Councilman Prigge (and perhaps others on the Elgin, Illinois City Council) must be thinking “Third time’s a charm” after the Daily Herald reported in an article yesterday that Elgin Mayor Ed Schock fought off a “pit bull” “attack” Thursday evening. I won’t include excerpts from the article, because really, I think Elgin residents have learned by now that some in the media, at least as far as “pit bull” “attacks” go, can’t be trusted.
Indeed, does anybody else find this latest “pit bull” “attack” suspicious? Here again we have another “pit bull” incident within weeks and even months of prior incidents in Elgin. And again, the media is reporting it as an “attack” when the dogs in question did not bite, just like the May 28 Festival Park incident wherein the victim was reported as having been bitten, when he was merely scratched. That alone shows that the media is blowing these incidents out of proportion. (And no, that does not excuse owner irresponsibility should it be determined that the owner was irresponsible.) Are some in the media that much in the lap of the Elgin City Council? Are they that much a part of Prigge’s banwaggoning? Or has the agenda changed now? Yes, what is the Elgin City Council after now we wonder? Read the rest of this entry »
Folks who read this blog may be wondering why we have seldom mentioned dogsbite.org, a blog dedicated to fostering hysteria about “pit bulls.” We have little mentioned the now infamous dogsbite.org because we didn’t think we had to. Honestly, we couldn’t conceive of anyone taking them or their witch hunt seriously. Their website is so poorly written and their “evidence” so spotty, we honestly didn’t think any elected official would actually stoop to cite their laughable “evidence” as reason to pass breed-specific legislation (BSL). Well, we were wrong, but luckily not terribly wrong since many politicos and the mainstream media appear to have wisely steered clear of dogsbite.org. Still, the fact that any municipal government – and there have been a few – or the media would cite dogsbite.org with a straight face is a little alarming. So, let’s endeavor to do what has long been overdue: debunk dogsbite.org. Read the rest of this entry »
July 2, 2010 update: On June 28, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision in McDonald v. Chicago: “The Court held that the right of an individual to ‘keep and bear arms’ protected by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and applies to the states.” Still, before the ink had even dried on the reversal, the City of Chicago was hard at work proposing more impotent, nanny-state, anti-gun legislation which is certain to negate still more constitutional rights. Why doesn’t Chicago just declare itself a Socialist State and be done with it? I’m sure Hitler — whose own Nazi Weapons Law was the source for the U.S Gun Control Act of 1968 — would thoroughly approve.
Ten people were killed and at least 44 others were shot across [Chicago] Friday night into early Monday, including a baby girl who suffered a graze wound to the neck when gunfire erupted at a Near West Side barbecue.
This is the escalation in violence in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs that elected officials often ignore or try to dismiss. They often won’t acknowledge or effectively address the gang violence, instead turning to tried and true diversionary tactics like proposing “pit bull” bans or even mandatory spay/neuter laws (under the assumption that getting at gang bangers’ dogs will somehow get at the gang bangers themselves) or proposing gun bans or additional gun restrictions. Read the rest of this entry »
On June 2, 2010, the Center, Missouri City Council passed a vicious dog law which simultaneously banned “pit bulls” from the city limits. “Pit bull” owners were given 30 days to remove their dogs with no grandfather clause (or what is often mistakenly called a grandfather clause). While recognizing in their own ordinance that the slang term “pit bull” comprises many breeds of dog and their mixes, it seemed to escape city officials’ notice that statistics on “pit bulls” are therefore vastly skewed and meaningless. Indeed, if you define “pit bull” as American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers, their mixes, and any dog resembling those breeds, which could be countless breeds, does it not follow that statistics on this “breed” “pit bull” might be incredibly inaccurate??? Even the article about Center’s breed-specific ordinance in the Quincy Herald Whig acknowledges that “Pit bulls do not constitute a single dog breed in themselves.” Read the rest of this entry »
Editor’s note: As long as Sioux City keeps a portion of their animal control law breed-specific, they’re not actually keeping their city safer. As has been shown repeatedly, increased fines/penalties under a reasonable dangerous dog law act as a deterrence which actually keeps the community safer, assuming there is adequate Animal Control to enforce it. Breed-specific legislation (BSL), however, has proven to be a dismal failure worldwide. I should also add that while this article refers to Sioux City’s “pit bulls” being “grandfathered in,” they were not. True grandfathering would have allowed existing “pit bull” owners to keep their dogs without the new requirements being applied to them. What Sioux City passed was actually an ex post facto violation. But then BSL on its face is already unconstitutional. (Indeed, according to the Sioux City Journal, “a Woodbury County District Court judge in January overturned six vicious designations for due-process violations by the city.”) Also, declaring “pit bulls” (which isn’t even a breed but a slang term that can describe a number of breeds) as “high risk” dogs, as Mayor Hobart has suggested, and applying attending restrictions to them is still breed-specific legislation and still prejudicial. Worse, it’s prejudicial without having proven that “pit bulls” are any more dangerous than other “breeds.”
