March 12, 2003 at 3:59 AM CST - Updated June 19 at 7:05 PM
Thebes Residents Fed Up With Pack of Dogs By: Kate Scott
(Thebes, IL)--You might say one Heartland town has really gone to the dogs!
People living in Thebes say they're fed up with a pack of dogs running loose on their streets.Heartland News first reported the problem last May, when the dogs were chasing and attacking people.Ten months later, on Sunday night, the pack killed one Thebes family's beloved pet. Now a backyard tombstone marks the grave of Kane Hill, a six-year-old dog and loyal companion.Kane will be forever confined to his yard, simply because another group of dogs was not confined to theirs.“It's like a dream to me,” cries Kane’s owner, Mary Ann Hill.“I can't believe he's gone. I've had him since he was a newborn…I loved that dog to death!”
Now the Hill family and their neighbors are demanding that something be done to control the pack of dogs.“It's wrong,” says Alesha Jbil.“There have been complaints made before and nothing has been done. And now we have to bury a member of our family.”
The dogs that attacked Kane aren't exactly wild.Though no one seems to know exactly how many there are, the dogs do have owners, and live at a house in town.But neighbors say the dogs spend more time in the streets than they do in their yard.“They just let these wild dogs run around. I don't understand it,” Mary Ann shakes her head.“These dogs have attacked children,” lists Jbil.“They've attacked adults. They attack dogs, cars…I mean, and it’s anything with these dogs. And there's nothing getting done about it!”
When Heartland News first reported this story last May, Mayor Jim Sutton said there wasn't much the town could do to round up the dogs, because it couldn't afford to have a dogcatcher or a pound. Since then, the mayor says the dogs’ owners have been fined countless times for letting the pack run loose. In Thebes, the fine for not confining your pet is 75-dollars per dog per day.But since the fines don't seem to be doing any good, folks in Thebes are now demanding more action.“If we take the law into our hands, then we're in trouble,” says Jbil.“But yet we're burying our dogs. What's going to happen next? We’re going to be burying our children?”
On Tuesday night, concerned residents met with Mayor Sutton and other town leaders, to come up with some solutions to the dog problem.After the meeting, the Hill family reported that major progress had been made. They say town leaders have petitioned to get a pen, in order to house loose dogs.They hope to see that set up as soon as possible.Once the pen is in place, a local resident has volunteered to collect any dogs that are not properly confined.And other community members will chip in on the cost of feeding them.
If the plan works and Thebes does establish a pound, Illinois state law says unlicensed animals will have to be held for three days, before they can then be humanely disposed of.