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updated: 7/25/2013 7:20 PM

Pit bull could be euthanized for Wauconda attack

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By Conor Morris
cmorris@dailyherald.com

The fate of the Wauconda pit bull that attacked and killed a small dog this week will be decided Aug. 5, county officials said Thursday.

Lake County Animal Care and Control Coordinator Robin Van Sickle said officials are deciding between two of the highest levels of disposition for the dog, named Chuck. The disposition would determine the ultimate fate of the animal being held under a 10-day rabies quarantine.

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"One level requires Chuck to be in an enclosure every time he's outside. He's not to be outside the enclosure without a muzzle," Van Sickle said. "The other level's requirement is that we could demand that the dog be humanely euthanized."

She said the dog fits the criteria of being "animal aggressive" based on evaluation of his recent attack, plus study of his past behavior. Both owners of the dogs involved in the attack and witnesses talked to Van Sickle on Wednesday, and that weighs into the disposition decision process, she said.

The attack occurred around 8 a.m. Tuesday in Wauconda's Cook Park. The 10-year-old Shih Tzu, named Shibui Fong, was being walked by a caretaker when the pit bull attacked. The pit bull was unaccompanied and had no collar, tags or a leash, the caretaker said.

The 20-pound Shih Tzu died from its wounds while being taken to Wauconda Animal Hospital, officials said.

The pit bull that attacked Wauconda resident Lisa Didier's Shih Tzu is owned by John E. Bender. Van Sickle said Bender lives with his sister, Amy Bender, in Wauconda when he is not on active military duty. Care of the dog was normally relegated to Amy Bender while John Bender was on duty.

Van Sickle said John Bender is currently off duty but will soon return to active duty.

Neither John nor Amy Bender could be reached for comment.

John Bender was charged with one count of dog at large and one count of disorderly conduct. The dog at large charge is given to dog owners who don't have control over their animal in public, Wauconda police said.

The final decision on the dog's fate on Aug. 5 will be made by Mark Pfister, director of Population Health Services at the Lake County Health Department.

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