Stray dogs attack woman, pet in Jackson Park Highlands

January 20, 2014 (CHICAGO)

Residents say they first noticed the stray dogs last Thursday. Ever since, they had made multiple phone calls to animal control. Now, Sallie Mowles and her pet are recovering, and Mowles is faced with thousands of dollars in medical and vet bills.

Bandaged and stitched up, Mowles and her dog Vixen are back home Monday night after a terrifying morning that sent both to the hospital. Mowles was taking Vixen on her daily morning walk when two stray dogs began to attack.

"I just couldn't let her just continually be attacked by these dogs, so I really got in there to try to break it up and to get her safe," said Mowles.

The dogs then attacked Mowles. She was left with multiple bites on her hands and leg, while Vixen lost a tooth and is dealing with over 100 stitches.

While animal control took the dogs involved in the attack, Mowles and her Jackson Park Highlands neighbors are wondering where the city was days ago when several residents called animal control to have the dogs removed.

The neighborhood is so tight-knit, the strays were the subject of a long string of e-mails between residents.

"A series of neighbors had called animal control for the past six days about these dogs," said James Norris, Jackson Park Highlands Association.

Eric Occomy was one of neighbors who called more than once-- the stray dogs were living under his porch. Monday morning's attack took place in front of his house.

"I did what I could, I called Saturday and then I followed up Sunday. I really wanted to avoid this. I felt really bad seeing her struggling with the dogs," said Eric Occomy, neighbor.

And Sallie Mowles says the attack could have been a avoided if the city took action before it was too late.

"I just hope this doesn't happen again, there are too many strays attacking people," said Mowles.

The irony is that Mowles has a soft-spot for stray dogs; her dog Vixen was a stray dog that she rescued from the neighborhood.

Animal control has not returned phone calls or e-mails from Eyewitness News.

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