WAYNE – Drive through Wayne and you’ll see “Justice for Ludwig” signs which include a photo of the white Dogo Argentino dog that was shot to death Aug. 10 by a neighbor.
The same signs are appearing in Batavia, St. Charles, Elgin, South Elgin, DeKalb and Algonquin – so far – as supporters connect on a Facebook page called Justice for Ludwig – and post photos of the signs on their lawns, often with their own dogs in the photos for emphasis.
“Charlie Bear showing support in Batavia,” states one post.
Another supporter posted a photo of the sign on the back of his pickup truck.
Others from Elk Grove Village, Bartlett and Hanover Park posted requests for signs.
Joe Petit, who owned Ludwig, posted a photo of a box of signs outside his front door in Wayne.
“Sorry if Philotimo barks at you,” Petit’s post stated, referring to a second Dogo Argentino he owns, Ludwig’s brother. “He’s not attacking you. He’s scared.”
Petit’s post included video of his surviving dog putting bones and toys in the area where Ludwig used to nap.
Petit said he is going through a very difficult time right now, but is grateful for the outpouring of support.
“I thank everyone for their help and their support,” Petit said. “I can’t thank them enough.”
The effect of the dog’s shooting death has affected Petit in other ways as well, he said, as some employees are afraid to come back to work at his seal coating business, which he operates out of his house.
“I’ll never heal from this,” Petit said, his voice breaking with emotion.
Petit’s neighbor, Hal Phipps, the husband of Wayne Village President Eileen Phipps, allegedly shot Ludwig.
Hall Phipps had said no comment and Eileen Phipps did not respond to messages seeking comment.
Because the spouse of a village official was involved, the Kane County Sheriff’s Office handled the investigation.
Phipps and Petit are neighbors on Pearson Drive and both their backyards back up to the Fox River. Petit says his dog was playing in the water chasing sticks when it was shot, while Phipps told deputies that both of Petit’s dogs were on his property, behaving aggressively toward him, according to an Aug. 19 news release from Kane County State’s Attorney Jamie Mosser.
In the release, Mosser also announced in that her office was reviewing the evidence provided by the sheriff’s office and would announce a determination as to whether charges would be filed.
“Based on the applicable law, we will make a determination as to whether charges are appropriate,” Mosser’s news release stated. “I know people are interested in this case, but in the interest of justice, we must be thorough.”
Ronaldo Bowers, a Wayne neighbor of Petit’s, posted a letter he sent to Mosser on the Justice for Ludwig site. Bowers also posted the phone number, address and email addresses of Mosser and her administrative assistant and urged others to send letters of support for Ludwig and Petit.
While he and others also stated their frustration that no action has been taken yet, Bowers said he understood that the evidence is being reviewed.
“I know they’re crossing all their T’s and dotting their I’s,” Bowers said.
In a separate issue, more than a month before the shooting, Phipps had accused Petit’s dogs of attacking and biting him, according to a June 29 police report.
Petit received two local ordinance violation tickets and had an Aug. 20 court date in DuPage County last month. Petit said he filed a motion for discovery, seeking the police report and medical records, disputing that his dogs attacked anyone.