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Waukegan woman’s toy poodle killed by pit bull

Updated: July 11, 2012 4:58PM

It all happened so quickly.

Leona Wagner, 76, had put her toy poodle Precious on a leash and hooked it to the door so her dog could go in the front yard.

She usually joins the dog on the front porch in Waukegan, but on Saturday she went to the bathroom first.

“I’m usually out there with her,” she said Tuesday. This time, she heard a commotion and the leash pulling on the door.

She came out to find Precious had been attacked by an unleashed pit bull and killed in her front yard.

“I’m very upset. It’s very hard for me yet,” said Wagner of the death of her female poodle, which would have been 4 years old in August. Her children bought her the dog after the Solo Cup plant, where she worked, in Wheeling closed.

“They all decided to give me a dog. That day was a total surprise to me,” she said. Her children had given her a toy poodle once before that was named Sapphire.

“Precious liked to eat. She’d eat anything. When I eat, she likes to eat with me,” said Wagner, adding that the dog weighed about 15 pounds.

“Every night she would come up to me for a treat before we go to bed,” said Wagner. “When she was a puppy, I kept her in the kitchen and she wouldn’t want me to leave so she would try and block me.” But as the puppy grew up it learned that when she said “bye-bye” it would go into her cage all by herself.

According to Waukegan police, the pit bull is owned by Lisa Jones, 53, and Darrell Daniels, 23, who live just around the corner in the 800 block of Ash Street.

When police arrived on the scene, Daniels told them the pit bull broke a small dog chain to escape and ran down the street and attacked Precious.

He told police that he used a garden hose to get his dog to stop attacking the smaller dog and then he brought his dog back home. He said he gave his condolences to Wagner.

“Her and her grandkids came to apologize,” said Wagner, “but they were telling two different stories.”

Police ticketed the pit bull owners for allowing a dangerous animal in a public place and it was taken by the city animal warden. The animal warden’s office did not return a telephone call about what would happen to the dog.

Wagner said she called her alderman, Larry TenPas, but he did respond to her.

“There are a few of these dogs that run around without a leash. I see it all the time,” she said of her North Side neighborhood.

She was also upset to learn that if she had agreed to give her dog to the animal warden for disposal, it just would have ended up in a dumpster.

“I took her to the Beach Park Animal Hospital to be cremated,” she said.

She is still having a hard time accepting her Precious is gone.

She can visualize her sitting on the chair and looking at her. But once she gets over grieving, she will look to get another canine companion.

“I’ll get another one, definitely,” she said.

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