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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.”

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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