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Bitten By Off-Leash Dog, Bucktown Mom Warns Others, Looks For Pup's Owner

By Alisa Hauser | July 17, 2017 4:43pm
 Sign at Erhler Park and the woman's wounds.
Sign at Erhler Park and the woman's wounds.
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BUCKTOWN — A woman who said she was bit by an off-leash dog in a Bucktown park Saturday has taken to social media to warn others and try to find the dog's owner to check if the dog is up to date on its shots.

The incident occurred around 8:45 p.m. in Ehrler Park, 2230 W. Cortland St.

"I have basically stopped taking my three kids [to the park] because I am always irritated by the off-leash dogs and the dog sh-- in the grass, and of course the one time I go, I get bit," the woman posted on the Bucktown Neighborhood Watch Facebook page.

"I love dogs, but I'm sick and tired of dog owners not obeying the law," she wrote.

Officer Nicole Trainor, a Chicago Police spokeswoman, on Monday confirmed police responded to the park for an animal bite.

The 45-year-old Bucktown woman, who declined to be named, said she and her husband and their three kids were playing baseball while a man was allowing his two dogs to run through the park unleashed.

The man asked if the woman's daughter could close the park gate after the girl opened it to retrieve a baseball from the sidewalk.

"He told her to shut the gate, so his dogs couldn't escape. I said, 'Can you please put your dogs on leashes?' He ignored me and walked to the other side of the park," the woman recalled.

The man was exercising two medium-size reddish dogs in the park, which does not have a dog-friendly area and does not allow unleashed dogs, according to a sign at the entry gate.

About 10 minutes after the man refused to leash his dog, the woman said her son hit a ball, and one of the man's dogs ran and retrieved it.

The owner wiped off the ball and threw it back to her, but she missed the catch, and when she went to pick it up, one of the two dogs, which she says was at least 15 feet away from her at the time, ran up and bit her ankle.

I yelled, "Your dog just bit me and broke skin!" the woman said.

The man said "sorry," and then bolted west on Cortland Street, the woman told DNAinfo on Monday.

The woman, who said her ankle was "stinging," ran after the man and asked if his dog's shots are up to date. She said he told her his dogs shots were up to date but did not provide further information, except  for saying the dogs go to "some vet on Elston."

The woman said her children heard the man call the dogs "Maggie" and "Casey" but she is not totally sure if those are the dog's names.

She said the bite broke her skin but was "not super deep" and had it of been worse, she said she would have gone to the emergency room.

Trainor advised others who suffer bites from a dog to seek medical attention and call police.

The woman who was bitten said Animal Care and Control contacted her as a follow-up measure, too.

Living around the corner from Erhler Park since 2007, the woman said before Saturday, she usually made it a point to avoid Ehrler Park because of the problems there with off-leash dogs.

While the dog owner has yet to come forward, the woman said she has seen more police near the park in the past two days since her story has spread through Bucktown social media circles.

"If all of this keeps him and his aggressive dogs away from people enjoying our park and causes others to reconsider their off-leash habits in parks intended for people, then maybe something good can come from this bad situation," she said.