MOUNT PROSPECT, Ill. (CBS) — Northwest suburban Mount Prospect soon may give the owners of vicious dogs and other animals a bit more leash.
Since 2006, animals declared vicious by the village cannot be exercised outside. The only time they are allowed out is to go straight to the car for grooming or a visit to the vet.
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To date, about 25 pets have been deemed vicious under the ordinance, all dogs.
The decisions are made by Police Chief John Dahlberg, who said one such owner convinced him last summer that a change was needed.
“The owner spent quite a bit of time in my office with me one night and said, ‘Do you realize that I won’t be able to walk this dog for the next 10 or 12 years?'” he said.
So he has asked trustees to approve a change that would allow walks, but only if the animal is muzzled, is walked by an adult and is controlled by a three-point harness, not a collar. Any animal that fouls up a second time would once again be confined inside — and Dahlberg says it would be permanent.
Dahlberg said, since the existing law was put in place, no animal has “reoffended,” although he said one of the dogs bit two people before the ordinance took effect and a third since then.
He said trustees appeared open to the change at a committee of the whole meeting Tuesday, and said he expects action by the village board next month.
Trustee Arlene Juracek said she believed that board is in agreement on the issue.
“What the chief has proposed is a reasonable compromise between protecting the public, who in the past have had some issues with certain vicious dogs, but also realizing that if you sentence a dog to confinement for the rest of its life, you’re not really doing anything for the quality of life or the socialization of that dog,” she said.