Neighbor calls cops on mom who let 8-year-old walk dog by herself


WILMETTE, IL (WBBM/CNN) – An Illinois mom says someone called social services on her after she let her 8-year-old daughter walk their dog alone.

“I think it’s a crazy waste of resources,” Corey Widen said after having to go through a Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) investigation.

Her daughter Dorothy had just gotten home when a Wilmette police officer rang the doorbell and asked if it was her daughter who had just taken a little white dog for a walk.

“Why, did she do something wrong?” Widen asked.

No, the officer replied, but she then wanted to know how old Dorothy was, because they had gotten a call about an unattended 5-year-old.

Since the girl is 8, everything was OK, the officer told Widen.

But that wasn’t the end of the family’s trouble.

“Apparently whoever called the police didn’t think the police were a good enough judge of what was OK and not OK,” Widen said. “Then, they called DFCS. The police did not call DFCS.”

An investigation was launched and Widen hired an attorney to clear her name.

The matter was resolved in less than two weeks, but Widen says she was left with many questions and felt mom-shamed.

“You never know who did this to you, and it turns your life upside down like that,” she said.

“I’m a homeschool mom and I’m always with my kids. You can accuse me of a lot of things. Not supervising them is not one of them. My entire life revolves around them.”

Widen said the family won’t change its routine in the future. Dorothy will still walk their dog Mashmallow.

“It’s her one and only chore. It’s my decision, and it’s my family,” she said. “She’s my daughter, and I haven’t done anything wrong, so I’m not going to change anything I did.”

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