March 4, 2006

Boland bad dog bill passes house

After 14 year old Lydia Chaplin was killed by a group of dogs after she'd snuck out of the house in the middle of the night near Erie, IL, Rep. Mike Boland saw fit to concoct a vicious dog bill attempting to hold dog owners criminally responsible for attacks by their dogs if they are running loose.

The original bill presented many legal problems and questions regarding just who owned the dog, such as a married couple having joint ownership, and many other problems and actually provided that owners could be charged with a felony if their dogs ran loose and weren't spayed or neutered.

An amended and watered down version has now passed the house and will move on to the state senate.
Illinois moved a step closer Friday to enacting tougher laws against dog owners who allow their animals to roam.

A bill passed by the House of Representatives states that if a dog runs off the owner's property and attacks someone causing serious injury or death, the owner could face misdemeanor charges. Owners could face more severe charges if the dog has already been classified as "dangerous" or "vicious" and is not being properly handled, or if the dog's previously attacked someone.

"It's not just enough as it is at present to punish the dog," said state Rep. Mike Boland, D-East Moline, the bill's sponsor. "Now we've got to really focus on the owner because they're the ones that are irresponsible and are causing these problems."

Rep. Boland stressed owners will not be penalized if they've taken responsible precautions to prevent the dog from running loose and the dog still manages to escape, or if someone comes on the owner's property and the dog attacks. The bill also contains a clause that states that owners will not be penalized if they make "a good faith effort to retrieve a dog running at large in a timely fashion."

"This is all knowingly and irresponsibly. You're not taking the proper precautions," Rep. Boland said.

The bill also exempts law enforcement dogs, dogs in dog-friendly parks and legal hunting dogs.

As originally written, owners could have faced felony charges if their dog was not spayed or neutered and running uncontrolled. Amendments were adopted lowering the charges and removing the spayed or neutered provision. The current bill passed the House 95-17 with two voting "present."
What practical good this will do is questionable.

3 Comments:

At 3/05/2006 4:54 PM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

I am amazed this passed with lobbyists what they are. I was sure some dog organization would come forward to say they are responsible and it's a useless law or something and try to kill it so they can keep their mean deadly pit bulls in their yards. They may yet come out from under the rocks they are living to cry and whine about this issue.

Locally we can't get anything done even as City Councils have tried in the past when citizens are mauled in broad daylight in the streets so Kudos to Boland for helping raise the standard of safety and accountability for us all! I sure hope the bill passes.

 
At 3/06/2006 10:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where does Rep. Boland stand on the pig plant?

Why won't he tell us?

Don't we have the right to know where Rep. Boland stands on this important issue?

 
At 3/07/2006 12:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

arf arf

 

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