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updated: 8/8/2011 6:07 PM

Elgin dog violence leaves a poodle and pit bull dead

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Elgin police responded to three different calls Sunday concerning violent dogs. In one, a poodle died from a pit bull attack. In another, police had to shoot and kill a loose pit bull. And in the third, a dog suffered puncture wounds to its neck after being bitten by what its owners defined as a boxer/Labrador mix.

The poodle died just after 3 p.m. Sunday in the 400 block of Lawrence Avenue. According to police reports, the dog was being walked by a man and a woman down Lawrence when a pit bull jumped through an open window -- breaking the screen -- and charged the smaller dog. The owner of the dog was not at home at the time of the attack, but the man told police his dog had never shown any aggression toward anyone or anything before. Officers noted a second-floor window screen already had been damaged from when the dog had tried to get out before.

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Both dog owners came to a verbal agreement that the pit bull owner would pay for cremation expenses and reimburse the $600 cost of the newly purchased poodle, police said.

A different pit bull was shot in the 400 block of North Worth Avenue about 11 a.m. after police responded to reports of a loose dog, according to police department spokeswoman Sue Olafson.

Responding officers tried to put a restraint on the dog but couldn't because of its aggressive behavior, Olafson said. An officer fired three shots, killing the animal.

The third dog call came in just before 6:30 p.m. Sunday in the 1100 block of Spring Creek Road. The boxer/Labrador mix attacked another dog being walked down the sidewalk, a police report said. When the owner of the second dog kicked the attacker in the ribs, it let go but left a puncture wound in his dog's neck.

Dog owners in all three cases were given citations with Elgin court dates scheduled for September.

A strengthened animal control ordinance took effect June 1, 2010. In the past year, Elgin has collected approximately $27,000 in fines based on citations like those that were issued Sunday, according to Elgin Councilman John Prigge, who fought for a ban on pit bulls in the city.

Prigge said he would not renew his call for a pit bull ban but instead refer any inquiries to his colleagues on the council after failing to garner support for his previous recommendation.

Olafson said when the breed-specific ban was researched, Elgin officials found it to be impractical given the number of Elgin residents who already had the dogs and the diversity of dogs within the pit bull designation.

"We did believe it was important to strongly regulate these animals," Olafson said, "which is what the local ordinances seek to do."

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