WESTCHESTER, Ill. (CBS) — A pit bull attacked and killed a dachshund again in west suburban Westchester this past weekend, after making headlines and leaving neighbors alarmed for doing the same thing last fall.
The dog that attacked was one of two pit bulls that escaped from their home Sunday despite being declared “vicious” by a Cook County judge.
Westchester police were called for a report of two loose pit bull terriers in the area of Suffolk Avenue and Dickens Street at 6:39 p.m. Sunday.
Police said the pit bulls had escaped from their home in the 1400 block of Suffolk Avenue and were running south down the street. Westchester police officers found the 16-month-old female pit bull right away and took the dog into custody without incident, police said.
But it turned out that the other pit bull, a male, attacked a dog in a backyard in the 1400 block of Norfolk Avenue a block to the east, police said.
A day later, one pet owner remained in shock – having suffered a tremendous loss.
Woody Jackson was joined by his dachshund, Mala, as he spoke to CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross.
“This is Mala. He was not injured,” Jackson said. “I’ve never seen an animal as traumatized as he was as a survivor.”
But Mala’s sister, an 8-year-old dachshund named Sookie, was not as fortunate.
“The thing that breaks my heart the most is she was such a docile dog,” Jackson said. “She didn’t deserve to die in her back yard.”
The shock for Jackson remained Monday night. He made the alarming discovery that, somehow, another dog got out onto his fenced-off property to attack his dogs.
“The dog attacked the underbelly,” Jackson said. “They clamp on and they just flip.”
Meanwhile, J.P. Salazar heard the yelping.
“I started hearing the shrieks about right here,” he said as he stood at the end of Jackson’s driveway. “When I got here, I saw that there was a pit bull shaking the dachshund in its mouth, so I dropped the cane and I rushed over.”
Salazar – despite recently having had surgery and having to walk with a cane right now – managed to wrestle the attacking dog down and wait for police.
Investigators and Salazar would later discover that the attacking pit bull was familiar to the court system.
“I see on the collar, ‘vicious dog,’” he said.
It just so happens that CBS 2 reported on the very same two pit bulls back in November, when police said they killed another man’s dog – a 7-year-old dachshund named Harry.
Carl Panek, 81, told CBS 2 he was taking his dog on a nightly walk when the pit bulls came out and “shredded (the dachshund), it was like nothing.”
Panek tried to push the dogs off, but wound up with 15 puncture wounds on his hands.
The female pit bull was on the scene and had blood on her in the incident back in the fall, but it was not clear whether she was involved, police said.
Law enforcement confirmed to CBS 2 that the male pit bull is connected to the attack on Sunday.
They added that both pit bulls – a male and a female named Jax and Jinx – were declared vicious and were required to be muzzled and enclosed. But neither was.
The owners of the pit bulls came to the Westchester police station to claim the dogs following the Sunday incident, and decided to have the male pit bull euthanized Sunday evening, police said. The female pit bull was taken to another animal hospital, where she could be impounded pending a status decision by a Cook County judge.
“That could have been somebody’s kid. That was somebody’s small dog,” Salazar said.
Ross knocked on the dogs’ owner’s door, but the owner refused to comment.
But Jackson commented on Salazar’s bravery.
“He saved the other dog,” Jackson said.
Both men wished the outcome and circumstances were very different.
“This could have easily been prevented,” Salazar said.
“You can have bad dogs, but I still think it’s the owner that takes responsibility,” Jackson added.
It’s unclear how the dogs escaped the court-ordered enclosure. Their owners have been issued multiple citations, and are scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.