To the Editor – April 7, 2008

Discontent With "Peotone Puppy Mill" Investigation

It is looking more and more like the Will county state’s attorney is going to blow off the puppy mill horror

uncovered in a police bust March 1st in Peotone.

March 1 the Cook county and Will county sheriff police raided the residence of Nikima Wright, 10047 W. Offner Road, Peotone in response to an anonymous tip. They found 49 puppies living in horrid conditions, malnourished, dehydrated, and some in such poor conditionauthorities said they would have died within a week. The dogs were taken to PAWS humane society in Tinley Park where, after vetting, were put up for adoption. However, Wright, in a typical show of arrogance, has sued to get her "property" back so everything is on hold.

As of Friday, March 28 the Will county state’s attorneys’ office said the matter is still under investigation. One wonders why it takes a month to investigate such an open and shut case. Employeesat PAWS and the volunteer groomers who had to scrape the feces and matted urine hair from the dogs can attest to their condition. Further, the police deemed the situation so deplorable they ordered the animals removed. Wright could be charged with violations of the Humane Care for Animals Act as follows (emphasis added):

(Source: P.A. 92-454, eff. 1-1-02.)

(510 ILCS 70/2.10)

Sec. 2.10. Companion animal hoarder. "Companion animal hoarder" means a person who (i) possesses a large number of companion animals; (ii) fails to or is unable to provide what he or she is required to provide under Section 3 of this Act; (iii) keeps the companion animals in a severely overcrowded environment; and (iv) displays an inability to recognize or understand the nature of or has a reckless disregard for the conditions under which the companion animals are living and the deleterious impact they have on the companion animals’ and owner’s health and well-being.

(Source: P.A. 92-454, eff. 1-1-02.)

(510 ILCS 70/3)

Sec. 3. Owner’s duties. Each owner shall provide for each of his animals: (a) sufficient quantity of good quality, wholesome food and water;(b) adequate shelter and protection from the weather;(c) veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering; and (d) humane care and treatment.

Violation of this section of the Act is a class B misdemeanor. The next time a person violates it it’s a felony.

While we understand animal abuse and torture are low priority to the police and the authorities, the law is the law and their job is to enforce it — period — case closed.

Still, the Will County State’s Attorney plods along perhaps hoping the whole thing willblow overand they can let Ms. Nikima Wright continue business as usual.

By the way, I am a humane investigator and fully understand the law. It takes me less than an hour in most cases to "investigate."

Robert Nixon
Peotone, IL