Dog remains on the loose Friday after attacks injure 3 near Johnsburg; 1 dog killed by police, 3 seized

Neighbors say animals have caused problems before

An officer stands in front of a home near Johnsburg in a neighborhood where McHenry County Sheriff's deputies shot and killed a dog after a dogfight that authorities said injured several people. At least one deputy was also injured trying to corral the dogs after two got loose.

One “aggressive” dog remained on the loose Friday after authorities said three people, including a McHenry County sheriff’s deputy, were injured in a series of dog attacks in the Johnsburg area the day before, prompting a deputy to shoot one of the dogs and for animal control to take possession of three others.

Neighbors in the unincorporated area near the Fox River said the dogs have caused problems and prompted visits from Animal Control in the past. Some said it’s the owners, not the animals, who are to blame.

The sheriff’s office said deputies were called to the home in the 2500 block of Huemann Drive about 6 p.m. Thursday for a report of an aggressive dog fight.

“The owner reported that she was unable to separate her dogs who were engaged in a fight, and she had sustained wounds,” police said in a news release.

A neighbor who intervened to try to help also was injured, according to the release.

When deputies and fire officials arrived, three dogs were “loosely enclosed” on a front porch, and two others had been corralled in a car.

But while authorities were speaking to an owner, “the three dogs broke through the porch gate and aggressively ran toward responding deputies and fire personnel,” according to the release.

Authorities tried “less lethal” methods of control, including a fire extinguisher and Tasers, but when that failed to stop the dogs, one of them was fatally shot, authorities confirmed.

A deputy also was bitten in the process and treated at a hospital.

“The sheriff’s office understands the bond between an owner and their pet and only resorts to using lethal force when it comes to protecting the safety and well-being of citizens and deputies,” according to the release.

McHenry County Animal Control seized three dogs. Another dog remained loose as of 2 p.m. Friday, although deputies “have continually looked for the remaining dog through the night and into the morning with no success,” officials said.

They described the dog as a petite dark brown pit bull with a white stripe on its face. People who spot the dog are asked to avoid approaching it and to report it to the sheriff’s office or Animal Control at 815-459-6222.

No resident of the home where the dogs lived could be reached for comment.

But other residents in the area said the dogs in question have been problematic for quite some time, and that neighbors have sometimes shifted their daily plans to try to avoid the dogs.

Several neighbors said the area is quiet and peaceful but that, with the dog on the loose, “a lot of us are afraid to let our dogs out,” resident Suzanne Gorman said.

She’d let her dog out earlier Thursday but with three people tagging along.

Even before Thursday evening’s occurrence, resident Scott Treutler said his daughter will wait in his car until her school bus arrives because the stop is very near where the dogs lived. He said the dogs have been vicious since he moved into the neighborhood.

Gorman said the police and Animal Control have been to the home “quite a few times” since she and her neighbors have moved in. Gorman said the dogs will jump the fence if they see people or other dogs, adding people in the neighborhood avoid going by the house.

“None of us go over there,” Gorman said. “This isn’t the first time they’ve attacked.”

Neighbor Rich Jay said, “This has been a constant problem for years.”

Several area residents, including Jay and his neighbor Stephanie Mysliwiec, were quick to say the dogs weren’t the guilty party.

Mysliwiec said one of the dogs ended up in her garden area Thursday, but also stressed the dogs aren’t at fault.

The people who reside in the home with the dogs “stay to themselves,” Gorman said.