§ 5/15.1. Dangerous dog determination
5/15.1. Dangerous dog determination
§ 15.1. Dangerous dog determination.
(a) After a thorough investigation including: sending, within 10 business days of the Administrator or Director becoming aware of the alleged infraction, notifications to the owner of the alleged infractions, the fact of the initiation of an investigation, and affording the owner an opportunity to meet with the Administrator or Director prior to the making of a determination; gathering of any medical or veterinary evidence; interviewing witnesses; and making a detailed written report, an animal control warden, deputy administrator, or law enforcement agent may ask the Administrator, or his or her designee, or the Director, to deem a dog to be “dangerous”. No dog shall be deemed a “dangerous dog” unless shown to be a dangerous dog by a preponderance of evidence. The owner shall be sent immediate notification of the determination by registered or certified mail that includes a complete description of the appeal process.
(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 because:
(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 Section.
(d) If deemed dangerous, the Administrator, or his or her designee, or the Director shall order (i) the dog's owner to pay a $50 public safety fine to be deposited into the Pet Population Control Fund, (ii) the dog to be spayed or neutered within 14 days at the owner's expense and microchipped, if not already, and (iii) one or more of the following as deemed appropriate under the circumstances and necessary for the protection of the public:
(1) evaluation of the dog by a certified applied behaviorist, a board certified veterinary behaviorist, or another recognized expert in the field and completion of training or other treatment as deemed appropriate by the expert. The owner of the dog shall be responsible for all costs associated with evaluations and training ordered under this subsection; or
(2) direct supervision by an adult 18 years of age or older whenever the animal is on public premises.
(e) The Administrator may order a dangerous dog to be muzzled whenever it is on public premises in a manner that will prevent it from biting any person or animal, but that shall not injure the dog or interfere with its vision or respiration.
(f) Guide dogs for the blind or hearing impaired, support dogs for the physically handicapped, and sentry, guard, or police-owned dogs are exempt from this Section; provided, an attack or injury to a person occurs while the dog is performing duties as expected. To qualify for exemption under this Section, each such dog shall be currently inoculated against rabies in accordance with Section 8 of this Act and performing duties as expected. It shall be the duty of the owner of the exempted dog to notify the Administrator of changes of address. In the case of a sentry or guard dog, the owner shall keep the Administrator advised of the location where such dog will be stationed. The Administrator shall provide police and fire departments with a categorized list of the exempted dogs, and shall promptly notify the departments of any address changes reported to him or her.
(g) An animal control agency has the right to impound a dangerous dog if the owner fails to comply with the requirements of this Act.