 78th in Elmwood Park when two dogs jumped out of a backyard and ran across the street towards her. After being knocked to the ground, Aneta and her dog were able to escape, but both were injured in the attack.
At a press conference at their Chicago office on Tuesday, September 21, attorney Michael J. Schostok and Brian Salvi claimed the incident happened because the village of Palatine decided not to euthanize them. two dogs involved in the May incident.
“They (Palatine) did not take action,” Salvi said. “We told the village it would happen again and they didn’t listen and finally, two months after the village ruled, there are more problems with these dogs.”
For this reason, Schostok and Salvi have said that legal action will be taken on Heinz’s behalf against the dog’s owner, Meleina Teodoro, whose dogs live, and the village of Palatine.
Two civil lawsuits, both for over $ 50,000, were filed on July 7 in Cook County Circuit Court by Salvi, who represents Amanda Ingram and Chase Braun, victims of the bites in the Palatine. This lawsuit demands financial compensation from Teodoro and the dog handler Julia Paulino for the damage caused by this attack.
Aside from his own injuries, Ingram lost his West Highland white terrier Casper in the May 25 attack in the 200 block of W. Washington Street, Palatine. Braun also suffered injuries when he tried to help Ingram. His Kona terrier mix was said to have been attacked, but survived. Paulino is said to have walked the two dogs, an Akita and a pit bull, which apparently got out of hand, charged and attacked both Ingram, Braun and their two dogs. Paulino has been charged with four counts of reckless driving for allegedly failing to tie the dogs to an appropriate collar. Teodoro was initially cited with 13 order violations related to the attack. The charges included running dogs, bites from people and bites from other animals.
During an arbitration hearing on June 30, it was determined that the Akita and the Pit Bull would not be euthanized, but could no longer stay in the Palatine. Teodoro reportedly pleaded guilty to eight order violations involving dogs biting people and biting other animals. She was also ordered to pay a fine of $ 850 and enroll the dogs in a training program within two months.
When the deal was reached in June, Schostok expressed concern that the village of Palatine “was simply moving the problem elsewhere for another community to take care of.”
He said the fear has now become a reality.
“This most recent attack by the same two dogs was preventable, outright,” said Schostok. “Instead of euthanizing these two vicious animals, the village of Palatine moved the problem to Elmwood Park. We now know the consequences of the village’s failure to act on it. What makes this attack frustrating, but not surprising, is that so many of us knew it was coming and yet the village of Palatine did not listen. We will explore all legal avenues to hold the village and dog owners accountable and strive to ensure that these vicious dogs are euthanized and no longer a danger to society. ”
Salvi and Schostok both said they don’t take pleasure in advocating for dog euthanasia, but believe it must happen to keep other dogs and people safe in the future.
“We are begging Elmwood Park and the Cook County Animal Control to make sure this does not happen again,” Salvi said.
Schostok said he and Salvi begged the Palatine village prosecutor over the summer to euthanize the dogs, but instead decided to move them to Elmwood Park.
“They (Palatine) kicked the box on the road by allowing the dogs to stay alive outside the village,” Schostok said.
Teodoro, who has previously been convicted of violations at the Palatine, was also found guilty of violations at Elmwood Park related to the incident, lawyers said.
“Palatine was supposed to keep track of where the dogs were kept, but Palatine did not follow and all the failures led to the attack of Aneta,” Salvi said.
“We won’t be surprised if we find out if there have been more attacks from these two dogs,” Schostok commented.
Ingram and Braun both attended the press conference in Chicago.
Ingram said hearing the two dogs attacking another person was devastating, and she said weeks and months ago this type of situation would likely happen again if the dogs were allowed to live elsewhere.
“My attack lasted for seven minutes where I was dragged across the concrete while my dog was shredded to shreds,” she said. “It brings back all of those emotions and they have to be held accountable.”
Braun said he’s been bitten 15 times and is not surprised it will happen again, adding that the dogs need to be euthanized and Elmwood Park and Cook County have a chance to do better than Palatine.
“Dog owners need to be responsible for their dogs,” Salvi said. “If you are a resident of the Palatine, you should be exasperated by this.”
“The village sought the most stringent result that was supported by law and local ordinances at the time of the dog bites in the Palatine, including criminal charges, which remain outstanding,” a written statement from the village of Palatine said. . “As for the administrative citations, to suggest that the dogs should have been euthanized would have been to disregard the law. The owner complied with the terms of the court order and the dogs received the required training that they were ordered to take.
The village declined to comment further.
A petition has been started by Ingram to encourage leaders to euthanize the dogs.
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