A 77-year-old Logan Square man found dead in his home with a puddle of blood at his feet apparently was killed by his own two bulldogs, the Cook County medical examiner ruled Tuesday.
Alexander Gillis was unresponsive when his son-in-law found him sitting in a kitchen chair about 10 p.m. Monday in the man's home in the 2600 block of West Logan Boulevard, according to a police spokeswoman.
When paramedics arrived a short time later, they noted that Gillis had multiple puncture wounds and lacerations to both of his calves, and tourniquets were tied around both of his ankles in an apparent effort to try to stop the bleeding.
It was unclear who tied the tourniquets, police said. Gillis' death, however, was caused by "multiple injuries from a dog attack," a Cook County spokeswoman said. The medical examiner's office has ruled the death accidental.
Police at the scene found Gillis' blood trailing through the house to the basement, where they found what police identified as two adult male English bulldogs.
But a spokeswoman for the city's Animal Care and Control unit said the dogs were either English or American bulldogs. They will remain at the city's pound until further notice from police, she said.
"Animal Control indicated that the dogs were very calm when they received them," police spokeswoman JoAnn Taylor said. Taylor said police are still investigating the matter, and it is unclear whether one or both dogs were involved in the killing and what--if anything--may have prompted the attack.
It is unusual for bulldogs to be overly aggressive, said breeder Ray Knudson, owner of Smasher Bulldogs in Kenosha County, Wis. As a breeder, he said he often recommends them as good companions, who tend to sleep as much as 20 hours a day. He said he warns his customers that if they are looking for a guard dog that they should look for something else--bulldogs aren't up to the job.
"They're very docile dogs. I've never heard of anything like this," Knudson said. "Bulldogs are big wimps."
Gillis, a retired general contractor from New Rochelle, N.Y., moved to Chicago about 15 years ago to live with his daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren, said his son, Alex Gillis.
Gillis declined to comment about the dogs or the nature of his father's death.
Priscilla Scienski, 79, Gillis' next-door neighbor, said Gillis loved the dogs and she would often see him playing with them.
"He said he bought the dogs for the kids, but I think he was the one who really cared for them," Scienski said.