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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:
Sally Jamieson February 19, 2014 at 08:36 PM
Lauren Weber, you are an angel! Thank you for saving the lives of these poor puppies. I hope they all live happy, healthy lives in loving homes. They at least have a chance, thanks to you.
Amy Adkins February 19, 2014 at 08:51 PM
What an amazing thing you have done for these poor puppies. You are a beautiful person Lauren, wish there were more people like you out there.
teri February 19, 2014 at 09:00 PM
I don't think players for pits is located in englewood r they ? Regardless this is amazing show of love. I give the women who went to englewood kiddos. That was a balsy move:) animal lovers have guts and determination
Brandie Baracani February 19, 2014 at 09:14 PM
Kudos to Lauren!! What I want to know is how the owner was able and allowed to keep the dogs and refuse animal control to take them?? This is clearly abuse he needs to be arrested and charged to the fullest extent of the law
Krissy Malzone February 19, 2014 at 09:34 PM
Was anything reported about the owner such as animal abuse?? I hope he gets arrested!!!
Christina Mcintyre February 19, 2014 at 09:38 PM
I love pit bulls they are amazing dogs and have a bad wrap because of people who fight them. great job saving them. prayers for all of them to have a long healthy life in a warm loving forever home. ill share this link on my fb and with friends to spread the word to those looking to adopt.
Judy Boyko February 19, 2014 at 10:39 PM
Who ever the person was who had them should be convicted of animal abuse for each of those puppies! What is going on that this ahole is not paying for what he or they did! Geeeez
Linda February 19, 2014 at 10:41 PM
Sooo angry at that miserable example of a human being for treating those innocent pups so cruelly!. Glad the pups are safe now. Ms Weber is an angel!
Nancy Brewer February 19, 2014 at 11:25 PM
God Bless you for coming to their rescue! Its just not fair this piece of garbage can get away with this. I know he'll have to answer to God about this.
Jill Donna February 19, 2014 at 11:46 PM
THANK YOU, LAUREN WEBER, for begging to get these pittie puppies out of their situation. YOU are a special person!!!
Melissa N Daryl Weppner February 20, 2014 at 08:59 AM
You are an angel! Thank you <3
John Jacobson February 20, 2014 at 10:32 AM
Someone should go back an kick the crap out of the owner
pat February 20, 2014 at 10:46 AM
All these letters of outrage and not one offer of help.
stephanie paluch February 20, 2014 at 11:14 AM
Players for Pits is located in Carol Stream and serves the western suburbs for dog rescue and adoptions. We are pursing legal action for the older remaining dogs however its a long process and we want to ensure these people are never allowed to own dogs ever again so the right steps have to be taken now and we are working with law enforcement. Any questions or if you'd like to help in any way please email playersforpits@yahoo.com
Judi Cornfield February 20, 2014 at 11:17 AM
This asshole seems to know where there is dog fighting. Get the information out of him and throw his ass in jail for a long time. He should NEVER be allowed to own any pets!
Bill February 20, 2014 at 11:42 AM
Why didn't Chicago animal control have the asshole arrested?
paula February 20, 2014 at 11:57 AM
There has to be something terribly messed up in a person's brain and heart, to be so egregiously inhumane to a small, helpless creature......for no other reason than to be a MONSTER. WHY would he not simply call the ASPCA......any animal shelter or rescue agency.....give them to others for free, and rid himself of these babies?? I could not even look someone like this in the face without wanting to slap the crap out of him. He's a real low life.
Jim Grosser February 20, 2014 at 11:59 AM
What an amazing kind woman for saving those tiny bundle of lovely puppies, Thank You from a animal lover that would had done the same thing you did.
Janet697 February 20, 2014 at 01:16 PM
what a wonderful woman for not giving up on those poor puppies. Why did animal control leave such abused puppies with the scum bag that had them. I wish some big tough guys could get hold of the scumbag and give him what he deserves. What a pathetic society we all ive in when people think it is okay to fight dogs against each other and to torture baby innocent animals.
Judith February 20, 2014 at 07:39 PM
Thank you, Lauren Weber! The pups will all find loving homes thanks to you. I wish that the a**hole who had them could be chained up outside in the cold, left to wallow in his own feces, and have wounds inflicted on him that would get infected. Wouldn't it be great if people who abused animals could be made, under the law, to suffer the same conditions as did the abused animals?
Brenda Scott February 20, 2014 at 08:25 PM
Thank you for not walking away and giving up on those puppies, there should be more caring people out there like you to make a difference. I think this man should have to pay for what he did , this is a crime.
Dross Cool February 21, 2014 at 06:06 AM
MESSAGE TO THE OWNER OF THE PUPS,,,, I HOPE YOU END UP ABUSED LIKE THE PUPPIES ,, U ARE PURE TRASH
Dross Cool February 21, 2014 at 06:07 AM
ANYONE WHO HURTS ANY ANIMAL ,, SHOULD BE JAILED AND FORCED TO HARD LABOR ,,, HOW DARE YOU
Sammie February 21, 2014 at 07:28 AM
Wait... he "rufused to turn them over to animal control?" Since when should Animal Control even have to ask PERMISSION in cases of abuse??? Let's hear their name... let's hear the name of the coward who did this. And why haven't they been arrested??????
Sammie February 21, 2014 at 07:33 AM
Where is Rescue Ink when you need them?
Donna Lynn Bravo-Sybert February 21, 2014 at 11:12 AM
was the guy arrested?? If not why not
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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