Man ticketed in suburban Chicago dog park for tree treatment

AP Strange News

This June 13, 2021 photo provided by the Forest Preserve District of Will County in Naperville, Ill., shows a tree at Whalon Lake Dog Park in Naperville that dog owner Asher Thomas sprayed, along with over a dozen other trees, with a pruning sealer that he thought would prevent further damage after another dog owner’s German shepherd had gnawed away the bark. Thomas is accused of “altering flora” and was ticketed by Forest Preserve police with a $225 fine. (Anthony Schalk/Forest Preserve District of Will County via AP)

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A man who said he sprayed trees in a suburban Chicago park to protect them after an anxious dog chewed off the bark has been ticketed by authorities.

Asher Thomas is accused of “altering flora” in a Naperville dog park. The ticket from the Will County Forest Preserve carries a $225 fine, the Aurora Beacon-News reported.

“Just as you can’t go around doing things to other people’s property, even if intentions are good, you can’t allow your dogs to do damage or spray a foreign substance on trees,” said Forest Preserve Deputy Police Chief Dave Barrios.

Thomas said he regularly takes his dog, Dixie, to Whalon Lake Dog Park and learned that another owner’s German shepherd had gnawed away the bark on more than a dozen trees.

He said he used a can of tree pruning sealer to cover the wounds.

“The whole purpose was to prevent trees from being lost,” said Thomas, who works for the U.S. Coast Guard. “What if I saved the trees? What if the other nine I did not spray died and the ones I treated lived?”

He said a “tree is worth more than gold” in his native state, Colorado.

Thomas said he’ll ask a judge to dismiss the ticket for “good Samaritan” reasons.

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