A Tinley Park pit bull, named Buddy, has been legally declared "vicious" under a settlement agreement approved by a Cook County judge. It will spare the dog's life while adding restrictions on his movement, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Buddy, an abandoned Pit Bull was picked up and impounded by Joliet Township animal control officials in January 2014. He was then transferred to a Chicago-based animal-rescue group, called Furever Rescue to adopt out.
Furever Rescue fostered Buddy with Tinley Park residents Anthony Concialdi and Stephanie Hanson, who then expressed their interest in adopting the 7-year-old pit bull.
Stephanie Hanson took Buddy to the veterinary clinic in Tinley Park to have sutures removed on Feb. 21, which is when he attacked the vet techs, FoxNews reports.
A few weeks later, in March, the Cook County state's attorney filed a "vicious dog" complaint with the circuit court, in what Cook County animal control officials described as "a bloodbath."
Under the law, Cook County officials retain the right to request a court hearing to determine whether a dog might be legally declared vicious.
A dog can also be declared dangerous by animal control without a court hearing but vicious dog cases carry a higher penalty, including possible euthanasia.
BUDDY’S ‘FOSTER PARENT’ START ONLINE PETITION
Buddy’s “foster parents” started an online petition to save him and more than a thousand people signed. According to the petition, “He's a good dog.”
They wrote, "Despite all he has been through, he is still happy, polite and listens very well. All he needs is a tennis ball and a few treats and he is happy."
VICTIMS WORRY ABOUT FUTURE ATTACKS
The two technicians Buddy attacked have a different perspective and tell what happened the day Buddy was brought into the Tinley Park animal clinic.
"Ten to 15 seconds later he jumped up from laying down and was attached to my face," said technician Rebecca Britz. She said she was bitten on the face and arms after she checked "Buddy's" sutures.
"This is the worst bite in 19 years of practicing," said Dr. Cynthia Cecott, the veterinarian.
According to FoxNews, the veterinarian and the technician removed the dog from the room where the owner was and did a rabies exam in a less confined space. They took the muzzle off after the exam.
That's when Buddy reportedly lunged at a second technician, named Goolsby. "He came full force again. I felt him coming at my face. All I remember is doing this, ok and he got me here and he was hanging on…," Goolsby added.
The victims expressed concern about Buddy’s future behavior. Britz said it was about the potential for harm the dog could do to someone in an unprovoked attack or the damage he could iflict on a small child, she told MyFoxChicago.
BUDDY GOES HOME WITH RESTRICTIONS
Judge Mary Mikva approved a settlement on Monday morning, June 2, that was negotiated between the dog's owners and Cook County, reports the Chicago Tribune.
Under the agreement, Buddy will be allowed to return home with several restrictions:
(1) His owners must build an outdoor enclosure with a roof and floor in their yard.
(2) Buddy must be leashed and muzzled while transported from the home to backyard.
(3) He must be muzzled and on a leash no more than 4 feet long if taken in public or outside the home,
(4) He must also be muzzled inside of the home if anyone other than the residents are present.
Cook County spokesman Frank Shuftan told the Tribune, "It is the result of months of negotiations between the parties and avoids euthanasia of the animal. It mandates numerous safety measures and is designed to protect the health and welfare of the public."
Mark McGuire, attorney for Buddy's adopters, said the family is satisfied with the outcome of the case. McGuire said his clients consider Buddy "a good dog" and were willing to do "anything and everything" to save its life.