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Petland owners offer Christmas puppy to young murder victim’s brother

Updated: December 19, 2012 7:12PM

Tuesday is all but certain to be the saddest Christmas Matt Plackowski has ever known.

But thanks to the kindness of two Naperville merchants, it might be made just a shade brighter.

Plackowski, 20, is the older brother of Justin Plackowski, the 7-year-old boy who was viciously stabbed to death on Oct. 30, allegedly by the siblings’ mother, Elzbieta “Magda” Plackowska. The brothers spell their surname differently than their mother.

Olivia Dworakowski, 5, also died that evening, allegedly at Plackowska’s hand.

Naperville police said Plackowska also fatally slashed two pet dogs during her rampage on the city’s far northwest side. One of the dogs, a dachshund, was part of the Plackowski family.

Matt Plackowski is acquainted with an employee of the Petland store at 720 S. Route 59, opposite the Westfield Fox Valley shopping center in Aurora. The employee recently mentioned their friendship to shop owners Adam Stachowiak and Mike Isaac.

Stachowiak said Matt Plackowski “came into the store the other day and said he wanted a dog.” Stachowiak said he and Isaac then considered “everything that’s gone on in his life this year, and how there’s not much anybody can do about any of that.”

“But we thought, in light of the holidays, hopefully a new puppy will bring some light and help him to focus on the future,” Stachowiak said.

“So we’re letting him pick out a free puppy. Anything he wants.”

Matt Plackowski is expected to visit the store and choose his new companion around noontime Wednesday. Stachowiak saluted the owners of the Glen Ellyn Animal Hospital, who are providing a free year of medical care for the puppy.

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