Dog taken away from owner in Knox County, state’s attorney investigating

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Several complaints about a dog left outside in sub-zero temperatures led to the Knox County Humane Society to take the dog away. The dog, Maverick, is described by neighbors as loving and energetic. A new law in Illinois allowed law enforcement and the humane society to keep Maverick for now; but a custody battle is underway.

Nancy Leonard with the Knox County Humane Society said they can take a dog, “if there’s a danger of the dog dying…or severe harm coming to the dog.”

Leonard said when they found Maverick, he was outside in the cold, with irritation on his nose. His owner, Kathy Kilburn, had a different opinion.

“His nose was not frostbit,” she said, “he scratches the heck out of it.”

Kilburn said she takes good care of her dog.

“We come out here..we break the ice so he can have his water…or we change his water […] and give him extra dog food. Tell me what dog gets better treatment than that?”

Kilburn also denied claims that his dog house was falling down, “It is not broken down, it is perfectly sturdy.”

One concerned woman said she has interacted with Maverick for three years and she does not think he’s being taken care of.

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“I don’t even know if they know he is there,” said Torry Devena, “I think at some point you could probably go right up there, grab the dog, and leave.”

Another person who complained, asked to remain anonymous. “He’s on a log chain 24/7, and I have been providing straw for him. I have been giving him food,” she said.

Kilburn insists Maverick has plenty of food, and straw to keep him warm. She said the dog actually prefers being in his doghouse outside vs. being inside.

Others still disagree. Some have even offered to take Maverick in.

“Give the dog to me, I will take him in,” said Devena.

Still, Kilburn plans to stand her ground.

“He’s not for sale and I’m not given him up. I don’t care what they want,” she said.

The state’s attorney is investigating this case.


This story will be updated. 

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