29
Jan
08

Elgin woman hurt in pit bull attack

suburbanchicagonews.com
by STEVEN ROSS JOHNSON

ELGIN — A 53-year-old woman and her dog were injured Monday morning when they were attacked by two pit bulls outside her home.

Kyle Mellinger, of 203 Gertrude St., was listed in stable condition Monday afternoon at Provena Saint Joseph Hospital, according to a hospital representative.

The attack left wounds on Mellinger’s forehead and right arm, according to Deputy Police Chief Jeff Swoboda.

The incident occurred about 10 a.m. as Mellinger was walking home with her 11-year-old, 8-pound dog, Teddy, Swoboda said.

The pit bulls approached from a nearby garage and tried to attack her dog, according to witnesses. Mellinger picked up her dog in an effort to protect him, the witnesses said.

Teddy also was bitten in the attack and was taken to Animal Clinic of South Elgin for treatment, according to Mellinger’s daughter, Teresa Tripoli of Naperville. Tripoli said Teddy’s injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, but that he could lose vision in one eye as a result of the attack.

Mellinger’s son, Sherman Mellinger, 23, said a neighbor finally was able to get control of the dogs and lock them in the garage until an officer with Elgin Animal Control arrived to take them into custody.

Mellinger, who resides with his mother, said he had experienced no problems with the dogs prior to the incident and described them as generally playful.

“It’s just bad circumstances that happened,” he said. “The dog wasn’t going after my mom; it was going after my little dog.”

The dogs have been quarantined for the next 10 days, according to police spokeswoman Ann Dinges, pending the results of the investigation.

Police, along with members of the city’s code enforcement department and animal control, were back at the residence Monday afternoon trying to identify the pit bulls’ owner, who is believed to be a resident of the house’s first-floor unit, according to Mellinger.

Police would not confirm whether they had positively identified the owner as of Monday evening.

The incident marked the second pit bull-related injury in the area in the past week.

The first occurred Thursday evening in 600 block of East Chicago Street when a 10-year-old boy was bitten on the forehead after falling on top of his 11-year-old friend’s family pit bull as they were running with it along the street.

Safety concerns regarding pit bulls were raised last year when Councilman Robert Gilliam attempted to introduce a measure prohibiting residents from owning the dogs, but the measure did not pass.

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