We had record rainstorms here in the Chicago area over the weekend. 7 or 8 inches fell in one 24 period, most of it Friday night. We broke current records by more than double.

I just read this article in the local paper:

Winnetka Family Mourns Loss of Dogs Submerged in Flooded Basement


From the article:

The weekend storm didn’t wake Jim and Alex Cravens.

But when the Winnetka couple looked down the basement stairs Saturday morning, their hearts sank. Eight feet of water had submerged everything, including the three kennels containing their pets: Wickham, a Havanese; Emma, a Maltese; and Oscar, an English bulldog.

While the couple and their two sons slept upstairs, the basement filled with water until it nearly reached the top step. The family never heard a bark.

“We all loved them. It’s not losing a child, but it sure feels like it,” Jim Cravens said Monday, as crews worked downstairs.

“They were my babies,” Alex Cravens added, holding a tissue to her nose and trying to keep back the tears.


I am so sickened by this, I could spit. What possible reason could there be to keep dogs in a basement at night? The crates aren't enough to contain them? The crates don't "go" with the decor?

They were her "babies"?????? Did she put her human babies to bed in the basement????

Those dogs wouldn't have stood a chance even if they hadn't been crated. Tiny little dogs like a Maltese or a Havanese? A bracheocephalic, clumsy dog like an English Bulldog?

This may or may not have anything to do with it, but those unfamiliar with Winnetka, IL should know that it is ranked as the 29th highest income location in the United States.



I hope anyone who keeps pets in the basement reads this article. Maybe they will wake up.

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This is so upsetting that I cann't put into words the sadness that came over me while reading this.

Me too, Andy.


This so sad it brings tears to my eyes.  They probably lock the kids in their bedrooms at night too.  What morons!

Morons is right. Those poor dogs had the bad luck to end up with morons for owners.

My dogs sleep where we do...in our bedrooms. If something is going to happen to them, it will happen to us also.
That's the way it should be, Tracy. Even if a dog needs to be crated at night, why couldn't the crate be in the bedroom?
Our dogs are allowed to sleep where ever they want and it is almost always in our rooms. I don't have a basement but, if I did, I can't figure out why I would routinely want them down there?
Neither can I, Nancy. It's like people who keep dogs outside...like they're not fit to share your living space.
Keeping dogs, or any pets, in a basement is the same as locking them in a garage or restricting them to a yard.  It is cruel and I will never understand why anyone would even get a dog if that is how they are going to treat them.  My boy sleeps in my bedroom.  I've seen abused children and abused animals and I think anyone who wants to have a baby or a pet should be required to take (and pass) parenting classes!
When a person doesn't want to share their living space (and sleeping space) with their dogs, it speaks to a certain mentality that we can't understand, because we love dogs, and this kind of person does not. They get them because it fits their mental picture of what a family looks like, or because they're cute, or because the kids want them, or whatever wrong reasons they may have. All I know is, this type of person should not have dogs.

"We" can't understand it but I think it's important to mention there are cultural and socioeconomic reasons some people view and treat companion animals differently throughout the world. Certainly this is the case in the US and many times it is a matter of geographical location. Mostly it's a matter of education. It is our additional responsibility as rescuers to respectfully inform and inspire as many as we can to treat their family pets and animals in general with the respect they deserve.

I am sure that this family loved their dogs and dId not intentionally allow them to drown. Had they been properly educated and informed of the responsibilities that come with companion animal "ownership" this might not have happened.

Thanks, Jacquie.  I think many innocent dog lovers just don't know better.  Their trainers have told them to keep the dogs created, and of course crates don't go with the decor - although someone has finally helped to improve that with wooden tables that fit over the crates and wooden/brass crates.  But why not keep the crates upstairs?  or give the dogs a space of their own in a laundry room or mud room?  there are so many options.  This is a tragic story and a tragic lesson for many.  Obviously no sump pump alarms or back up sump pumps.  It may have been a beautiful finished basement, but at least they mourned the dogs and not the flat screen TV.




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