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Local News

Joliet dog owner will lose one dog but keep two

Dogs involved in attacks against other dogs

JOLIET — A Joliet owner of three dogs neighbors say were involved in several dog-on-dog attacks will lose one of them to a McHenry County animal rescue shelter, but can keep the other two. 

Jaclyn Vavrik, 29, of Joliet, agreed during a city hearing Tuesday to relinquish ownership of her Rottweiler Titan to Saving All Our Angels Animal Rescue in McHenry County. 

Titan was deemed vicious by city officials after it was allegedly involved — with two other dogs owned by Vavrik — in three separate incidents of attacking neighbors’ dogs on North Reed Street last year.

Vavrik said during a Jan. 15 hearing the dog was given to a friend, who gave it to someone else out-of-state. But Joliet Township Animal Control found Titan and Vavrik identified the dog last week. 

Donna Salemi, who works for Saving All Our Angels, said while she knows Titan had issues with other dogs in the past, she said the behavior problems could be fixed.

“With him being so young, it is my opinion that this is very easily corrected," Salemi said. "He may not have had the correct training to prevent the situation. He is eager to learn.”

City officials gave Vavrik a seven-day deadline to comply with city ordinances for Titan and her other dog, a pit bull named Duchess, who also was deemed vicious. 

Duchess is staying with Vavrik after she complied with requirements for the dog, such as spaying and microchipping. Duchess also is tethered and muzzled, said Becky Gomez, Joliet Township Animal Control officer. 

City workers are set to inspect the fencing for Duchess in April. 

Some neighbors whose dogs were attacked by Vavrik’s were concerned two of her dogs — one deemed vicious and another dangerous — would remain in the neighborhood. 

They also wanted to know if Vavrik would pay restitution for medical bills the owners of the injured dogs said they incurred. City officials said that was a civil matter between dog owners and not one they could authorize. 

Vavrik agreed to compensate owners of injured dogs, but she said she was only responsible for one attack.

Doreen Swanson, who lives on North Reed Street and said one of her dogs was injured by those belonging to Vavrik, said the story she heard about Titan’s behavior from Salemi was one of “Jekyll and Hyde,” because it was not what she and other neighbors witnessed.

She said Vavrik’s dogs have run at the mailman in the neighborhood.

“Now hopefully, Titan is going to be able to make amends, but I think that should be on record,” she said.

This story was changed to correct the name of the Saving All Our Angels Animal Rescue. The Herald-News regrets the error.

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