Community Concerns

City authorities investigated after a woman in Morgan Park was accused of placing hot dogs laced with rat poison in her front yard in an attempt to harm dogs.

According to 19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea, residents brought their concerns to him about two weeks ago, and he said there is no evidence of any recent occurrences of poison being found.

He said that personnel from Chicago Animal Care and Control and the Chicago Police Department (CPD) became involved in responding to the complaints. O’Shea said the woman is upset that dogs are leaving their waste on the front lawn of her home in Morgan Park.

“I don’t believe for a minute that she wasn’t doing this,” O’Shea said. “I believe she was.”

Members of local Facebook groups have posted their concerns about the situation several times recently, saying pieces of poisoned hot dogs were discovered on the lawn and warning neighbors to be cautious.

O’Shea confirmed that poison pellets have been found on the woman’s front lawn, but not on the city parkway.

He said Animal Care and Control found no evidence of wrongdoing in the last two weeks.

Animal Care and Control Spokesperson Jenny Schlueter confirmed that in an investigation spanning several days during the week of April 19, no evidence was found.

She said an inspector and the department’s executive director visited the block and spoke with the woman and neighbors.

Schlueter said the woman denied placing hot dogs on her lawn, and officers advised her that, if she had concerns about unleased dogs, she should call 311. Officers also spoke with neighbors about the need to keep dogs leashed.

The woman and the neighbors who complained were amicable, Schlueter said, and they agreed to remove posts on Facebook about the situation.

Schlueter hopes such actions create a long-term solution, instead of just issuing fines.

“Having these kind of discussions,” she said, “we think is always better.”

Animal Care and Control workers also installed signage reminding residents to keep their dogs leashed, she said, and the department’s investigation has been completed.

According to the CPD Office of News Affairs, the woman has been in contact with police and reported she is being harassed and is a victim of racism.

On April 21, at about 4:30 a.m., officials said, a police report was filed for harassment by electronic means.

The woman, 65, stated that from April 14-16, a known offender posted the woman’s name, address and photo of her resident on social media, implying she was poisoning dogs.

The woman said multiple people come to her home per day, screaming racial slurs and obscene remarks. An attempt to reach her for comment was unsuccessful.

Detectives are investigating.

Schlueter said as the weather gets warmer, more people will be outside, and she hopes pet owners keep dogs leashed.

O’Shea said residents who have public-safety concerns shouldn’t just complain on social media but call city authorities.

He is optimistic that the situation will not cause further problems.

“I’m hopeful that because of the attention brought to it from law enforcement,” he said, “whatever she may have been doing, she will cease doing.”