Feb 22, 2006 State Lawmakers Propose Law Allowing Municipalities to Ban Specific Breeds

Chicago - When state Rep. Michael Tryon proposed legislation last month to control pit bulls, he quickly learned that some dog owners could be as difficult to handle as their pets.

The evening after Tryon (R-Crystal Lake) proposed a law that would let municipalities ban specific breeds, his fax machine started whirring non-stop. It finally jammed after spitting out nearly 500 protest letters, some from as far as California.

As the momentum to control dangerous dogs swells across Illinois and nationwide, dog owners have emerged as a well-organized and loud group of activists.

Nationwide, roughly 230 cities in 32 states have pit bull legislation either passed or proposed, said Alan Beck, a professor at the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University.

So Tryon is not alone, Beck said.

"It's not like there is just this huge groundswell of pit bull people," said Beck, who has testified in Canada in support of a pit bull ban and has been on the receiving end of hate mail from dog owners. "They are just organized and noisy."

In Illinois, about 10 dangerous-dog bills or amendments are being discussed, most of them from politicians in districts where pit bull attacks have occurred.

Tryon acted in response to a Nov. 5 attack near Cary in which two children and four adults were severely injured by three pit bulls that escaped from their owner's home.

"In Illinois our laws are all about the animals and not the people," Tryon said. "Every time we try to do something about this, the lobbyists for [animal-welfare groups] get 5,000 people to jam our fax machines."

Read more:
Chicago Tribune

Related posts:
Pit Bull Problem Statements and BSL

Feb 03, 2006 Cop Shoots At Pit Bull in Lombard Incident

Lombard - A Lombard police officer helping federal law enforcement officers serve a warrant shot at a pit bull Thursday afternoon after the dog tried to attack him, authorities said.

The officer was watching the back door of a home in the 100 block of Majestic Drive on Thursday afternoon while agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives served a warrant against a man at the home, said Thomas Ahern, spokesman for the ATF. While waiting for the federal authorities to serve the warrant, the officer saw a pit bull come out of the house and move forward in a "threatening manner," Ahern said.

The officer then fired one shot at the dog. The dog suffered a minor injury, but authorities aren't sure if the officer struck the dog or if the dog was injured when he then hit a fence, Ahern said.

The ATF served warrants against one man at the residence and then learned a second man there had an outstanding warrant, Ahern said. He would not disclose what the warrants were for, saying only that they involved federal firearms or narcotics violations. Both men were taken into custody.

Read more:
Chicago Tribune

Related posts:
DuPage County pit bull attacks

Feb 02, 2006 Several Recent Waukegan Pit Bull Attacks Prompt Aldermen to Look at BSL

Feb 02, 2006 Several Recent Waukegan Pit Bull Attacks Prompt Aldermen to Look at BSL

Waukegan - This article lists several pit bull attacks from 2003 to 2005 in Waukegan and Beach Park.

2003 Aug - Waukegan Police officer was attacked by two stray pit bulls in August and required treatement for injuries to his hand. One of the dogs was later shot and killed by police when it attacked again as they attempted to seize it.

2005 Jul - A Waukegan police officer, responding to a report about a stray pit bull chasing a teenage boy on Winhaven Drive, was forced to fire a shot at the pit bull when it charged at him.

2005 Aug - 49-year-old Beach Park woman was attacked by a pit bull on the 2500 block of North McAree Road. The woman told police she was walking down the street when the dog ran from its yard, lunged at her and bit her on the right hand before being chased off by a bystander.

2005 Sep - Police seized a pit bull and a rottweiler that injured each other in a fight in a garage on Wadsworth Road. In that incident, the pit bull reportedly was on the loose and chased two girls to the roof of a car before attacking the chained rottweiler.

Because of these attacks, Aldermen are considering BSL.  8th Ward Ald. Rick Larsen directed the council's attention to an article in the January edition of the Illinois Municipal League's Review magazine, in which the municipal league attorney Roger Huebner encourages the state to allow regulations aimed directly at pit bulls.

While Hubner wrote that there currently is no Illinois statute allowing municipalities to write breed-specific ordinances, he added that other state and federal courts have upheld the special regulations.

"Cities are writing specific ordinances about specific types of dogs, (and) we should look into it," Larsen said.

North Chicago's ordinance, enacted Monday, calls for such measures as an annual $500 registration fee for a single pit bull and a limit of two such dogs per owner. It also requires that pit bulls involved in a biting incident to be destroyed or removed from the city.

Read more:
Suburban Chicago News

Related posts:
Lake County pit bull attacks