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Wrong Dog Destroyed After Attack on Child; Warden Placed on Leave

Kendall County Board member Anne Vickery said Christine Johnson 'did not tell the truth' about what happened to dog that bit 6-year-old boy in the face.

Editor's Note: The victim's mother, Shannen Flores, posted photos of her son taken shortly after the attack. These photos may be too graphic for some readers.

This article was updated at 2:49 p.m. Friday.

The bull mastiff that bit a 6-year-old in the face at Kendall County Animal Control was adopted a few days after the incident – not .

Another bull mastiff, however, was euthanized a few days after Moose, the biter, was adopted to a family living near Lake Holiday, said animal rescue advocate Erik Devick. Moose bit a mailman in Boulder Hill on May 31 before he bit an Oswego boy who had accompanied his father to court-ordered community service work on July 3.

In a phone interview with Patch, Devick said he confronted warden Christine Johnson about Moose’s adoption Tuesday and then relayed the same information to the county board’s Animal Control committee Friday morning. Devick said Johnson confirmed the details at the committee meeting when committee chair Anne Vickery asked her.

He said he learned from “a third party” that Moose was alive more than a week ago but he declined to elaborate.

“I did turn over the information to Anne Vickery about where the dog is, and, hopefully, they’ll have his behavior evaluated before it’s decided whether to put him down,” Devick said.

The Plano resident said he thought county board members should know what was going on at Animal Control, which he said needed an administrative overhaul.

“The fact remains that the dog that did the biting is alive and another dog that didn’t show any signs of aggression was euthanized,” Devick said.

Vickery answered the phone at the Animal Control shelter Friday after the meeting, saying Johnson was no longer in charge at the shelter.

Vickery said she couldn’t say whether Johnson was fired. But Kendall County State's Attorney Eric Weis said Johnson was placed on administrative leave with pay, and that the county board would make a decision on her status with the county at Tuesday's meeting. 

Weis said the state's attorney's office is providing legal counsel for the board and the Animal Control Department, but is not yet involved in the case beyond that.

Vickery said she had believed Moose had been euthanized until she learned otherwise at the meeting.

“We owe the public a huge apology,” Vickery said. “We were not told the truth. From the bottom of my heart, and as God is my witness, I had no idea.”

However, Shannen Flores, the 6-year-old boy’s mother, held both Vickery and Johnson responsible for telling media that Moose had been euthanized. Their leadership was embarrassing, Flores said.

“[Vickery has] had multiple weeks to get the correct information and present that to the public, and that has not happened,” Flores said. “… This is not Kendall County; this is not how we want to be perceived.”

Flores also criticized . She said she’d rather see leaders find safe ways for children to interact at the facility than ban children volunteers.

“I think somebody needs to take the bull by the horns, visit some other animal control facilities and get it figured out,” Flores said.

Her son is recovering well, although he will have scars on his cheek, under his chin and on his forehead. Complications while he was receiving treatment placed him in intensive care for four days; he had a follow-up appointment Friday to check his lungs.

For his part, Devick figures the facility needs new leadership, a bigger budget and better networking with area rescue groups.

“It’s just not enough,” Devick said of the proposed changes. “They really need funding. We can build a bike trail … but we can’t send another $50,000 to animal control. It’s ridiculous.”

