Attorneys representing a woman in suburban Elmwood Park say that two dogs that attacked multiple people and killed another animal earlier this year in Palatine were involved in another attack in August, leaving a woman and her dog injured.
According to authorities and attorneys for the victim, the attack occurred on Aug. 20. Aneta Heinz, 48, was walking her 4-year-old retriever mix Piper Jo when two dogs escaped from a back yard and attacked them both.
“My dog is still trying to heal,” Steve Heinz, Aneta’s husband, said. “Thousands of dollars worth of injuries to my dog alone, and my wife is still in counseling.”
The dogs, a pit bull and an Akita mix, were also involved in an attack earlier this year in Palatine that left a woman and a man with serious injuries. The woman, Amanda Ingram, is still dealing with the emotional aftermath of that attack, which left her dog dead.
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The dogs also attacked another man and his dog, seriously injuring them both.
“To know that it happened again and someone else had to go through it…it brings everything back,” she said. “It’s a really difficult thing to cope with. My attack happened for seven minutes, while I was being dragged along the concrete and attacked. My dog was being torn to shreds.”
In that May 24 attack, a woman was walking the two dogs when they broke free and attacked Ingram and her dog Casper. Ingram tried to protect the dog, but the animal died from its injuries.
Now, the victims and their attorneys are expressing their frustration and their outrage that more drastic measures weren’t taken after the May attack, saying Palatine officials didn’t go far enough when they ordered owner Meleina Teodoro to move the dogs out of Palatine.
A lawsuit has been filed against the owner of the dogs, and against the village of Palatine, in the aftermath of the attacks.
“Unfortunately, village of Palatine officials kicked the can down the road, and reached a plea deal,” attorney Michael J. Schostok said.
Attorneys say the dogs now live at a residence in Elmwood Park, just a few doors down from the Heinz family.
In a statement, Palatine police say they followed the law in ordering the animals to go through training and to be moved from the community.
“To suggest that the dogs should have been euthanized would have been to ignore the law,” Palatine police said in a statement. “The owner complied with the conditions of the court order and the dogs completed the required training that they were forced to undergo.”
Attorneys dismissed those comments.
“To suggest their hands were tied by the law, and they couldn’t have euthanized those dogs, that’s wholly false,” attorney Brian Salvi said.
Attorneys say that the latest attack is proof that the dogs are dangerous, and they are seeking all legal avenues to hold the village, and the dog’s owners, accountable.
“I take no pleasure, and other dog owners in front of you take no pleasure, in advocating for euthanizing,” Salvi said. “The simple safe is that is what is required for these two dogs in order to keep the community safe.”
The Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control says the matter remains under investigation. Teodoro was issued multiple citations and pleaded guilty to ordinance violations in the May attack.