Jeff Jacoby and his four-legged friend have been a holiday bell ringing staple for the Salvation Army for five years—a holiday fixture outside the Jewel Osco in Rolling Meadows.
Until this year—when the Salvation Army captain I Des Plaines decided to ban animals.
“He said it isn’t going to be a popular decision but it’s a decision I have to make,” Jacoby said of the captain.
The captain in Des Plaines told NBC 5 the dog did nothing wrong and the decision was made to avoid any potential problems in the future.
Jacoby was devastated, but said he understood.
Hunter belongs to Jacoby’s good friend Chuck Swietlik.
“I thought liability right away,” Swietlik said. “I was hurt, very hurt.”
Customers noticed Hunter’s absence immediately, Swietlik and Jacoby say.
“’Where’s the dog?’ I get that 50-60 times a day,” Jacoby said.
He also says he thinks his donations are down as a result.
“He draws people here that wouldn’t be coming up, and all the women and kids—they give money,” he said.
Jacoby says he thinks pups like Hunter help out the Salvation Army’s efforts, and Swietlik agrees.
“He didn’t do anything wrong and we’d like to see him back,” he told NBC 5. “I think it would be a very nice Christmas wish for him to come back.”