Beth Krane August 02, 2011 at 01:43 AM
@ Patricia, I wish I had a private email for you. I am just mortified that your property was damaged because of comments on here. It is just sad and senseless. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and you always felt as much empathy for the two legged victims as the four legged. And truly there were both in this situation. My heart goes out to you, and your family. I had planned to venture out that direction numerous times but never made it for one distracted reason after another. Now I have very mixed feelings. Part of me wants to rescue every animal there and the other fears what has happened to their dispositions because of the lacking of proper love and care. What a pickle.
Beth Krane August 02, 2011 at 01:44 AM
There is also the Animal Care Center out of Plainfield and they work with Channahon. http://www.animalcareinfo.com/ - I've never been there but I am planning a visit.
Logansdad August 02, 2011 at 01:52 AM
I had adopted my last dog from the Animal Care Center of Plainfield. The staff is nice and friendly. They are not as strict as some shelters when it comes to placing dogs. I would adopt another dog from them when it comes time.
Sexiie August 02, 2011 at 02:05 AM
@Patricia, I can't believe someone damaged your home due to your opinion being posted on here. They person who did it probably was one of those who were being "censored" by having their post deleted. I agree with Jessica, if you don't like a post you dont read it!!! I agree name calling is not appropriate if it can not be substantiated, i.e. don't call someone a criminal unless you can document if not that would be slander, i.e. don't call someone a coward unless you can document it. I have a problem with people saying truthful things on here and they get their post deleted. As far as someone posting lazy or whatever the post was that is their opinion and it should be respected. I notice people will see a post on here and instead of commenting on the post, I'm not sure if this is what occurs, but they contact the "moderators" and then all of a sudden the post is "removed" due to the "moderators" trying to censor people because others complain. This is what a debate is about you state your opinion and they state theirs, as long as its not profanity, whether you like it or not. I want the moderators or whoever is the "caretaker" of the delete posts department, when you delete someones post DON'T SEND A MESSAGE TO THEIR PERSONAL EMAIL ADDRESS, YOU POST IT RIGHT HERE SO EVERYONE KNOW THE REASON THE POST WAS REMOVED!!!Its called checks and balances. If you don't want peoples opinions then dont allow replies to the articles!!!
Sexiie August 02, 2011 at 02:14 AM
@"moderators" you need to check with your legal department and ensure what you are doing is correct because if it gets to be a legal issue, they will be checking your records thoroughly so you need to have your "house" in order. You need to know what constitutes harassment. Saying something to a person one time is not harassment. Harassment occurs when you tell a person you feel like you are harassing me and I would appreciate if you don't do it any more. That statement is considered "putting them on notice". If they do it again, thats harassment. Moderators you don't determine whether a person is being harassed by an individuals post. What you consider harassment of an individual maybe its not harassment to them. So you need to stop trying to censor posters with the "harassment" crap!!!
russ harrison August 02, 2011 at 03:02 AM
I have noticed more "comments deleted" on this string than on any other strings I follow. The dog bit a kid...the dog gets killed. The dog doesn't bite another kid.Sadly, it is the way its always been. In my experience, as a child I was mauled by my best friend's dog, Lobo. The animal was destroyed. Ironically, my dog, Boscoe, mauled my best friend.Boscoe was destroyed. Both animals were destroyed with us children as witnesses. My dad was a fire president, my uncle a police officer. Politics meant nothing. The animals were destroyed. They bit a person and that was that. Harsh, but it was the way it was done back then. Those dogs never bit another person...period.
Sexiie August 02, 2011 at 03:47 AM
I understand about the deleted comments. I definitely want a reason for comments being deleted instead "this post has been deleted". But as far as the dogs being put down are you saying its a good thing? or its not a good thing but had to be done due to the law?My dog had bit this girl, where I came from they would basically quarantine the dog for 10days so they can see if he has rabies and then they will release the dog. What people fail to understand, you have to authorize them to euthanize your dog. They just can't take your dog and euthanize him because he bit someone. Its a process same as the legal system but its for animals. If you don't authorize the euthanization of the dog, they may continue to have "custody" of him while the legal process is going on as to the dogs status. People think because their dog bit someone its an automatic death sentence but its not. Some owners don't know their rights regarding dog bites and tend to think "OMG he bit someone he's dangerous he needs to be euthanized" NO a dog doesn't, you need to look at the totality of the situation. Some dogs are walked by the yard and not owners. Therefore, kids, as they pass the yard, could be throwing rocks at the dog. When given an opportunity, probably a break in the fence or a door not fully closed, he gets revenge. Same as a kid bullying another the bullied kid gets tired of being bullied, the opportunity is available he gets revenge. Dogs react the same as a humans w/o a voice.
