WEST LOOP — A man abusing a dog in a West Loop apartment building was caught in the act by an elevator surveillance camera, a property manager said Wednesday.
The incident happened late Tuesday morning at Catalyst Apartments, 123 N. Desplaines St. in the West Loop, the property manager said.
In the 55-second surveillance video, a man is seen entering the elevator with two leashed dogs — a small white dog and a beagle puppy. After a second man exits the elevator, leaving the dog walker alone with the dogs, the man begins to step on the beagle's paws, then forcefully kicks the dog.
Warning: Images in the video may be disturbing
Throughout the entire incident, the beagle is shown cowering in the corner of the elevator.
According to CBS2, customers of Alone At Home Pet Care received an email from the owner of the business, Jon Stenholt, taking responsibility for the abuse.
“I am a despicable individual who did a horrible thing to a defenseless animal," Steinholt's email said, according to CBS2. "I deserve all that I am now receiving. I am ashamed of my actions.”
"Effective immediately, Alone At Home Pet care is over," the email said.
Catalyst Apartment's property manager, who asked not to be named, saying she feared retribution, confirmed her staff alerted police of the incident Tuesday.
Stephanie Lulay discusses the incident and potential police involvement:
The building's security guard, who is stationed at the entrance, noticed the beagle was acting odd before they entered the building's elevator, according to the property manager. At that time, the security guard watched a live video feed from the surveillance video from the elevator on a monitor stationed near the entrance desk.
"Our door staff was very alert and attentive and noticed [the dog's behavior], which prompted us to follow [the dog walker] and watch him," the property manager said.
After witnessing the abuse, the security guard told the apartment building's management, who replayed the video. The building's door staff and management both confirmed it was a West Loop dog walker who had visited the building several times.
Both the property manager and dog owner independently confirmed the man was the owner of a local pet care company. Calls to the company were not returned, and its website was taken down Wednesday.
After calling police, the property manager told the dog's owner about the abuse. The property manager also said she confronted the dog walker, telling him he was not welcome to walk dogs on the property again.
The property manager, who had two dogs of her own, said she cried after seeing the video.
"Just thinking about it raises my blood pressure," she said. "If it were my dogs, I would be devastated."
The dog's owner, who also asked not to be identified, wrote in a letter to other dog owners that the owner of the dog walking service, whom she once believed to be a "pet-loving, respectable business owner," had cared for her dog since September 2014.
"As you can imagine, I am extremely upset about this incident and the fact that I trusted [the man] to come into my home and care for my dog on a regular basis for the last nine months," she said. "I felt that I had to share this video with all of you due to extreme concern for the safety of your animals."
Police did not immediately confirm details of the incident.
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