Dogs banned from Chicago firehouses after fatal attack
CHICAGO (AP) — Dogs have been banned from Chicago firehouses after one ran free, fatally attacking a family dog that was being walked near the station, officials said Tuesday.
The Chicago Fire Department says an overhead door was being repaired at a West Englewood fire station over the weekend, allowing a dog named Bones, believed to be a mixed-breed stray, to leave the firehouse.
“Any and all prior permissions for dogs in the fire stations or on fire apparatuses are hereby revoked,” acting Fire Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt wrote in a department memo.
Fire department spokesman Larry Langford said it is expected firefighters will give the ousted mascots a place in their own homes. Langford, who in a social post said he was familiar with Bones, acknowledged there will be hurt feelings because of the order.
Jim Tracy, president of the union that represents Chicago firefighters, said most of the city’s firehouse dogs are strays that get picked up and brought to firefighters by the public. The fire crews and paramedics care for the dogs, train them, feed them and get them inoculated and spayed or neutered, then ask and usually get, formal permission to keep the dogs on site.
Tracy noted firefighters and paramedics deal with heartbreaking things and while the animals may not be a comfort dog with all the papers, they are a comfort for them.
“I hope we somehow find a way to get this decision reversed,” Tracy said.
Langford said the department will check with all 96 firehouses to make sure dogs are removed.