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Lincoln Park, Old Town

PAWS, A No-Kill Animal Shelter, ‘Very Sad’ After Putting Down Dog

The dog, Karl, had become aggressive, according to the shelter.

Karl, a pit bull, was euthanized by PAWS Chicago.
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CHICAGO — The city’s largest no-kill animal shelter euthanized a dog Friday night.

PAWS Chicago, which has an adoption center in Lincoln Park, said in a statement it put down a pit bull who had acted aggressively and bit a temporary owner several years ago.

The dog, Karl, was originally transferred from Animal Care and Control to PAWS more than a year ago, according to the shelter. Karl had two broken legs and was adopted after his recovery.

But Karl bit his new owner and was returned to the shelter at 8 months old, PAWS said.

The shelter tried to identify Karl’s triggers and worked with a veterinarian behaviorist to modify his behavior, according to PAWS, but with time he became unpredictably aggressive toward his PAWS handler.

“Recently, with maturity, other concerning behaviors and unpredictable triggers surfaced that made us question his safety to the public,” PAWS said. “Despite intensive training, that aggression compounded over time, leading to an increasingly unsafe and untenable position.”

PAWS decided to euthanize Karl, a move the shelter called a “necessary act of mercy and community safety.” The shelter’s staff was saddened by the decision, PAWS said.

Though PAWS is a no-kill shelter, it will euthanize animals under three circumstances, according to its website: If an animal is too ill for recovery, if an animal has “severe aggression” and if an animal is suspected to have rabies.