CHICAGO (CBS) — Three dead dogs were found in a Kane County home, but neighbors werenât surprised. Theyâve made animal abuse reports for years.
CBS 2 Morning Insider Lauren Victory shows us the long list of complaints, and the action thatâs been taken â or lack thereof.READ MORE: Jensen Elementary Mother Dies From COVID-19 After Daughter Exposed At School
Kane County authorities have visited the home on West Drive in South Elgin more than 20 times in five years.
Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain said, most recently, a deputy ânoticed an animal carcass inside of a trash bag on the front porch.â
The sheriffâs office later found two other dead dogs on the property. Eleven more live dogs were seized.
âThere were areas of dog waste in the house where you would need a shovel to clear the path,â Hain said.
Hainâs deputies said all of the dogs were starved. They arrested 27-year-old Emily Chesterfield, who will need to fight a felony charge of aggravated animal cruelty.
Neighbors asked CBS 2 to find out why it took until now to do something about the abuse at the house.
In addition to multiple animal complaints filed with the sheriff, CBS 2 found reports made to Kane County Animal Control, with details that are eerily similar to Chesterfieldâs felony case.Â Some complaints were from years ago.
In 2011, a âcaller noted that there are 20+ dogs in the house and dead dogs in the house.â
CBS 2 asked Animal Control for the follow-up paperwork to that incident, but was told there isnât any.
The same address showed Animal Control âbite reportsâ in 2015, 2016, and 2018; all the same dog, which was given back each time after a rabies check.READ MORE: Woman Struck And Killed When Car Jumps Curb, Hits Building In Gresham
Animal Control did act in 2019, forcing the homeowner to surrender all her dogs. She was cited for âfailure to register.â
Could more have been done? What about those non-existent follow-up reports?
CBS 2 tried to figure out if something slipped through the cracks.
The doors at Animal Control were locked because of COVID-19.
Kane County Animal Control Director Brett Youngsteadt wasnât available for an interview, but acknowledged over email that officers have been to Chesterfieldâs home on several occasions and have ânot actually witnessed any poor living conditions until recentlyâ¦the exterior of the house is well kept.â
Animal Control officers have no âpolicing powers,â he added.
So what about the people who do?
âWe canât just walk into peopleâs home if we canât make observations from the outside,â Hain said.
Both departments said they feel like they did everything they could.
Sheriffâs deputies responded to Chesterfieldâs home twice in 2018, citing her for violating âowner duties.âMORE NEWS: Cook County Gives $200,000 Grant To Social Service Agency Lawrence Hall
Animal Control wouldnât share additional details about zoning citations filed against Chesterfield, saying those cases are ongoing.