Elgin has had documented problems with pit bulls and dangerous dogs attacking since at least 2002. There were at least three attempts to pass a pit bull ban to solve this problem. But each attempt was thwarted, the last by interference and intimidation by Best Friends Animal Society in 2010.
Instead, Elgin passed breed neutral ordinances that relied on extremely high fines and restrictions of dogs labeled dangerous or vicious. In an attempt to make their ordinance pro-active, officials have the power to deem dogs that exhibit menacing behaviors as dangerous. But, the result of not directly addressing the problem and not banning pit bulls and instead deeming dogs that bark and growl at people dangerous has created the usual absurd results.
The dangerous therapy pit bull’s owner wanted to change the ordinance so that dogs could be removed from the dangerous dog list after a number of years of good behavior. Thankfully, though Elgin did modify the ordinance, only dogs that have never attacked or bitten are eligible for removal from the dangerous dog list. Now the chihuahua is off the dangerous dog list and in a year a German Shepherd that never bit or attacked can be take off if it behaves. The dangerous therapy pit bull will remain on the list. The dangerous therapy pit bull’s owner claims the therapy dog certification organization and the organization that allows her pit bull to hang out with the elderly know that the pit bull is dangerous.Since 2012, after an excellent, in depth look at Elgin's dog bite problem by Mike Danahey, someone evidently had a little talk with news agencies because they no longer report on pit bull attacks in Elgin. Though there have been virtually no dog attacks reported in news outlets, pit bulls haven’t stopped attacking. In August of this year the Tribune reported a sampling of the 83 dangerous and 13 vicious dogs listed in Elgin. Six of the 8 dogs they sampled were pits or pit mixes including a pit bull that attacked a chihuahua while the chi was playing with two little girls, another pit bull that burst through a window screen to kill a poodle and another that busted through a fence and attacked two people. In addition, a 7th dog was called a “boxer mix.”