Highland Park, Illinois May Consider Breed Ban for “Pit Bulls”

By Editor
In Breed-Specific Legislation
May 5th, 2009
3 Comments
1635 Views

From the Chicago Tribune:

Highland Park Mayor Michael Belsky called for a citywide ban on pit bulls today, three days after a 14-year-old girl was bitten on the face and arm, requiring hundreds of stitches, he said.

…”These are mercurial dogs, they are unpredictable and they are lethal,” Belsky said. “I think we need to lead by example here, and maybe other communities will follow suit and create a groundswell, like the smoking ban.”

Belsky had already been working with state legislators and several concerned residents about amending Illinois law so that the home rule community would be able to prohibit breeds, he said.

Regardless of what legislators do, “my feeling is we should be proactive and do it anyway,” said Belsky, who visited with the girl Saturday.

Read this article in its entirety here.

Please contact the Highland Park Mayor and City Council and politely inform them that breed-specific ordinances are ineffective and unenforceable.  You might also want to inform them that there is a statewide prohibition of breed-specific legislation (BSL) in Illinois and that while Highland Park may try to invoke their home rule status as a justification to pass BSL, the constitutionality of home rule status has not been determined such that Illinois municipalities can pass BSL in defiance of state law.  Nor has it been proven that any one breed is inherently vicious which means there is no threat to public safety that would justify passing BSL under home rule status.

3 Responses to “Highland Park, Illinois May Consider Breed Ban for “Pit Bulls””

  1. Kayla says:

    Why dont these people do some research first. I dont get it why they dont know the laws already in place for Illinois. I mean really!

  2. Julie says:

    FYI – the mayor’s email is michael.belsky@fitchratings.com and he is reading our stuff. I emailed him and he responded, “thank you for your input.”

  3. David Mitchell says:

    The following information was released by the Highland Park City Manager’s Office yesterday:

    City officials continue to express sympathy for the families involved in a dog biting incident that occurred on Friday, May 1, within Highland Park. As part of its ongoing effort to ensure the safety of all residents and visitors to Highland Park, the City’s staff has been reviewing the City’s existing animal regulations. While it is anticipated that potential options for modifying the City’s existing regulations will be thoroughly researched, if it is determined that modifications are required, any proposed amendments will be presented to the City Council for consideration within the next few months. Presently, no official action has been taken and no official action is scheduled to be taken. Specifically, this matter will not be on the May 11, 2009 agenda for the Highland Park City Council.

    In keeping with the City’s commitment to transparent governance, any official action taken by the City to modify an existing ordinance will be conducted at a noticed meeting that is open to attendance by interested parties and other members of the public. Should the City Council choose to consider any proposed modifications to the City’s existing animal regulations, the City will publicize notice of any such meeting times and locations, to allow for public comment and testimony. In accordance with the Illinois Open Meetings Act, all of the City’s public meeting agendas are posted at least 48 hours in advance of a scheduled meeting, and are also available online at http://www.cityhpil.com.

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