JOLIET – A City Council committee is expected Tuesday to review changes in the city’s vicious dog ordinance urged by victims of canine attacks.
The ordinance goes back Tuesday to the Land Use and Legislative Committee.
Some changes to the ordinance were urged by several residents who came to the last committee meeting. The ordinance was in the process of being rewritten but primarily for the sake of clarification.
Residents who came to the committee meeting two weeks ago said city and township authorities are too slow in dealing with vicious dogs and owners of the dogs are able to move them out of town to escape impounding.
City Attorney Marty Shanahan said the proposed ordinance changes will include a provision that fines owners who do not comply with orders to turn over animals to authorities.
Under the changes, owners of dogs determined to be vicious also can be fined if they do not report that the dogs have been relocated and provide information about how the animal is being confined.
Shanahan said he is meeting with Joliet Township Animal Control staff to develop procedures aimed at addressing concerns that the city does not follow up to ensure vicious dogs are kept under control.
The township provides animal control service to the city, which does not have its own animal control officer.
Mayor Bob O’Dekirk recently suggested the city create a part-time position for an enforcement officer to deal with dog problems.
O’Dekirk, a former Joliet police officer, said people in Joliet typically assume the city takes care of vicious dogs, and the police are called to deal with them.
“When I was a police officer and we got the calls, there was nothing for the police to do other than shoot the dog if the situation called for it or call animal control,” he said.
Also on the meeting’s agenda is a redevelopment plan for the old Crabigale’s comedy club location in downtown Joliet.
The city, which owns the Loughran Building at Chicago and Cass streets last used by Crabigale’s, has received two proposals after seeking private investment plans for redevelopment of the site.
The Land Use and Legislative Committee will meet at 5 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall, 150 W. Jefferson St.