County officials investigating Lake Zurich dog attack
Lake County Animal Control is investigating an alleged attack by two dogs on another canine that was walking with its owner in Lake Zurich.
The attack is reported to have occurred May 21 near Old Mill Grove Road and Windemere Lane when the two dogs are accused of escaping a fenced yard and injuring a German shepherd mix, Lake County Health Department spokeswoman Leslie Piotrowski said Tuesday. Piotrowski said the two dogs accused in the attack were described as "pit bulls."
"We're in the process of conducting a dangerous dog investigation regarding the pit bulls and we're following the Illinois Animal Control Act," she said. Additional information could not be released because the investigation is active, she said.
Lake Zurich Police Chief Steven Husak said letters have been sent to the dogs' owners informing them of the animal control probe.
Concerns about the dogs and the reported attack were voiced at Monday night's Lake Zurich village board meeting by residents who live near Old Mill Grove and Windemere, including the owner of the injured animal. Roughly a dozen residents attended the meeting.
Speaking during public comment time, Kurt Humbrecht said his 14-month-old dog, Alice, is recovering after being "ripped up" in both hind legs and the stomach during the attack. He told village officials he was bitten several times as he tried to separate the animals.
"If there was a little kid out there, it would have been really ugly," Humbrecht said.
Officials have not publicly identified the owner of the dogs accused in the attack.
Lake Zurich business owner and resident Ken Grooms was among the speakers who asked the village board to consider adopting a local dangerous and vicious animal ordinance to address attacks. Grooms provided the board with examples of local ordinances in other Illinois towns that define vicious and dangerous pets.
However, officials said the village is well covered by the Lake County Health Department's animal control division. Husak said the village follows Illinois law allowing county animal control investigations of dog bites and the like.
"They are the best-equipped agency, in my opinion, to then determine if there's a danger here," Husak said of Lake County animal investigators. "And various sanctions can be put in place from that. So, I feel that it's probably the best way to handle this, as opposed to doing it locally right now."
Trustee Jonathan Sprawka said Lake Zurich's municipal code governing pet enclosures could be used if, as alleged, the dogs escaped from a fenced yard. He said it may be appropriate to send a village inspector to the home.
"We should take every opportunity to make sure that is a secure structure to house," Sprawka said.
Lisa Henderson said she lives next door to the owners of the dogs accused in the attack. She defended the homeowners, saying Lake Zurich residents commonly leave dogs unattended in fenced yards.