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IL: Park Ridge Sets New Dangerous Dog Regulations

Discussion in 'Dog Ordinances & Laws' started by Vicki, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Administrator

    New ordinance sets 'dangerous dog' regulations

    February 16, 2010

    By JENNIFER JOHNSON jjohnson@pioneerlocal.com

    New laws concerning the ownership of so-called "dangerous dogs" are now in effect following five months of deliberation and revisions by the Park Ridge City Council.

    The ordinance approved by the council Jan. 28 expands the criteria for an animal to be considered dangerous and establishes the definition of an "at-risk" animal. The ordinance does not set breed-specific regulations.

    An Animal Commission, which will consist of three members appointed by the mayor, will have the authority of designating a specific pet as "dangerous" or "at-risk" based on a recommendation from the city's police chief or other department official.

    The formation of the Animal Commission has not yet begun, but potential members will be interviewed and recommended by the Mayor's Advisory Committee, said Mayor David Schmidt.

    According to the ordinance an animal can be declared dangerous if it commits an unprovoked attack on a person resulting in injury. An animal cannot be declared dangerous if it bites or attacks someone trespassing on its owner's property, harms a person who has abused or tormented it, or attacks, but does not maul, another pet in the city's dog park.

    Highlights of the ordinance include the following:

    • Owners of animals designated as dangerous by the Animal Commission are required to keep the animal confined within a building or secured enclosure. When outside a confined area the animal must be leashed, muzzled and supervised by the owner or a family member age 16 or older.

    • Dangerous animals will not be permitted to live within 500 feet of a school, public park, playground or daycare facility unless the animal lived at the residence prior to the adoption of the ordinance.

    • Owners of dangerous animals, or those caring for them, must maintain an insurance policy of at least $100,000.

    • Within 10 days of receiving a "dangerous animal" designation the owner is required to post a city-approved sign at all entrances to their property. The sign must state "dangerous animal."

    • Dangerous animals cannot be kept on a porch, patio or anywhere they can exit the property.

    • Dangerous animals must be spayed or neutered, and both dangerous and at-risk animals must have a microchip implanted, all at the owner's expense. The city's Finance Department will keep a copy of the microchip number.

    • Dangerous and at-risk animals must receive private obedience training within 90 days of being declared dangerous or at-risk.

    • Failure to get a license for a dangerous animal can result in a $500 fine. The fine is $100 for failing to license an at-risk animal.

    Animal owners can appeal a dangerous animal or at-risk-animal designation by filing a written request to the city manager within 10 days of receiving the designation.

    For animals labeled at-risk the designation can be withdrawn by the Animal Commission if no incidents have been reported after two years.

    Also added to the city's ordinance concerning animals is a section prohibiting the use of a property for dog fighting.

    Setting stricter regulations for animals capable of doing harm to humans was the recommendation of 3rd Ward Alderman Don Bach following an attack on a resident by a pit bull last year.

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