Sexiie August 02, 2011 at 04:09 AM
@Archie, do the dog deserve a pass? Are you kidding me? Murders even get free passes. They go to jail, do their time and some come out and murder again. A bite is a bite. A human can bite you and you are more likely to have a worse infection then a dog bite. Humans are given zillions of strikes, just because dogs don't have a voice, they are the same as a human. Therefore, they should be given a zillion strikes. I don't know if you have children or the age they are but I'll give you some solutions, If you have a child about 5 years old (that age they should know better) if he/she ever bites their classmate I recommend you place him in foster care because he is going to do it again. Foster care is sparing your kids life. Now when you drop him off to foster care give them the instructions he is not to be adopted to a family even if they have room for a kid who bites and if he bites another kid he needs to be "euthanized" because obviously he will continue to bite. Now, your teenagers, when they get caught stealing, smoking cigarettes, etc, I want you to go to court and tell the judge, I think he needs to be given death because obviously he's a thieve and will probably do it again. To ensure they "euthanize the right kid, don't forget to get the day of the execution, so you can assist with starting the solution which will end his life. Now, if everyone/animal got the same treatment there wont be any problems with bias!!! "It's do what I do not do what I say'!!!
Jane Enviere August 02, 2011 at 04:29 AM
Animals aren't people. They deserve to be treated humanely, but they are not the same as people. And when they are unsafe, they deserve humane euthanasia. Their "rights" are secondary to the safety of humans. I'm not buying that people would be quite so magnanimous with their feelings if this dog had chased their loved one into another yard and attacked them so seriously that they ended up with multiple surgeries and spending 22-23 hrs a day hooked to a wound vac with an IV running. The injuries that this animal inflicted were severe and potentially life threatening. Wound care and treatment is tricky business. The potential for deadly infections are great. That's part of the reason why a wound vac is used to hopefully speed up the healing process and close the vulnerable open area. It's silly to compare an animal to a human. The value of their lives are not the same. Period. It's disingenuous and hard to take that argument seriously because it has so little merit. I'm all for responsible pet ownership. I've owned many animals over the years and have spent thousands on appropriate care for them. But when it comes to a pet or people's safety, I wouldn't think twice about who is more important. @Russ -- it's not harsh. It's putting people first. Lots of things in life are unfortunate, but that doesn't mean that it's wrong. It's too bad the dog died. It's also too bad he was dangerous.
Bob August 02, 2011 at 04:54 AM
I also had a neighbor whose dog jumped a fence four times and came after me and I politely told that person if it happens again your dog will die of lead poisoning because i will not hesitate to shoot it if it threatens my family again. Take note neighbors where are your dogs tonight.
Robyn Vickers August 02, 2011 at 06:07 AM
Well said Jane! @Sexiie, if your dogs repeatedly bite people, your homeowners insurance will force you to euthanize or drop your coverage. My brother was bitten by a dog right next to his eye as a kid. He was at a party playing a video game, totaling ignoring the dog. It had bitten another kid previously but the family had fought to keep it. After my brother's bite, which caused a severe infection and kept him In the hospital for a week, their homeowners insurance gave them no choice, had the police remove it so it could be put down. I'm sure that sounds horrible to you, but I promise it's nothing compared to seeing a tiny boy with half of his face swelled beyond recognition from infection hooked up to machines keeping him alive. He never fully regained his sight in that eye so the damage was permanent. I'm sorry the family lost their pet, but I'm glad that dog never had a chance to hurt any more kids.
Beth Krane August 02, 2011 at 09:48 AM
