COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A small terrier had to be euthanized Saturday after her owner repeatedly beat and choked the dog outside a Jewel Osco in 95-degree heat, authorities said.
Jaroslaw Kowalkowski, 47, is charged with aggravated cruelty to animals.
Police were called to the Jewel at 5320 S. Pulaski Road in West Elsdon about 1:30 p.m. Saturday after witnesses reported someone "choking an animal to death" in front of the grocery store, Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said during a bond hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, 2650 S. California Ave.
Kowalkowski is accused of beating the dog, choking it and dragging it across the ground.
One witness told police Kowalkowski offered to sell her the dog for a cigarette, Scaduto said. The pup is described in court records as a 1-year-old terrier mix.
According to an arrest report, police found the dog in a bloody dog bed; she was breathing but not moving. Prosecutors said officers tried to give the dog food and water inside the Jewel to no avail.
Chicago recorded its warmest day of the year when it hit 95 degrees on Saturday.
She was brought to Animal Care and Control, where a veterinarian said it was necessary to euthanize the dog, court records show. She was diagnosed with heat exhaustion and Parvo, a virus that can cause lethargy, vomiting and bloody diarrhea.
An X-ray revealed no fractures, police said. The veterinarian was not immediately able to perform a necropsy to check for internal damage because the appropriate supervisor was not on call, records show.
According to police, Kowalkowski told officers the dog ("Luse") is a nice dog, but something was wrong: She was "a little sick."
Assistant Public Defender Patrick Keegan said Kowalkowski was homeless and works as "a self-contractor" installing hardwood floors. He is from Poland.
Cook County Judge Michael Clancy said Kowalkowski could be released on his own recognizance pending trial.
Kowalkowski has previous convictions for aggravated DUI, aggravated assault of a police officer, criminal trespass to land and resisting arrest.