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IL-Gurnee Upgrades Dangerous Dog law

Discussion in 'Dog Ordinances & Laws' started by apbtmom76, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. apbtmom76

    apbtmom76 Good Dog

    Gurnee upgrades dangerous-dog law

    Nearly 100 dog bites in five years



    November 19, 2008

    BY ED COLLINS Special to the News-Sun

    GURNEE -- With a growing number of dog bites, officials updated the village dog ordinance Monday night as it pertains to dangerous dogs.

    According to Gurnee police records, 66 people have been bitten by dogs in the village since 2004, but many were not classified as the result of a vicious-dog incident. Some incidents included dogs biting owners and family members and inadvertent bites that break the skin.

    There have been 24 animal bites reported this year, including dogs, cats and other domestic animals.

    Mayor Kristina Kovarik said there have been nearly 100 dog-bite reports filed with the police department over the past five years.

    Kovarik said the village's current dog ordinances are outdated, and she requested Village Attorney Bryan Winter to revise and incorporate recent changes made in the Illinois Animal Control Act.

    Winter said suggested goals for developing the new dog regulations are to provide greater protection to the public by suggesting a procedure to identify dangerous dogs before they injure someone, and provide procedures to evaluate both the behavior of the dog and the dog's owner.

    The proposed amendments do not ban specific breeds of dogs, nor do they arbitrarily declare a particular dog dangerous without specific due process proof, Winter said, noting that this is prohibited under several judicial rulings.

    Winter made it clear that the Lake County Animal and Rabies Control Ordinance remains in force. Dogs must continue to be registered and receive license and rabies tags annually through the county, and within 30 days after acquiring a new dog.

    However, the new ordinance clarifies procedures for defining "dangerous dogs" and how to deal with them.

    The ordinance provides for a due-process procedure in classifying a dangerous dog,
    requires a case-by-case evaluation of the dog, provides a hearing before a hearing officer before a dangerous dog classification is determined, preserves the right of residents to initiate proceedings, and offers an appeals process.

    The ordinance offers some legal criteria for adjudicating dangerous dog disputes. These include consideration of whether the dog has aggressively bitten, attacked, endangered or inflicted severe injury on a human being without provocation.

    Other criteria include if the dog has more than once severely injured or killed a domestic animal without provocation while off the owner's property. Also, has the dog menaced, chased or presented threat of attack upon a person on public property, or trained for dog fighting?

    The ordinance also distinguishes between a "menacing" dog and one "running at large." "Once a dog is determined to be dangerous," Winter told trustees, "the proposed ordinance imposes a number of requirements upon the dog owner to ensure the public's safety."

    Winter said the ordinance provides due process procedures in the event the village hearing officer determines the dog would be a continued public threat and must be humanely destroyed.

    Requirements include annual dog registration with the village and payment of a $250 fee, the dog to be confined, muzzled or leashed with appropriate warning signage on the property, have a microchip embedded in the dog and carry appropriate owner liability insurance.

    For complete details, contact Gurnee Village Hall for a pamphlet on the new ordinance.

    http://www.suburban chicagonews. com/newssun/ news/1286808, 5_1_WA19_ GURNVB_S1. article

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