It is making me sick how far off topic this conversation is going. We can debate all day long over reasons to euthanize an animal, and it isn't just dogs. Here's the point, for those that may be forgetting: 1) Moose had vision problems 2) The child was unsupervised (by all accounts), was too young to be with a caged dog, and somewhere there was either food (or maybe not) but unclear how this played a role 3) The dog's owner was irresponsible 4) The community service father was irresponsible 5) The animal shelters employees were irresponsible 6) A dog that was completely uninvolved is dead 7) Moose is now dead 8) Two people (the boy and a postman) are dealing with the scars Dogs are: 1) Protective of their property 2) Protective of their owners 3) React if they are having medical problems 4) Can be protective of their food 5) Can react if they are caged and feel threatened The dog had no way of communicating in English. He can only communicate in dog language and if you don't pick up on it will communicate in a language we do understand - a growl, a bark, a bite. Should Moose have been put to sleep? Probably. But not "just" because he bit someone. He was damaged both medically and psychologically. Does that say that ALL dogs who bite someone must be put to sleep? Absolutely NOT!!! You must look at all the things leading up to WHY. Prayers to all involved in this tragedy, including Moose.
patricia hish August 02, 2011 at 10:09 AM
Good Morning Beth, I feel a few fries short of a happy meal this morning. I should have stopped sooner then later in the explanation dept., but It went on and on and on. Steven has his work cut out for him this morning, sorry Steven, Thanks for the comment on house, it happens. If you ever want to get a hold of me my e-mail is pattihish@yahoo.com. I'm no longer discussing school in open forum, putting that one to bed. Have a nice day. Robyn, so sorry for your brother. I'm so glad he made it, your parents must have been beside themselves during that time. Kids/people will always come first. Thanks for the nice comment. As I told Beth it happens. I'm never discussing this school issue again, EVER. You also have a nice day. Enjoy your kids.
Sexiie August 02, 2011 at 12:51 PM
@Jane, That's peoples problem some people tend to thinkg, "dogs are just animals". I'm thankful you didnt adopt my dog and I"m praying if you have any animals and they bit someone they have the sense to just runaway because as soon as they come back home they are going to be "euthanized" due to pressure from the community or you and others who tend to thinkg "dogs are just animals". Prime example, I know some of you have or may know someone, has a family member, who has committed the most heinous crime (inmates think so also) who has sexually molested a child. But yet still I don't see anyone saying they should be put down. They should just ask for death penalty at sentencing cuz by the time the inmates continually beat the crap out of him/her they are going to pray they were dead. Now, if they make it out of jail or someone didnt' report it they are under the belief "it was just one time,he won't do it again". The fact it was never reported show how people would turn a blind eye on a heinous crime by a trusted member or the family but are rallying for a dog who has just bitten someone euthanized.
Sexiie August 02, 2011 at 01:02 PM
@Vickers, read my posts, I said my dog bit this girl and the "animal psychiatrist" said he was abused by someone and acts on people who are "similiar' to the abuser. My homeowners insurance policy will not force me to euthanize my dog, what they probably say is we have to increase your insurance policy or we will drop your insurance. And if they did, there are over 100 other insurance companies who will be willing to accept my business. If not, I won't have homeowners insurance. As far as the boy, I feel sorry for him. But like I will make excuses for a dog as many make for humans, he should not have been in the dogs house and his parents should be negligent for allowing him to go to the home of a dog who "allegedly" bit someone else. With the police told her was wrong. What he should have said is you have the option to euthanize your dog, give him to someone else or you can leave the county!!!I go to school for law, police officers are not well-versed on the law. I actually was telling my friend the other day, I acutally think police have a cheat sheet on the wall to find out what to charge an individual because there has been surveys to show police will arrest a huge number of people and when they go to court the cases do not lead to a conviction. So everyone, should read ILCS and find out the law. Ignorance of the law doesn't excuse one.
Sexiie August 02, 2011 at 01:12 PM
@Beth, you hit the nail right on the head. That comment was not biased and you list both sides of the story. Hopefully, your post will put an end to this "debate". If the dog had eysight problems, if animal control is aware of the behavior of animals, they should not have had him in an open area with "normal" dogs. What they should have done was either remove him from the regular dog area, placed a sign on the door explaining his situation or they should have contacted other shelters who accept and find dogs with health conditions. Whenever you go to a shelter which is run correctly you will see signs on the kennels such as don't like kids, don't get along with other children, has aggressive tenders, need to be in a family who will not leave him for long periods of time. The reason why those signs are on the doors is because they want to find the best home for the dog and do not want dogs to be adopted and returned. When an owner adopts the "probllem" dogs, they are fully aware of the dogs history and interactions with people and other animals and they adopt the dogs because they understand and have patience to work with a dog. There are disciplinary schools, muzzles, bark collars, medicine for hyperactive dogs, etc Any problem with a dog can be resolved except when his quality of life will affect him negatively. My neighbor has a cat born without eyes she found whose mother left him cause he was the "runt, he still has a home and he was not even 2 weeks old.
