Homeowner possibly responsible for dog's injury is dead - KMOV.com

Homeowner possibly responsible for dog's injury is dead

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Kerber's angry about her dog's injury; she blames her neighbor for not keeping the century-old oak tree on their property. (Credit: Kerber) Kerber's angry about her dog's injury; she blames her neighbor for not keeping the century-old oak tree on their property. (Credit: Kerber)
GRANITE CITY, Ill. (KMOV.com) -

Days after a large tree limb fell on a dog's hind leg, the owner is left searching for answers.

The dog, Toby, belongs to Amy Kerber.

"It's upsetting, it's not right, this is not right at all," said Kerber.

Kerber's angry about her dog's injury; she blames her neighbor for not keeping the century-old oak tree on their property.

"We shouldn't live in fear of going in the backyard," said Kerber.

She's not the only one worried about the aging tree.

"The sooner they could get this out of here would be the best thing to do for this neighborhood," said Lance Parmley, a neighbor.

It's not that easy, though.

Granite City officials said taxes haven't been paid on the property in two years and there's no license to rent it out as a living space, yet neighbors say two people are living there.

News 4 talked with one of them.

"Any plans on removing this, it seems like it's becoming a nuisance to neighbors in this community?" asked News 4's Eric Cox.

After trying to gather his thoughts, the anonymous resident said, "I don't have the say-so to trim the trees."

He did suggest someone who might have the say-so. Jamie Brooks, the son of Linda Brooks-Farmer, the woman Madison County recognizes as the current owner.

One problem, though.  Brooks-Farmer died in 2013 and the county tax assessor's office has no deed on file of her death.  

News 4 asked her son's wife why the property still hasn't been transferred four years after her death.

"My husband got laid off from U.S. Steel," replied Brooks' wife.

Brooks' wife said her husband and his four siblings can't afford to make fixes so they're leaving the property in limbo.

Granite City building inspectors say they're aware of the issue, but no ordinance allows them on private property to take care of the tree.  All they can do is continue issuing fines.

Certainly, this doesn't bring peace of mind to Kerber and her dog Toby.

"Somebody needs to be held accountable. They need to step up, take responsibility and do the right thing," said Kerber.

Granite City is looking into taking the Brooks family to court to let a judge decide how this situation should be handled.

Meanwhile, neighbors want more to be done about the people living there illegally.

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