Dog killed in Naperville tragedy replaced

December 19, 2012 (NAPERVILLE, Ill.)

Some people in the community decided to give Plackowski a special gift to try and brighten his Christmas.

Matt Plackowski is immediately drawn to the display cases of puppies and has the tough choice of deciding which little dog could be going home with him.

After choosing one furry bundle, he decides to take a closer look at a dachshund.

It's an instant connection between the 20-year-old, and the 9-week-old puppy, and he decides to take her home.

"Whenever my dad's out on the road I wanted a buddy to hang out with and cuddle up with," Plackowski said.

Having that comfort is important now more than ever.

In October, Plackowski suffered a family tragedy when authorities say his mother, Elzbieta Plackowska, stabbed his 7-year-old brother Justin to death, along with 5-year-old Olivia Dworakowski, whom she was babysitting.

Plackowski's Dachsund Tootsie was also killed.

A friend of his works at Petland in Naperville and told the owner that Matt wanted a new dog, but couldn't afford it.

So the owner decided to let Plackowski choose a dog and take it home at no charge.

"With everything going on lately with the school shootings and with everything else, you want to be able to give back," said Petland's Adam Stachowiak.

The cost of buying a dog at Petland is anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000, a fee that includes spaying and neutering, a microchip and a nutrition kit.

Plackowski says he appreciates the chance to bring home a new member of the family and has already planned on naming her tootsie.

"What they are doing for me right now is beyond speechless for me because I'm a really big dog person," Plackowski said.

Plackowski is also getting gift cards for a year's worth of free dog food as well as a year's worth of free animal care at glen Ellen Animal Hospital. Additional gestures to make sure that all matt has to focus on is his new best friend.

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