Jane Enviere August 02, 2011 at 01:16 PM
Passion, if you want to call it that, doesn't equal logic. And no worries Sexiie, I have zero desire to adopt your pitbulls, though after your description of their biting history and the need to muzzle them it's really tempting. They sound like great family pets. lol
Steven Jack (Editor) August 02, 2011 at 01:45 PM
This statement is probably way past due, but it's time that the comments on this story no longer bait or insult other commenters. This is a forum in which people should feel that their thoughts and opinions will not lead to public condemnation or retribution. If you would like to discuss this further, please call me at 630-383-8210.
Tammy August 02, 2011 at 03:36 PM
The discussion on how to deal with a dog or other animal that bites will always be a passionate one with very few perfect conclusions. It is unfortunate that the discussion on this article has focused on euthanasia. The real matter at hand is that we have a county employee (Warden Christine Johnson) that lied to the county board. We have an animal warden who is accused of euthanizing the wrong Bull Mastiff. We have a dangerous dog that was placed in a home by the KCAS and bit again while placed in that home. (That information came from a report on Chicago channel 5news last night.) We also have numerous reports of mishandling of adoptions and anyone who has been to the shelter in the last few years is all too aware of the unfortunate condition of the facility and the lazy attitude of the employees. I love facts…. And the fact is, the $119,000.00 of taxpayer money that went to the employees of the KCAS should have purchased us much better treatment of the animals and individuals that visited the shelter to adopt the animals. Of that over 36K was for the salary of the Warden and over 28K for the Assistant Warden. *continued*
Tammy August 02, 2011 at 03:37 PM
*continued* I hope that the Kendall county board will do a thorough investigation into the events leading up to the adoption of Moose and to the euthanizing of the other dog… I still find it difficult to believe that the “wrong” Bull Mastiff was euthanized and would not be surprised if this isn’t just another possible mistruth that was used to CYA the employees involved. It would be interesting to see what an audit of the books and adoptions records reveled. The entire situation with KCAC is disgusting but the dialog that has followed in this forum has become disturbing. Patricia has commented that she had an incident at her home stemming from this discussion, the editors of “Oswego Patch” and “Yorkville Patch” have had to remove posts because they were inappropriate, none of that helps to change the situation. People like Patricia and others that work in the rescue community spend countless hours agonizing over what they see. Very few people have seen collars imbedded an inch or more into an animal’s neck because of neglect or emaciated animals that have been starved to the point of death. Don’t ever think that the decision to euthanize an animal is taken lightly, it with saddened hearts and tears in their eyes that they have to clean up after OTHERS mistakes.
Beth Krane August 02, 2011 at 03:42 PM
@ Tammy - Thank you! Thank you for highlighting how Patricia was hurt from her willingness to help. Thank you for outlining what everyone needs to remember - what is done is done but what can we do to ensure such things don't happen again. I bow down to you. Well stated and well communicated.
patricia hish August 02, 2011 at 06:34 PM
@ Jane, I have always admired your profound writing ability. I find your comment to be amusing. It's on the same level as my back hills writing. I still remember a one liner that Andrew left for Russ, Wow, switch to decaf. Please hold the door, I'm right behind you, on the way out.
Sexiie August 02, 2011 at 07:44 PM
They definitely are!!!Im sure you wish you had dogs like they are who are able to correct their "issues" without being the center of a news paper and comments lasting over 2 weeks regarding their behavior and the comments will probably continue well into the next year!!
patricia hish August 02, 2011 at 08:22 PM
