Not Again, Dog Attack in Elgin Might Lead to Another Effort to Ban Pit Bulls

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.

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Elgin Councilman John Prigge

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.

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I've been to Festival Park in Elgin - it's a terrific place

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,
Udelhoven said.

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
violated.

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.

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Pit Bulls aren't really the problem - irresponsible dog owners (and worse) ARE the problem

- 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
not.

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.

Comments

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  • You are so correct Steve, when you say that this is a problem of irresponsible owners. I certainly hope that this investigation will at least bring charges of having dogs loose.

  • Steve is correct.. what were these dogs doing loose in the first place. I live in suburba and own pit bulls. The only time they are loose is in my backyard and the yard has a 6ft fence.

  • This is about as smart as one of my great dane piles. WHY WOULD THESE DOGS BE ROAMING LOOSE AROUND A LARGE CROWD?! That is UNACCEPTABLE and TOTALLY IRRESPONSIBLE OWNERSHIP...the owners are "cooperating"?! Oh gee, thanks...where was there cooperation when the dogs were roaming around a heavily populated area? Something tells me that these ... See Moreoutstanding owners might be raising these poor animals for something more than a house pet as this behaviour is not typical for a pit who has not been exposed to some sort of violent behaviour. Who doesn't know that there dogs are loose? BAD OWNERS, just like people who don't have a clue where their kids are: BAD PARENTS.
    Rather than banning breeds, here's a thought: STIFFER PENALTIES FOR IRRESPONSIBLE DOG OWNERSHIP REGARDLESS OF BREED.
    Ignorance for races of animals, people etc should not be tolerated in modern society...come on, lamakers...

  • Thank you for a dose of common sense. The real problem is non-enforcement of existing laws and owner irresponsibility. By the way, do we actually know that these two dogs were pit bulls? Just askin'.

    I blogged about the proposed Elgin BSL when it was up for debate in March http://ruthcrisler.wordpress.com/2010/03/05/lest-the-exception-prove-the-rule/

    I still feel the same way. Hope the recent tragedy doesn't tip the scale in favor of more pointless legislation.

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