Animal Rights

Pit Bull Kills Shi Tzu Outside Animal Shelter, Horrified Owner Watches

| by Denise A Justin

Maddie, a 12-pound Shi Tzu, was being taken for a check up at the Chicago Ridge Animal Welfare League’s veterinary clinic, when she was attacked and savagely mauled by a pit bull being brought to the humane society because the owner was “unable to properly care for it,” according to the Chicago Sun Times.

Christine Starr, 64, was taking her beloved Shi Tzu, Maddie, to the Chicago Ridge Animal Welfare League’s public veterinary clinic on September 10 because of concerns that the little dog was losing her appetite. 

As she approached the building, a large pit bull, named Jock, suddenly darted into the parking lot and  grabbed the 12-pound Shi Tzu in his mouth. The pit bull bit and shook little Maddie so hard that, despite immediate emergency surgery performed at the shelter clinic, she died eleven days later,

Ms. Starr said she saw the pit bull beside its owner near the door of the shelter but it ran down the sidewalk so fast toward Maddie that she was unable to pick her up before the pit bull lunged and grabbed her in its teeth. 

She said she hit the dog with her purse, but it didn’t release Maddie until a member of the shelter’s veterinary staff rushed to the location, grabbed  the pit bull by its tail and started dragging it backwards. The pit bull was euthanized the same day, police said.

The pit bull was reportedly owned by Melanise Loving, 25, of South Holland.  Loving said Jock was on a leash but slipped out when he saw the Shi Tzu.  She was fined $50, which is the current amount for an off-leash dog in the village, officials stated.

Christine Starr is appalled that was the only penalty for the violent death of her beloved pet and is trying to get the village to update the code. The Mayor agreed to look at the ordinance, which, he admits, has probably been unchanged for many years.

Ms. Starr told Sun Times reporter Steve Metsch that she would never forget the horror of watching the brutal attack on Maddie, who was a loving family pet, and she is worried that the same thing might happen to a child. 

Ms. Starr apparently has a tender and caring heart and much love to share, so she adopted two homeless Maltese dogs she saw at the shelter the day Maddie died. She said she felt it "was intended" for her to take them.

The Animal Welfare League states on its website that it is Chicagoland’s Largest Humane Society and was started in 1935, with its founding shelter located on Wabash Ave. in South Chicago.  The Chicago Ridge shelter was opened in 1992 to expand the League's care and services to animals., including spay/neuter.  The “About Us” section states, "The Animal Welfare League is committed to helping every pet find a good home. Our motto is "recovery is the answer, not euthanasia."