Lawyers: Suburban dogs spared from being euthanized attack again in Elmwood Park


PALATINE, Ill. —  Attorneys representing a man and woman attacked by two dogs in the Village of Palatine are speaking out, following another assault in Elmwood Park weeks later.

Lawyers shared that by the end of the week, they intend to file a legal complaint against the Village of Palatine, the owner of the alleged attack dogs and the person they believe is currently keeping those dogs in Elmwood Park. 

On Aug. 20, Elmwood Park resident Steve Heinz says he and his wife received a call they’ll never forget. 

At the time, his wife Aneta was walking their dog, Piper. 

“I got a phone call from a bystander who was walking their dog at the time as well and said ‘your wife and dog have been attacked,’ so I ran out of the house. I couldn’t find them at first. Then I got in my truck and I was on the scene. I saw my dog bloody all over the place and my wife standing their holding our animal,” Heinz said.

Heinz says two dogs mangled his beloved retriever — a pit bull mix and an Akita mix during the attack. In addition, Heinz said his wife was slammed onto the ground, landing on her tailbone. She is now receiving care for her physical and emotional wounds. 

Attorneys representing the victims say the same dogs attacked Amanda Ingram and Chase Braun, who also live in Palatine, in May. 

“My attack happened for seven minutes, where I was being dragged along the concrete,” Ingram said.

The attack killed Ingram’s dog. Braun said he was brutally attacked. 

“I think they should euthanize the dogs and do a better job of following up,” Braun said.

Attorneys say the Village of Palatine made a plea deal with the dogs’ owner, Meleina Teodoro. The deal kept the dogs from being euthanized as long as they moved outside of Palatine. According to attorneys, the village was supposed to keep track of the dogs and take additional measures to maintain the community safe. 

“Everything we understand tells us that the Village of Palatine did absolutely none of those checks. They did not follow up with Teodoro about where the dogs went. They did not follow up with Teodoro about what they were doing to ensure the community around them was safe. All of those failures led to this attack against Aneta,” said attorney Brian Salvi.

In a statement from the Village of Palatine Commander Bruce Morris said:

The Village sought the most stringent outcome that was supported by the law and local ordinances at the time of the dog bites in Palatine including criminal charges which remain pending. As to the administrative citations, to suggest that the dogs should have been euthanized would have been to ignore the law. The owner complied with the conditions of the court order and the dogs completed the required training that they were ordered to undergo. 

Statement from the Village of Palatine Commander Bruce Morris

Attorneys representing the individuals attacked by the dogs say, as far as they know, the pit bull mix and Akita mix are residing at home in Elmwood Park. The dog’s owner was convicted of municipal violations in Elmwood Park. 

“The purpose of being here today is to let the Village of Elmwood Park, to let the Cook County Animal Control, to let the Cook County States Attorney know not to repeat the same mistake the Village of Palatine did,” said attorney Mike Schostok.

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