CHICAGO (CBS) — Dog owners gathered in Oak Lawn on Sunday afternoon, hoping the public could learn a lesson from a despicable event last week that left one dog dead and another injured.
Raquel Cerda said Edward Hanania tried to adopt a dog through the rescue she works with, CPR Fund K9 Rescue, but it fell through. Not long after that, he was charged with two counts of animal cruelty, after allegedly dropping two toy poodles off the top of a parking garage at Advocate Christ Medical Center on May 20.
“It just didn’t feel right, and then I got on Facebook a little while later, and I saw his face, and my stomach just dropped,” Cerda said.
Oak Lawn police said Hanania, 22, told a woman who found the poodles wandering in Oak Lawn that they were his, before allegedly throwing them off the parking garage at Christ Medical Center.
One dog, Guerro, died from the fall. The other, Angel, survived with a broken leg and bruised lungs.
Sweyzen Sanchez’s family owns the poodles, and brought Guerro’s ashes to the rally near the Oak Lawn Village Hall. She said she’s glad a judge denied bond for Hanania, and that he has to spend the Memorial Day weekend in jail.
Many in the crowd of a couple dozen people and their pets held signs saying things like “There is no excuse for animal abuse” and “Dogs’ lives matter.”
Kirstie Knaebly, who works at Perfect Paws Animal Rescue, urged anyone who finds a loose dog to take precautions before handing it over to someone who claims to be the owner.
“Make sure its owner has proof of identification, or proof of the animal being theirs. Just make sure that you’re getting it back to the right person. Don’t be so hasty and think you’re doing a good deed, and then end up with a result like this,” she said.
One thing you can do to find the owner of a loose dog is take it to a veterinarian or animal shelter to check for an identifying microchip. If no microchip is found, Knaebly suggested taking other precautions – like asking for vet bills, pictures, or other proof of ownership – before giving the animal to someone who claims to be the owner, as Hanania allegedly did.
Dog owners in the crowd also called for stiff punishment for Hanania, who was due back in court on June 19.