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Will Breed-Specific Laws Reduce The Rate Of Dog Attacks In Indiana And Illinois?

In the past few years, many cities and counties in Indiana and Illinois have considered breed-specific dog laws that some believe will lower the rate of dog bites and dog attack injuries. However, opponents to the new dog laws believe that breed-specific dog ordinances unfairly treat dogs just because some dogs act aggressively toward humans and other animals. While statistics show that pit bulls and rottweilers are involved in a significant number of serious dog attacks, the owners of these two breeds argue that these types of dogs can be raised and cared for in a safe way that does not endanger other humans or animals.

The following cities in Indiana and Illinois have passed breed-specific dog laws:

•    North Chicago, Illinois, has breed-specific restrictions on pit bulls.
•    Rock Falls, Illinois has breed-specific restrictions on pit bulls.
•    The Village of Buffalo, Illinois, has breed-specific restrictions on pit bulls.
•    Grove, Illinois, has breed-specific restrictions on pit bulls and rottweilers.
•    Fowler, Indiana, has a complete ban on pit bulls.
•    Gary, Indiana, has breed-specific restrictions on pit bulls.
•    Mishawaka, Indiana, has declared pit bulls dangerous dogs.
•    South Bend, Indiana, has breed-specific restrictions on pit bulls.

In some cases, breed-specific laws that target pit bulls and rottweilers do not ban the dogs altogether, but rather require that owners purchase liability insurance for their dogs, walk their dog while wearing a muzzle, and prevent their dog from being free from a fenced yard or tether. In other cases, breeds of dog have been banned by the city limits altogether (with the exception of dogs that were already in the area at the time that the law was passed).
Jim Keller
Partner at Keller & Keller

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Dog Bite Checklist

What to Do if You're Attacked

  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • Take photographs of the wounds
  • Call 911 or animal control to report the incident
  • Take photographs of the dog (if it's safe to do so)
  • Gather information about the dog owner (name, address, phone number, insurance info)
  • Contact an experienced dog bite attorney