Kennel owner guilty of imperiling pets in flood
The owner of an unlicensed kennel in Naperville has been ordered to perform community service work for endangering 10 dogs and two cats that had to be rescued from the rising waters of the DuPage River during last spring’s flood.
Jean A. Li Petri, 69, is the owner and operator of Naperville Kountry Kennels, at 1804 S. Washington St. on the city’s south side. The kennel lies between Washington Street and the river.
Li Petri lives on the 3200 block of Farmgate Drive, in the Pencross Knolls area of Naperville’s far southwest side. She pleaded guilty in DuPage County Circuit Court in Wheaton to a misdemeanor charge of violation of owners duties/first offense.
Court records showed Judge Bruce R. Kelsey recently accepted Li Petri’s plea and ordered her to perform 75 hours of community service work as part of her penalty. Kelsey also placed Li Petri on a year of court supervision and ordered her to pay unspecified fines and legal fees, records indicated.
Naperville police went to the kennel at 11:01 p.m. April 18, the night of the flood. A distraught woman had called police to report that her 22-year-old daughter had been at a nearby car wash “when she heard the dogs making noise” inside the kennel, according to copies of written police reports obtained by The Sun.
The younger woman “had observed the dogs in the rising flood water” as the river began overflowing its banks, the reports stated. The mother corroborated her daughter’s statement, after she said she went to the kennel and “observed the buildings under water and saw the dogs standing in water,” the reports indicated.
A police officer who went to the rear of the kennel later that evening noted the water by that time “had risen past the dog runs and fully engulfed the kennel’s office with over a foot of water.”
The officer also saw two outdoor cages containing four dogs.
“One large dog was locked in a cage next to the office, and the water was clearly up to his mid-leg,” the officer reported. The other cage contained three dogs, “and the water was up to their feet and covered the cement floor,” according to the reports.
Two more dogs were found “tied to a railing in a garage-type structure,” the officer noted. The other seven animals were found inside the kennel.
Li Petri, when located by police, said 11 of the dogs and cats “were being boarded at the kennel by other dog owners.” The reports stated Le Petri told police “the water (had) never risen this high in the past, and only one time back in 1996 did the kennel flood.”
Reports also indicated police had been in contact with Li Petri earlier that evening, when she told them the pets were “being cared for by someone staying” at the kennel, which includes a private living area.
The mother and daughter who were renting the home from Li Petri subsequently told police theirs was an arrangement in which they did “not have any responsibility for the animals,” according to the reports. The mother added Li Petri, in a recent conversation with her, “said nothing about watching out for the dogs.”
Police and animal control officers rescued the pets, which included two chocolate Labrador retrievers, a beagle, a cocker spaniel and a Lhasa Apso. All were reunited with their owners.
Sgt. Steve Schindlbeck in April said police found the dogs and cats barking and meowing in distress. Investigators later contacted officials of the U.S. Department of Agriculture about the situation, and federal authorities “could not find an operating license for Kountry Kennels,” Schindlbeck said.
An examination of court documents revealed Li Petri had no record in DuPage, Kane and Will counties.