On April 21, Aneda Ebert, 63, a retired physical education teacher, was jogging in the rural Ashton community near her home in Northern Illinois. Her husband, Larry, was out riding his bike and happened upon the scene. Fortunately, he was able to drive the dogs away from his wife, who was badly injured and pinned down in a ditch.
Larry quickly called 911, and Aneda was rushed to the nearest hospital. She had suffered severe injuries to her neck, shoulder, arms and leg, which still have not completely healed. She spent 4 days in the hospital and underwent surgery to repair the wounds, which have left deep scars and soft-tissue and nerve damage.
Ogle County State's Attorney Mike Rock has just announced in a news release that the owner of the three dogs will not face any criminal charges, reports SaukValley.com.
The dogs were impounded by Ogle County Animal Control officers shortly after the attack and later euthanized with the consent of the owner, who has not been publicly identified, the report says.
"After reviewing the Ogle County Sheriff’s Department investigative reports and potential criminal statutes, it has been determined that prosecution is not viable," Rock said in the release late Friday afternoon. The reason is that no prior complaints had been filed regarding the dogs being aggressive.
Tom Champley, Ogle’s Animal Control Administrator, said after the attack that, “there’s not a fine if a dog bites.” He said that the county can only cite an owner for allowing the dogs to run loose.
The factor that is missing in order to charge the owner said Vanessa Scott, Whiteside County’s animal control warden, is that there was no evidence that the owner(s) knew their dogs had the potential to do harm without provocation.
Champley agreed. “Legally, there has to be a prior report on these dogs” before animal control can pursue charges, he said.
Even the victim did not suspect that the dogs would attack, according to the SaukValley.com. The Eberts said they were familiar with the dogs and they had never been a problem before. "They've been in our yard when our grandchildren have been here," Aneda said right after the attack.
Larry added that almost every day he and Aneda had biked and ran past the house where the dogs were kept.
Aneda teaches one day a week at Tilton Elementary School in Rochelle. She told SaukValley.com that she has started to do some walking again, but says it will be a while before she can get back on a bike.
"I'm still in a lot of pain," she said Sunday. "The outside wounds are healing well, but the doctor says it could be 5 to 6 months for the internal stuff."
Aneda said the muscle is torn from the bone and her flesh was torn from the muscle. “While it's nice to start walking again, it's frustrating how painful any movement can be,” she told the SaukValley.com reporter.
Aneda said. "It still hurts too much to run, and I haven't even tried the bike yet. I'm trying my best to carry on, but it's painful."
While the decision not to prosecute didn't come as a surprise, it was still disappointing, Aneda said.
"I wasn't surprised, because of the Illinois statutes, but with the severity of the attack, it just seems that something should have happened," Aneda said.
The state statute that pertains to this case is the Illinois Animal Control Act (510 ILCS 5/) and is provided by SaukValley.com at www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1704&ChapterID=41.
Source: Sauk Valley