Dogs have been banned from all Chicago fire stations following a deadly attack on a smaller canine, department officials said.
The city’s acting fire commissioner, Annette Nance-Holt, issued guidance Monday mandating any “pets or mascots” at Chicago’s roughly 100 fire stations be removed after a mixed-breed stray dog living at Engine 116 named Bones attacked a woman’s smaller dog, killing the animal.
“Effective immediately, any and all prior permissions for dogs in the fire stations or on fire apparatuses are hereby revoked,” the department memo read. “All house captains, chief officers and other supervisors are ordered to ensure the immediate and safe removal of all dogs from all CFD facilities, without exception.”
The unprovoked attack by Bones outside the fire station in the city’s Englewood section happened as a woman who lived nearby walked her small dog, possibly a Shiz Tzu, department spokesman Larry Langford told The Post Tuesday.
Langford said he lives near the firehouse and regularly spotted Bones, who never before caused any issues at the station.
“Bones had a good disposition, I’ve seen him at the firehouse and he was a docile dog,” Langford said. “Why we went after that small dog, I have no idea.”
The dog’s owner was not hurt during the attack — the first fatal incident involving a firehouse dog on record that Langford could recall, the longtime CFD spokesman said.
There had been previous incidents involving firehouse dogs chasing people or being removed from stations, but there were no prior reports of the canines being involved in attacks on other dogs, Langford said.
“I don’t have any cases where a neighborhood dog was killed or a person was injured,” the spokesman recalled.
The move to ban dogs from firehouses was denounced as an “awful decision” by the administrator of a Facebook group called CFD Firehouse Pups.
“I seriously can’t understand who would have made such an awful decision and not consider what these animals do for us on a regular basis,” the administrator wrote. “I hope we somehow find a way to get this decision reversed.”
Fire officials will conduct checks to make sure the dogs have been removed, a department spokesman told NBC Chicago.
The majority of the city’s firehouses do not currently house dogs, department spokesman Larry Merritt told The Post.
Langford, meanwhile, said on the Facebook page he was as “sad to see the dogs go” as anyone.
“I also feel the pain of the neighbor who watched as Bones attacked and killed her dog while she walked it past the firehouse over the weekend,” Langford wrote. “The department had little choice but to send the pups packing. We hope they can all find good homes with members.”
Department brass had little choice other than to send the dogs packing, Langford said.
“I will miss Bones as we all miss the pups but it must be done,” his post continued. “I would hate to see another pup or worse a child attacked by one of our own.”