Tammy, I am so greatful to you for your understanding. It's a choice I made with my life and one that most will never see or understand. From my very first day to my most recent it never gets any easier. People see programs on T.V. but have no idea that most have been toned down. I still to this day have nightmares and bouts of nausea on a weekly basis, many nights it's only 2-3 hours of sleep. I knew what I was getting into and regret not one day. I have tried my best to educate, but I have found that it can fall on deaf ears. I can only be hopeful that the situation will correct itself. I have been told that Mr. Eric Weiss our states attorney is involved and I find solace in this matter. Sometimes out of something so horrible can come something so wonderful. These changes were obviously long over due. They now will have big brother watching over them, dare I say more. My home was an unfortunate incident, but it happens. Ignorance is blind and will not hinder my rescue efforts. I have learned long ago that we can walk the walk or talk the talk. I have the ability to do both. Thank You to everyone for allowing me this opportunity for my voice to be heard. I thank Steven for allowing this to continue, but find I must move on and do what I know best. I apologize for my errors in spelling and my typing ability, they certainly are not my forte'. Patch for Pets, may we never forget.
Tori August 03, 2011 at 03:53 PM
I have volunteered at numerous animal shelters over the years. As we always tell adopters, you usually cannot tell a shelter pet's true personality at the shelter because the shelter is a highly stressful environment for most animals. Common sense says never put a child near a shelter pet unless the pet's true personality is known. I am sorry this happened to this little boy but his father is definitely at the center of the blame because who in their right mind brings a child around unfamiliar pets? And I read the father has changed his story about the incident multiple times and that is definitely a sign he is at fault if he cannot get his story straight. Any animal shelter or animal control facility I have ever volunteered at had strict standards on volunteers under the age of 18. They could not volunteer without parents' permission and they must waive their rights to sue the shelter if they are injured because animals can be unpredictable when under stress. One of my dogs does not get along with other dogs. I'm not going to put her to sleep because of that...I KEEP HER AWAY FROM OTHER DOGS. Use common sense when you know your pet has issues with something, don't put them in that situation! Problem solved. If Moose is doing well in his adoptive home and the adopters keep him out of situations where he interacts with strangers, I feel he should be left alone.
patricia hish August 03, 2011 at 04:16 PM
Tori, Moose was put down on Monday.
Adrienne Beeler August 05, 2011 at 06:02 PM
Everyone keeps talking about how people failed...what about the stupid father who took his kid with, the stupid mom that LET this kid go with, and the people at the shelter that not only let him do his COURT appt community service with his kid but then let the 6yr old into a room where a dog who was accused of biting a dog and quarantined was being held...Im sorry the child was surrounded by idiots who failed him and now a poor innocent dog was put down and another dog who wasnt even determined the circumstances of the first one and reacted out of fear himself Im sure...this is just so terrible...I hope that child finally has someone who can take care of him
Adrienne Beeler August 05, 2011 at 06:03 PM
accused of biting a mailman*
Adrienne Beeler August 05, 2011 at 06:11 PM
I completely agree...I have a dog that because we havent nutered him yet is a little agressive, we keep him away from other big dogs and always make sure hes on a leash if he has to, hes the sweetest dog but since hes male hes a little hyeractive...I know my dog and I do everything I have to to protect him, my kids, and anyone/thing else that comes in contact. If you cant learn your pets in order to control them, then you shouldnt own one. If you dont know how to keep you child safe with or without pets then you shouldnt have them. All I read was a lack of common sense on the parents and the people in charge at THAT shelter, But I dont think there was real blame on people higher up (they should learn from this and make changes due to this but if its seen all prcautions were made up to that point by then, then the parents and that shelter branch need to look at themselves...
Tori August 07, 2011 at 12:40 AM
Unfortunately, I learned of Moose's fate after I wrote my comment above. So sad that because of what PEOPLE did to cause this unfortunate event, this poor dog had to lose his life after he was placed in a home. About a year ago, I learned of another stupid person through a co-worker. He owned a dog that was not good with children. He had no children but his girlfriend did. What did he do? He let the dog play with the child ALONE & unsupervised. You guessed it...the child was bit. The dog was not PTS at that point but the dipstick let the dog around another child some time after that incident and it bit that child. At that point, the dog was put down. Because of his stupidity, this poor dog lost his life. I asked the co-worker why in the world he allowed the dog to be in contact with children when he knew there would be a problem. She had no answer for me (it was her brother). The more stories I hear like this really confirm the fact that many people in this world should not have children or pets!

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