ATTENTION McHENRY COUNTY RESIDENTS . . . .
PLEASE CALL REP. MIKE TRYON TO VOICE YOUR OBJECTION TO
HIS AMENDMENT (on dangerous dogs) TO HB 2703.
************* FORWARDING AND CROSSPOSTING ENCOURAGED *************
On March 17, 2009, Rep. Michael W. Tryon introduced an amendment to HB 2703 which defines and sets standards for "dangerous dogs" in the state of Illinois.
Please read the proposed legislation. Please pay close attention to the previous language (crossed out) and new language (underlined).
Tryon's Amendment to HB 2703:
- Eliminates from the definition of a "dangerous dog" the exclusion of a dog on its own property. Therefore your dog could be deemed dangerous if it attacked someone trespassing on your property. A dog that is in its own yard that behaves in a threatening manner can be declared a dangerous dog under HB 2703. (See strikeouts, page 4).
- Eliminates the words, "without justification" from the definition of "dangerous dog." Therefore, even if the dog was justified in his attack, he would still be deemed dangerous.(See strikeouts on page 7).
- By eliminating the exceptions (see strikeouts, page 29), a dog could be deemed "dangerous" if it was protecting its property or owner, protecting itself from abuse, or responding to pain inflicted upon him, his owner, or his offspring. Current law provides a defense for a dog that bites someone who is in the act of committing a crime against its owner, is trespassing, or is assaulting a dog, its owner, or the dog's offspring. HB 2703 removes all of those defenses. If you are being attacked, robbed or raped, and your dog bites your attacker and causes multiple sutures, it is vicious under HB 2703.
- Eliminates the testimony of behaviorists, veterinarian, or other professional experts in animal health and behavior in determining whether the dog's behavior was justified. All existing requirements for the testimony of an animal behaviorist, veterinarian or other expert before determining whether or not a dog's behavior is justified before declaring it vicious have been removed in HB 2703. Only a finding of a hearing officer, whose only qualification is that s/he is an attorney, is necessary to declare a dog vicious under the law. (See strikeouts, page 21-22).
- Eliminates the need for a court hearing before a vicious dog is euthanized; only an administrative hearing would be needed for a dog could be declared vicious and/or euthanized.
Several of the major issues with this bill involve violations of Due Process rights!
PLEASE CALL TRYON'S OFFICE 815-459-6453 TO STATE YOUR OPPOSITION AND LET HIM KNOW THIS IS NOT GOOD LEGISLATION. Please ask your all your dog-owning friends and family to contact him, as well.
IF Tryon is not your representative, please also contact your own representative, since it is possible this bill may reach the House floor. Our state representatives need to be aware of this bill in advance and to know our opposition.
If you don't know your Illinois State Representative, you can use this link to find out this information:
Below is a synopsis of various portions of the bill with which we are especially concerned, along with actual text of the bill. It is always important that you read the full text of the bill for yourself!!
Page 4. Eliminates the exclusion of a dog on its own property. If enacted in its current form, it would deem your dog dangerous if it attacked someone trespassing on your property.
(510 ILCS 5/2.05a)
"Dangerous dog" means (i) any individual dog
anywhere other than upon the property of the owner or custodian
of the dog and
unmuzzled, unleashed, or unattended by its owner
or custodian that behaves in a manner that a reasonable person
would believe poses a serious and unjustified imminent threat
of serious physical injury or death to a person or a companion
animal or (ii) a dog that, without justification, bites a
person and does not cause serious physical injury
, or (iii) a
dog that injures a companion animal or livestock while off its
(Source: P.A. 93-548, eff. 8-19-03; 94-639, eff. 8-22-05.)
Page 7. Eliminates the words, "without justification" from the definition of "dangerous dog." Therefore, even if the dog was justified in his attack, he would still be deemed dangerous.
(510 ILCS 5/2.19b)
"Vicious dog" means a dog that,
attacks a person and causes
multiple sites of
serious physical injury
, (ii) while
off its owner's property, kills any companion animal or
any individual dog that has been found to
be a "dangerous dog" upon
(Source: P.A. 93-548, eff. 8-19-03.)
Page 29. By eliminating the exceptions noted below, a dog could be deemed "dangerous" if it was protecting its property or owner, protecting itself from abuse, or responding to pain inflicted upon him. For example, if a dog (or his owner) was being beaten.and bit the abuser, the dog could be deemed vicious.
(b) A dog shall not be declared dangerous if the
Administrator, or his or her designee, or the Director
determines the conduct of the dog was justified
(1) the threat was sustained by a person who at the
time was committing a crime or offense upon the owner or
custodian of the dog or was committing a willful trespass
or other tort upon the premises or property occupied by the
owner of the animal;
(2) the threatened person was abusing, assaulting, or
physically threatening the dog or its offspring;
(3) the injured, threatened, or killed companion
animal was attacking or threatening to attack the dog or
its offspring; or
(4) the dog was responding to pain or injury or was
protecting itself, its owner, custodian, or a member of its
household, kennel, or offspring.
(c) Testimony of a certified applied behaviorist, a board
certified veterinary behaviorist, or another recognized expert
may be relevant to the determination of whether the dog's
behavior was justified pursuant to the provisions of this
Page 21-22 Eliminates the testimony of behaviorists and veterinarians in determining whether the dog's behavior was justified.(See strikeouts, page 21-22).
to the States Attorney's Office
and the owner
Director or any citizen of the county in which the dog exists
may file a complaint in the circuit court in the name of the
People of the State of Illinois to
have a dog deemed
deem a dog
|09600HB2703ham001||- 22 -||LRB096 07740 JDS 23258 a|
to be a
Testimony of a certified applied
behaviorist, a board certified veterinary behaviorist, or
another recognized expert may be relevant to the court's
determination of whether the dog's behavior was justified.
petitioner must prove the dog is a vicious dog by clear and
6 convincing evidence.
Page 23. Eliminates the need for a formal court hearing required to authorize euthanasia of a vicious dog; only adminstrative hearing would be needed.
4 If the burden of proof has been met, the court or
5 Administrative Hearing Officer shall deem the dog to be a
6 vicious dog.