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Bolingbrook Woman Saves Abused Pit Bull Pups

Find out how you can help a dozen pups in need of medical care and forever homes.

Coco, who is at Players for Pits in Carol Stream, is looking for a forever home. Credit: Cathleen Steinkuller
Coco, who is at Players for Pits in Carol Stream, is looking for a forever home. Credit: Cathleen Steinkuller
They're calling them the "Englewood 12" — a dozen tiny puppies, ranging from 10 to 14 weeks old, kept outside in the cold, neglected and abused in just a few short weeks of life.

Pet rescue volunteer Lauren Weber of Bolingbrook said she found out about the pit bull pups last Tuesday. She said the unfortunate pooches were being kept at a home in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood, where the owner was threatening to either throw them away, or to use them as bait dogs for fighting.

When the owner refused to turn the dogs over to animal control, Weber did the only thing she could think of: She begged.

"I literally had to beg them to give them to me," Weber said. "I just wanted to get them out of there." 

In the end, the 12 puppies — all covered in feces and some with deep, infected bite wounds from older dogs — came home with her. The young dogs showed signs of abuse.

"They would stiffen up and turn their heads away" when being touched, Weber said. "The [owner] was picking them up by their legs to give them to me ... Most of them were very fearful."

Weber said she took the pups home to Bolingbrook, where her mom helped her bathe them. Then, she began trying to place them. Luckily, the pit bull rescues were more than happy to help.

"In six hours, rescues had stepped up for all of them," Weber said. "It was amazing how fast these rescues were able to step in."

Weber said Stephanie Plauch of Players for Pits coordinated the rescues, and now they are working to get the pups adopted through several other pit bull rescues: Pit Crew Illinois, Rescue Warriors and It's a Pittie Rescue, known for its efforts to save the famous "Mama Petunia," whose tragic story touched hearts all over Chicagoland and whose pups live on.

Nearly all of the dogs needed medical care, but one pup, the tiny Tucker, who weighs just barely 10 pounds, is in especially serious condition.

"He's still fighting," Weber said of the pooch, believed to have been bitten by an older dog, whose tooth punctured his jaw, causing an abscess that went untreated.

"Because of the infection, his jaw is literally crumbling," she said.

How you can help, or adopt a pup

Tucker, along with fellow pups Tanner and Tater, remain at Pit Crew Illinois in Chicago.

Coco — who suffered an open bite wound on her head — is awaiting her forever home, along with fellow pups Piper and Chip, at Players for Pits in Carol Stream.

Timmy and Pepper are also looking for forever homes. They are at It's a Pittie Rescue in Peotone.

Rescue Warriors in Elgin has already adopted out two pups, Lilo and Lulu. Two more pups, Maui and Stitch, are available for adoption.

Visit the rescues' websites to find out how to make donations or inquire about adopting a pooch:
Jae Pea February 21, 2014 at 12:26 PM
How can someone "refuse" to turn abused animals over to Animal Control? I don't understand why the dogs weren't forcibly taken away from him, and then the owner arrested???
stephanie paluch February 21, 2014 at 12:38 PM
Jae Pea - I run Players for Pits. What the article says is that Lauren Weber (the volunteer) tried to get the guy to hand them over to animal control in order to just get them out of the cold. In Chicago rescues like our own can monitor what comes into animal control so we were waiting for the puppies to come in. However, he refused to turn them over, most likely in fear of getting in trouble. Animal control can seize a dog is abuse is seen or documented. They were not requesting the puppies be turned over. The volunteer was. What my rescue was able to do was step in and make sure that these puppies did not need to go to animal control and instead went directly to our rescue and 3 others who had foster homes set up and waiting. We are working on pressing charges further but its a long process. To follow their story please follow us on facebook where we post updates on the puppies. facebook.com/playersforpits
Lu Nedich February 21, 2014 at 02:23 PM
It says that the pups were bitten by older dogs. Were older dogs left at the site? What condition were they in. Great that the pups were out but won't this owner just breed more?
joe March 01, 2014 at 02:19 PM
This is the Englewood District of Shitcago people. The aggregate IQ of Englewood is 50, the crime rate there is one of the highest in the city. These generations of welfare recipients treat their children the same way they treat their dogs. Lauren, you're one brave lady going into that area to rescue the pups for sure. Areas like this will never change, the hoods have been around for years, and the abuse, and killings will continue daily. This isn't racist people, it's factual.

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