Jan 30, 2013 Lake County defines "animal aggressive" as new category of dangerous dogs

Lake County - After a pit bull attacked a Lake County Board member's dog, the board has implemented a new county ordinance that creates the category of "animal-aggressive" which describes a dog that without justification causes serious injury or death to another owned animal and it gives county animal care and control the authority to impound the dog while an investigation is being conducted in all parts of unincorporated Lake County and in all but 12 communities.
Cindy, the Bichon Maltese savaged by a pit bull in her own yard
Based on the severity of the attack and/or previous history, the dog could be euthanized.

County board member Diane Hewitt lives in Waukegan, so the new ordinance unfortunately will not protect her own community from animal aggressive dogs, however Waukegan's ordinance does allow animal control to impound the dog during the investigation.  Luckily, the pit bull's owner voluntarily gave up his dog to be euthanized.

The county will share the language in the new ordinance with the 12 communities that do not contract with the county for animal services, such as Waukegn, and hopes those communities will adopt the same "animal-aggressive" designation.

Hewitt said of dog-on-dog attacks, “It’s something that is happening more and more.”

Last year there were 500 reported dog-on-dog attacks, thirty percent of the 2,000 reported bites in Lake county.  About 16 were fatal, and 50 resulted in serious injuries.  Four percent of the bites were wild animals biting domestic animals and the other 66% were animal bites to humans.

Hewitt's twelve pound bichon maltese named Cindy was savaged while on a leash in her own yard.  The pit bull had jumped out of its fenced yard to get to Cindy to attack her.  Hewitt was told Cindy died, but luckily, she survived after $2,000 worth of medical bills.  Cindy is not the same innocent soul she used to be.

Hewitt found that the pit bull that attacked Cindy had previous attack incidents that neighbors had not reported.

Hewitt wants people to know that they should always file a complaint for all attacks and incidences of aggression for the community's sake.  If all incidents are reported, neighbors stand a better chance of being able to rid their neighborhood of very real menace dogs like this animal-aggressive pit bull represent.

Savage, unprovoked, off property attacks by pit bulls on other pets have been a catalyst to prompt strengthened dangerous dog laws all over the state of Illinois.  Many communities want to ban pit bulls but they can't because lobbyists wrote Illinois state dangerous dog legislation, known as Anna's Law, to protect pit bulls at the expense of people and pets.

This "animal aggressive" designation is a great idea and a huge step forward, and hopefully many more communities will adopt an "animal aggressive" designation to combat pit bulls.  But, really, state legislators need to remove the ban on BSL so pit bulls can be regulated directly before they have a chance to savage a pet.  Pit bulls are the main inspiration for dangerous dog legislation propposed in Illinois in recent years.  You can find some of those communities that are trying to keep their residents safe despite being hamstrung by Anna's law in the "related posts" section below.

Read more:
Mundelein Suntimes
Daily Herald
Chicago Tribune

Related posts:
Jul 13, 2012 Talk of the County Waukegan outlaw pit bulls
Jul 10, 2012 Waukegan woman’s canine companion killed by pit bull
Jun 23, 2012 Cary will look into dog bites
May 25, 2012 Carmi citizens want pit bull ban
May 21, 2012 Skokie considers stricter law after 3 pit bull-on-dog attacks
May 16, 2012 Bloomington may review pet registration law after pit bull attack
May 09, 2012 Waukegan approves pet ordinance
Feb 07, 2012 Family’s pet mauled by pit-bull type dog
December 20, 2011 Arlington Hgts. toughens penalties for dangerous animals following pit bull attack
Aug 08, 2011 Police want more teeth to proposed dangerous dog ordinance
Nov 16, 2010 Pit bull that inspired Machesney Park law faces euthanasia