Oct 21, 1987 Evanston Law Aims to prevent Pit Bull Attacks

Oct 21, 1987 Law May Restrain Dog Owners

Evanston - Pit bull owners beware - Evanston doesn't like your pets.

The Evanston Police Services Committee made that clear last night when, after a public hearing, it passed "the nuclear weapon of animal control ordinances," according to one alderman.  This first-ever legislation, if approved by the city council, would require owners of pit bulls and other dangerous dogs to restrain their animals from attacking passers-by.

Although the proposal did not refer to any specific breed, Ald. John Bleveans (7th) said the nationwide uproar over pit bulls this summer prompted the aldermen to draft another dog control ordinance.  Extensive leash, license and noise control laws already exist.

"I live next door to five pit bulls.  If we had known that when we bought the house, we never would've bought the house," said 2nd Ward resident Leslie Swenson.  "The noise level and the smell are horrendous."

The three-page ordinance defines dangerous dogs as those with "a known propensity to attack unprovoked, to cause injury or to otherwise endanger the safety of human beings or domestic animals.

At Swenson's suggestion, the ordinance was amended to restrict residents to one dog per single-family dwelling.  Currently, animal lovers can own as many dogs as they wish.

The ordinance also prohibits dangerous dog owners to keep theri pets on a porch or patio and requires the animals to be confined to a pen 6-feet high.

Furthermore, the ordinance says, the animals must be licensed and insured for not less than $100,000.  First-time violators could be fined as much as $500 and repeat offenders could be sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Evanston Police Cmdr. Frank Kaminski said he hadn't received any complaints of residents being attacked, but that the ordinance was a good preventive measure.

The Daily Northwestern, Ocot 21, 1987, p.7