Chicago woman claims dogs held in pound, wrongfully accused in a - FOX 32 News Chicago

Chicago woman claims dogs held in pound, wrongfully accused in attack

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A Chicago woman is claiming that two of her dogs have been held in the city dog pound for more than a month, even though a judge decided they were the victims in a case of mistaken identity.

The dog's owner is disappointed that the Chicago Commission on Animal Care and Control continues to claim her dogs are dangerous, despite a judge's ruling to the contrary.

"We won the case," she says. "Just let the dogs out. I don't know what to do anymore."

For the last three months, two of Tracy Bartels' dogs, Axel and Angus, have been behind bars, at Chicago's Animal Shelter.

In August, Bartels was charged with refusing to move the two mastiffs out of Chicago because they had bitten a next door neighbor in June, and banished from the city. So the dogs were taken from her.

Bartels, though, claims it was Rory and Hunter, two mastiffs she owned earlier last summer, who had bitten the neighbor, and when they were declared dangerous, she had sent them to a new owner in South Dakota.

"I did it all on my own because I promised my neighbor for her sake that I would remove the dogs because I didn't want her to feel uncomfortable," Tracy explains.

But in August, the neighbor claimed Rory and Hunter were back. Bartels says police showed up and picked up Axel and Angus.

If Rory and Hunter could still be found, this would be a simple case, but at a trial in August, a witness swore they'd been killed by coyotes. But the judge ruled for Bartels, saying that the city failed to prove that Axel and Angus were the same two dogs who had been declared dangerous. The dogs, though, were not released.

"They have won their case in court," Tracy says. "They've won their day and Animal Control still refuses to release them."

The city, in a motion filed this afternoon, says it can confine the dogs while it appeals the case, because of strong evidence that "...the subject dogs are, in fact, the same dogs that were previously declared dangerous...."

Bartels attorney says a judge already heard the evidence, and disagreed.

"It's a case of mistaken identification," says defense attorney Adam Sheppard. "These dogs that are in custody are wrongfully detained and they're wrongfully accused, quite frankly."

The motion filed by the city on Tuesday wasn't filed until after FOX 32 started asking questions about why these dogs were still being held. Bartels lawyer wonders how the dogs could have been held for so long without that paperwork.

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