Woman upset after dog taken from her home and euthanized

RACINE -- A Racine woman is mourning the loss of her beloved dog, who she says was euthanized against her will. 73-year-old Joann Lonkoski says the cops showed up at her home and her dog, Henry, was taken away.

Henry, a 17-year-old springer spaniel was taken from Lonkoski's home in Racine, and it's believed Henry was euthanized the same day.

Lonkoski says March 9th, police were called to her home. Documents show a welfare check was performed, and authorities were concerned one of Lonkoski's dogs fell down the basement stairs and Lonkoski was unable to help.

The police report describes a foul odor inside the home, and conditions inside not suitable for the dog. When officers found Henry in the basement of the home, they believed he was in a lot of pain. A supplementary report states Henry had a large, inflamed tumor, which was preventing Henry from walking.

Lonkoski denies any neglect allegations, and when Henry was taken away from her, she says she begged officials not to take him. "The whole world came down on me since he's gone. I miss him terribly," Lonkoski said.

Henry was transported to Countryside Humane Society, and in a March 16th letter, the shelter told Lonkoski Henry was humanely euthanized.

While police reports say Lonkoski said her goodbyes to Henry, Lonkoski says euthanizing him was a decision authorities made without regard for her feelings.

FOX6 News called and visited Countryside Humane Society for comment on this story. No one was available, and no one returned our call.

Lonkoski received five pet-care citations, totaling more than $1,100.

Lonkoski says she harbors grief and regret that she wasn't able to be with Henry when he died, and had to find out through a letter. "I wanted to hold him in my arms and let him go to heaven," Lonkoski said.

Legal action was taken to try to get Henry back, but that filing is no longer relevant. People working with Lonkoski are now considering filing a civil rights lawsuit against the city, police and Countryside Humane Society. That could happen within the next two weeks.

CLICK HERE to read more on this story via the Racine Journal Times.