Relaxing mandatory impoundment, placing vicious dogs outside city limits and implementing a panel system for hearings are three changes that may be discussed when the City Council revisits the city’s vicious-animal ordinances at its June 28 regular meeting.
City Attorney Andrew Mai said city staffers will recommend a variety of changes, including on whether dogs must be impounded after they are accused of biting. The ordinance could be changed to read that a dog suspected of being vicious “may” be, rather than “shall” be, impounded.
“Where it’s inappropriate to have a dog put in Animal Control for a long period of time it’ll allow to free up that space for another dog and allow the owner to keep their animal,” Mai said.
A recently approved House bill stripping the “pit bull” from Ohio’s definition of “vicious dog” has made its way to the Senate, where such proposals have not been warmly received. The amendment was added to a bill increasing penalties for animal cruelty just before House Bill 55 left the lower chamber. Read the rest of this entry »
Tony is so right that the media writes what it’s told to write. Some of the articles coming out about the Festival Park incident sound like press releases instead of investigative reporting. Still, it is a positive that the council refused to pursue BSL.
I’m sorry to say, however, that we cannot agree with the push for dog licensure in the city of Elgin, especially after what Councilman Prigge has tried to pull. To understand why we oppose licensure for dogs, please read a position statement on dog licensure.
Elgin, Illinois, City Council members this week discussed what to do after an incident in which a 9-year-old boy was apparently pinched by one of two “pit bulls” a week ago today in Elgin’s Festival Park. I say “pinched” because that’s what theChicago Tribune called it. Interesting that this incident went from an “attack,” to a “bite,” to a “pinching,” as if the media is now back-pedaling. Will we soon find out that the dogs, barely out of their puppy phase, were just trying to play with the boy? It’s also interesting too that while the owner of the dogs, Ms. Sonia Torres, is asking how the dogs got out of their cages while on her property, which sounds like she too thinks they were stolen, the Tribune is reporting today that the dogs “escaped from their cages.” Yet, this is how the scene was described by the Courier Newson June 1:
Torres had left her house to pick up her kids and upon her return found the gates to the dog’s cages open and a hole in her fence.
According to the Courier Newspolice blotter, charges have been filed against the owner of two “pit bulls,” one of which bit a 9-year-old boy in Festival Park in Elgin, Illinois, Friday last:
Charges in dog bite case: Monday evening, police gave Sonia Torres a notice to appear in court June 15 on ordinance violation charges regarding her two pit bulls that police said had to be shot after going after officers. Both dogs died. Torres was charged with two counts of having a dog at large and two counts of not having her dogs inoculated, reports stated. Each violation carries a maximum penalty of $750. According to reports, late Friday afternoon, the dogs somehow made their way from Torres’ yard in the 100 block of Porter Street to Festival Park on South Grove Avenue. Reports stated that one of the dogs bit a 9-year-old boy and that both dogs charged at police, prompting police to shoot them.
However, yesterday’s Courier News paints a different picture. The paper reported that,
[The dogs’ owner] had left her house to pick up her kids and upon her return found the gates to the dog’s cages open and a hole in her fence, police reports said.
If the dogs were stolen from her yard, as the unlatched cages and that hole in her fence would indicate, why is she being charged with having dogs at large?
According to today’s police blotter, the dogs “somehow made their way” from the owner’s yard a mile away to Festival Park. Is no one investigating who took this woman’s dogs from her backyard??? Under the comments section of the Courier News article, Ms. Torres herself asked “Why haven’t the police tried to find out how [the dogs] were taken out of cages?” Is Elgin now trying to cover up the fact that this woman’s dogs were stolen, and if so, why?
Why do I love the smell of a set-up in the morning? Because it makes it easier to expose shady wrongdoings which stink to high heaven. Anyone else getting the feeling that there’s something really rotten in Elgin, Illinois, based on Elgin’s most recent “pit bull” incident? The Courier News made sure to include a photo in their report today about the two dogs involved in an incident in Festival Park on Friday just so we’d know they were “pit bulls,” though we still don’t definitively know what breed the dogs actually were. The two dogs were free-roaming on Friday, when they were found a mile from their home.