Friday, January 22, 1988

2-year-old Girl Mauled To Death By Family Dog

ILLINOIS -- A 2-year-old girl was mauled to death early Wednesday by her family's dog, which reportedly had always been protective of children.

Megan Stack was bitten about 6:50 a.m. by the family's black Labrador retriever, Toby, in the kitchen of their home at 4600 S. Harding Ave.

The girl`s father, James, 41, heard Megan screaming and ran downstairs to discover the dog biting the back of the child's head, according to Sgt. George Owen of the Brighton Park Area.

Stack, who works for a Southwest Side steel company, pulled the 75-pound dog from the child and locked it in the basement. Paramedics took the girl to Holy Cross Hospital, where she died at 9:20 a.m. Owen said the girl had been bitten on the right side of the face, her chin and the left side and back of her neck, and had a large cut on her head.

Three other children were in the home when the attack occurred, police said. The children`s mother, Mary, was driving to work to a Southeast Side school where she teaches.

The dog was later taken to the city's Animal Control and Care center, where it will be destroyed in 10 days. Peter Poholik, the center`s executive director, described the dog as "docile, not at all aggressive."

The Stacks got the 5-year-old dog about 8 months ago from friends who were moving and could not take the animal with them. "They never had any trouble with that dog," Poholik said. He described Labradors as excellent pets that are often used as Seeing Eye dogs.

Poholik said that since the dog had bitten someone, the center would destroy it.

Neighbors said Toby was always protective not only of the Stack children but also of other neighborhood youngsters.

(Chicago Tribune - January 21, 1988)