Dog's visit to Santa ends in tragedy

By Jeff Williamson - Digital Content Manager

WEEK - NORMAL, Ill. (WEEK) - A woman's beloved dog is dead after an incident at Petco in Normal.

She said she wants to make sure something like this does not happen again.

The incident happened inside the Petco on College Avenue.

A woman said she was about to get her dog's picture taken with Santa when it was attacked and killed by another dog.

Blair Bourret can not erase the memories of her eight-year-old dog, Chloe, who died Saturday.

From the sweaters Chloe used to wear so proudly, to her empty bed, Bourret said nothing feels the same.

Even Chloe's best buddy, Frodo, cannot figure out what happened.

"She was more than just a pet," said Bourret. "She was my baby and love of my life. I've had her through everything. My heart is breaking."

Bourret and her boyfriend took Chloe on her final trip to Petco Saturday, hoping to get a picture with Santa.

But as they waited in line to pay, something terrible happened.

"The dog came over and got on top of Chloe," said Bourret. "It growled and lunged on her. Then, all of a sudden, we had to untangle her."

"To just see an animal attack her and to have her just gone like that is probably the most terrifying thing I've ever seen," said Bourret's boyfriend, Kevin Hankemeier.

Chloe was pronounced dead at the emergency vet with no bite marks, but vets did find blood coming from her mouth.

The dog in question has not been taken from its owner as police continue to investigate.

Witnesses told police the dogs never made contact, and Bourret aggressively yanked Chloe away from the loose dog.

Bourret said that is impossible because her dog was wearing a harness, not a traditional dog collar.

Petco said the dog in-question was off-leash, which is against store policy.

They have offered to pay for Chloe's autopsy bill and other expenses.

Bourret said the whole incident should have been prevented.

"If there were rules enforced that leashes had to stay on, my baby would still be here," said Bourret.

Bourret hopes to find out how Chloe died in the coming weeks.

She does hope to have her cremated.

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