Evanston police have arrested a man on charges of violating a state law that bars felons from possessing unneutered dogs.

Police Commander Tom Guenther says that police were first tipped off to the activities of Shelton Lee Bell, 36, of 2102 Jackson Ave., by a anonymous caller in June who reported seeing Bell wearing a padded bite suit around his home.

Guenther says the police — based on surveillance over an extended period of time — learned that Bell had two unneutered pit bull dogs, that the dogs had expired rabies vaccinations and no city licenses and that Bell was a felon.

Based on that information, Guenther says, the department’s Neighborhood Enforcement Team executed a search warrant at Bell’s home last Friday that resulted in the recovery of a variety of devices used to train dogs for fighting, as well as the two dogs.

He’s due to appear in district court in Skokie on Oct. 6 to face the misdemeanor charges.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Misdemeanor for dog fighting?

    Great job to the Neighborhood Enforcement Team!  I cannot believe, however, that dog fighting only warrants misdemeanor charges.  Something is seriously wrong with that.

    1. No, sorry. It’s the details-

      He wasn’t charged with dog fighting, he was charged with owning non-neutered dogs, not having up-to-date vaccinations, and valid dog license. Totally different [pardon the pun] animals.  If it was most anyone else it would have just earned a citation (or maybe a warning) and a fine. Since Bell had a "history" with the police, he was arrested and the dogs taken away.

      Now, living nearby and seeing Bell and his dogs in the neighborhood I can honestly say that they were two of the nicest dogs I’ve come across. Sweet, friendly, and well mannered dogs who both loved getting their ears scratched, and never behaved badly or threateningly when I saw them. I never would have guessed that he had anything to do with dog fighting or training the dogs for aggressiveness.


      1. Nice Neighbor!

        Charon the ferryman,

        Since you are such a fan of this individual, you must certainly know why and for what reasons he has a "history" with the Police.  Please share Charon.

        And yes, if it were "anyone else" it would be a different story. That is of course if they weren’t convicted felons like Mr. Bell.

        Having a bite suit, a "Chew tire", and loose dog teeth in his home doesn’t make him a bad guy. He must just like to play a little ‘ruff ‘ with his lil’ dogs.

        Michael Vick wasn’t a bad guy either…..

        1. Honestly –

          I’m not a "fan" of the guy, just relaying a bit of information. I know nothing of his history or why he was convicted of whatever felony may have happened. I know Mr Bell only as a good neighbor, and the dogs (Tango & Cash) only as gentle sweet animals who would sometimes "visit" with my dog for puppy-type playing in the yard.

          It was surprising to see the dogs being loaded on the end of a stick-lasso by Animal Control officers, understandable considering the breed, but a surprise none-the-less. Surprising also was that he was training the dogs that way, something I never would have suspected from the few conversations we had about dog handling and training.

          I hope that answers your questions. I’m not a fan of anyone fighting animals of any sort for sport, and knowing (now) that it’s been happening so near my home puts a new, and suspicious, light on some of the recent activity here.

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