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Local News

Joliet officials not satisfied yet with proposed vicious dog law

JOLIET – A City Council committee Wednesday expressed dissatisfaction with the latest changes in an ordinance aimed at controlling vicious dogs amid another report of a pit bull attack in Joliet.

Mayor Bob O’Dekirk, meanwhile, said he is ready to propose that the city take over dog control if it cannot work out a new arrangement with Joliet Township Animal Control.

The Land Use and Legislative Committee was to review a final version of a new ordinance on vicious and dangerous dogs Wednesday. But committee members said the ordinance still does not address what happens on the spot when a dog attacks another person or animal.

“I think what we need to address is at the scene of attack, what happens?” Councilman Jim McFarland said. “At every dog attack, is Animal Control going to come out?”

The city is in the process of working out a new intergovernmental agreement with Joliet Township Animal Control, which is now the authority called for dog attacks.

The committee also heard from resident Stewart Warren, who said she was walking her two Yorkshire terriers Saturday on Marion Street when a pit bull attacked one of them. The injured dog was treated for a broken rib and dislocated shoulder, and Warren has an animal hospital bill of $3,512.

“This dog is still in my neighborhood,” Warren said. “I’ve had people tell me to get a concealed carry permit in case something like this happens again.”

Committee members said the revised ordinance does not address what happens in cases like the Saturday attack during the time period before a dog is declared vicious.

“No one should be afraid to live in their neighborhood because there’s a dog running around,” Councilwoman Jan Quillman said. “This has to be stopped.”

Council members want a system in which a vicious dog can be picked up anytime day or night. But Joliet Township Animal Control typically is not available on nights or weekends.

The mayor, who was at the committee meeting, said later in a speech at Joliet Junior College that he will propose the city take over dog control if it cannot work out an arrangement with the township.

“I plan on presenting the option of the city of Joliet looking to enforce this ordinance itself if we cannot get the proper cooperation from Joliet Township,” O’Dekirk said.

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