I admit it, Elgin Councilman John Prigge - a proponent of the idea of a breed ban - said it was just a matter of time before there would be a Pit Bull attack in his Illinois town (just outside Chicago). He was right.
According to published reports concerning the Elgin Pit Bull attack, police officers shot two loose Pit Bulls - in front of about 100 witnesses this past weekend at Festival Park. One of the dogs inflicted a bite on a 9-year old boy.
Elgin Police Lt. Matt Udelhoven said two boys were
walking down a sidewalk when one of the dogs that was laying in the
grass bit a boy on his left hand and wrist area. Police officers, already on the lookout for two loose dogs, responded quickly. When one of the responding officers moved forward to
interrupt the attack, the dog then turned from the boy and lunged
toward the officer, who shot it.
The second dog then began circling the officers and reportedly
lunged toward the second officer, who then shot it.. Both
animals were taken to the Dundee Animal Hospital and later euthanized,
The one injured boy, from Elgin, was treated for minor injuries to
his hand and released to his family with the understanding they would
take him to receive medical treatment.
The dogs' owner
later, who was nowhere near the dogs throughout the
incident, was later identified. The owner has been cooperating with an ongoing investigation into whether any ordinances were
THAT IS THE PROBLEM!!!
- These dogs were roaming off-leash, isn't that a violation of an ordinance?
- If Elgin had a dog license mandate (which I don't
believe they do - but I'm honestly not certain), then these dogs would
have been in violation of that too.
- Were the dogs vaccinated for rabies? Maybe they were, or not...If not, that is is a state law.
I don't know what happened, but at the time I'm typing
this post - to my knowledge, no charges were pressed against the owner.
I don't know the dogs' history or how they happened to be roaming the
streets of Elgin (which is also a danger to the dogs). However, the
problem seems abundantly clear - if these dogs were on the owner's
property, or outside on a leash nothing would have happened. The issue
shouldn't that these dogs were presumably Pit Bulls; they issue should
be what the heck were these dogs doing there? Note, I said presumed
fact because dogs are so often misidentified as Pit Bulls when they are
This past March, Elgin councilmen enacted a new law
classifying any dog that attacks another animal or human as
"dangerous," triggering a number of added regulations for owner of dogs deemed dangerous. This new law was considered a compromise of an earlier proposal
that would have automatically classified all Pit Bulls as "dangerous,"
just because they are called Pill Bulls (even if they are not really Pit Bulls anyway).
Beginning June 1, all dogs noted as 'dangerous' in
Elgin will need to be muzzled outside the home, be kept behind a 6-foot
fence; and owners must have $100,000 in liability insurance.Those who walk 'dangerous dogs' must be at least 18-years old.
Prigge was right about an attack happening. But he's wrong to blame the
presumed dog breed - painting all with the same brush. He would be
right to encourage an investigation (which apparently is happening),
and then hold the dog's owner responsible for what happened.