RANTOUL — The owners of four American bulldogs that attacked an animal control officer and had to be shot by a police officer will be cited by for dogs running at large and declaration of vicious or dangerous dog.
Rantoul police Lt. Justin Bouse said Rebecca Lance, 33, has been cited. Police continue to look for the dogs’ other owner, Arthur “AJ” Higgins, 34. Both reside in the 1400 block of Mather Drive.
Bouse said the four dogs rushed at a neighbor of the couple as she attempted to come out of her house the morning of July 8.
“She ran back in the house,” Bouse said. “They acted aggressively toward her, and she couldn’t leave the house.”
Animal control officer Danny Russell arrived to help, and as he exited his truck, the four American Bulldogs surrounded him and bit at his legs and arms as he was pinned against his truck. A Rantoul police officer arrived to help and turned on his siren in an attempt to district the dogs, but that did not work.
The officer exited his car and shot all four of the dogs, killing two of them. The two surviving dogs were taken for treatment at the University of Illinois Veterinary Medicine emergency clinic for treatment. Bouse said one of those dogs died. The fourth sustained a gunshot wound but is expected to survive.
Russell was taken to Carle Hospital, Urbana, for treatment to wounds on his arms. Bouse said Russell continues to have bandages on his arms. His legs were not injured as his blue jeans kept the dogs from puncturing the skin.
Bouse said Russell remained off work until July 13. The police officer, who was not injured, was allowed to take the rest of the day off.
Dogs running at large is subject to up to a $750 fine per occurrence and impoundment. The other, declaration of vicious and dangerous dog, will be determined at a hearing presided over by the village administrator. If the dog is deemed to be vicious, it will be put down. If declared dangerous and if the owners want to keep the dog, they will be required to take safety precautions such as erecting signage and building structures to maintain the safety and welfare of other animals and humans, Bouse said.