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Christine Johnson, Suburban Animal Control Official, Put On Leave After Euthanizing The Wrong Dog

Kendall County

First Posted: 07/29/11 04:33 PM ET Updated: 09/28/11 06:12 AM ET

A warden working for Kendall County Animal Control was placed on administrative leave Friday after she admitted to lying to county officials after euthanizing the wrong dog.

Warden Christine Johnson was allegedly supported to euthanize a bull mastiff dog that attacked a 6-year-old Oswego boy and two others at an animal shelter, but instead allowed new owners to adopt the animal and put another dog to sleep, Oswego Patch reports.

Johnson's error was exposed by Anne Vickery, chair of the County Board's Animal Control Committee, during a special meeting Friday. Vickery had been reporting to the public that the dog responsible for the attack, named "Moose," had been euthanized, based off information provided by Johnson.

"We owe the public a huge apology," Vickery said. "We were not told the truth. From the bottom of my heart and as God is my witness, I had no idea."

When asked by Vickery about whether the dog, which reportedly attacked three people, was alive or dead, Johnson admitted that she had "made a mistake. The dog I put down, I thought was the one," she said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, before she added that the mistakingly euthanized dog "had issues" too.

Animal control officials are now working to retrieve the dog from its new home in Lake Holiday, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The dog that was due to be euthanized attacked the 6-year-old boy during the morning of Sunday, July 3, according to Montgomery Patch. The dog suddenly lunged toward the boy and bit him in the cheek just under his eye. The attack was unprovoked, according to a sheriff's report. The dog had been detained in the shelter after biting a mailman earlier this year. The child's mother sent graphic images of his injuries to Oswego Patch.

Animal rescue advocate Erik Devick told Patch that the county's Animal Control department needed an overhaul.

“The fact remains that the dog that did the biting is alive and another dog that didn’t show any signs of aggression was euthanized,” Devick said.

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Filed by Joseph Erbentraut  |