Kendall Animal Control director resigns
By Steve Lord firstname.lastname@example.org August 2, 2011 7:20PM
Updated: November 16, 2011 1:45AM
YORKVILLE — The beleaguered Kendall County Animal Control warden has resigned.
Christine Johnson, who had been on administrative leave since Friday for euthanizing the wrong dog and then lying about it, resigned rather than face action on her job situation by the Kendall County Board.
The resignation was announced by County Board Chairman John Purcell before Tuesday night’s meeting, which Johnson did not attend. Immediately after the announcement, board members said they no longer needed a closed session at which Johnson’s employment situation was to be discussed.
The resignation was just part of an emotional meeting at which both Purcell and Board member Anne Vickery, Animal Control Committee chairman, apologized and said the county takes full responsibility for the situation that saw a dog euthanized that maybe should not have been, and a dog with a biting record mistakenly adopted back into the community.
“Not one of us here is proud of what happened,” Purcell said. “We will make improvements, I promise you.”
Vickery said she “can’t apologize enough for what happened.”
“We will be implementing all kinds of procedural items,” she said. “You have to remember, a lot of these dogs are brought to us as problem animals.”
The spotlight has been on Kendall’s Animal Control facility since two weeks ago, when Shannen Flores, of Oswego, showed the board photos of the damage sustained by her son, Gavin, 6, when he was bitten by a bull mastiff at the center July 3 while working with his father there.
The child and his father were petting the dog when it bit Gavin in the face. He required surgery, and because of complications at the hospital, was in critical condition in danger for his life for a while.
Johnson had told the public and board members that the dog, Moose, had been euthanized. The dog came to Animal Control because it had bitten a postman in Montgomery May 31.
It turned out the dog was adopted-out to a family in Lake Holiday near Somonauk, in LaSalle County, and Johnson lied about it being euthanized. She had shown another bull mastiff that was euthanized and said it was Moose.
That came out last Friday at a special Animal Control Committee meeting when committee members and Johnson were confronted by Erik Devick, a Plano man who is involved with dog rescue operations. He had knowledge of Moose’s whereabouts.
At Tuesday night’s meeting, Devick pounded the podium as he criticized the Animal Control facility and its operation, saying “this board is responsible for it.”
Flores also said there needs to be more accountability between Animal Control and the County Board, saying the board should have supervised the operation better. “I don’t think it starts just with Christine Johnson,” she said.