An Evergreen Park family is questioning how their lost dog was injured after being taken in by a city animal shelter.
Ann and Greg Smith tell WGN their 12-year-old English boxer named Dempsey, was battered and bruised after slipping out of their backyard while their kids played.
Dempsey is back at home but not before his wounds and injuries alarmed the Smith family.
Earlier this week, Dempsey was located by someone in the neighborhood, according to the Smiths. The discovery was posted on Facebook and the good Samaritan contacted the police. The responding officer took Dempsey to the Animal Welfare League in Chicago Ridge.
“He was also filthy,” Greg Smith said. “Like they put him a dirty cage.”
Ann was alerted to the Facebook post about Dempsey about an hour after he escaped. When she went to the Animal Welfare League to bring him home, Dempsey had visible wounds.
“He has bad wounds to his ear,” Greg Smith said. “About seven or eight puncture wounds all around his head.”
The story relayed to Ann from a shelter volunteer is what while on a walk, Dempsey was attacked by another dog.
WGN reached out to the Animal Welfare League. A spokesperson issued a statement saying that the most logical explanation is that Dempsey and another dog got into a “minor skirmish before being brought apart by AWL staff members.”
“We do not know exactly how the two dogs actually came into contact because no one actually witnessed it (If they had, there wouldn’t have been a skirmish),” the statement read.
The spokesperson, John Fanning, adds “that perhaps Dempsey was the aggressor.”
“We were curious as to how a senior dog like this could become separated from its owners,” Fanning said. “Typically, dogs this age do not stray far from home without good reason.”
The Smiths took Dempsey to their vet. He was placed on several anti-biotics and continues to recover.
“It could have been a lot worse,” Ann Smith said.
The Smiths say the experience has left them feeling lost, adding that there is no way they believe Dempsey was the aggressor.
“He loves all the cuddles,” Ann Smith said.
AWL says it has apologized and offered care for Dempsey’s wounds but the Smiths declined, saying that they felt more comfortable taking their dog to their own veterinarian.
AWL tells WGN they are willing to pay the $130 bill that the Smiths incurred. However, the Smiths said that is news to them.