Illinois is one of several states that actually bans a breed ban against dogs suggested to be pit bulls or for that matter any breed . I KNOW this, as I was there with then Governor Pat Quinn signed that bill into law. Quinn told me, “As long as I am the Governor, I assure you I will do my best to insure no community passes a breed ban.”
Quinn and I have worked on several bills, and the ex-Illinois Governor immediately understood why bans only create problems, and do nothing to solve them.
Recently (October 11), a resident of the Chicago Southwest suburb of Oak Brook brought up the prospect of banning pit bulls and Rottweiler’s. According to village policy, any resident with a legitimate complaint can be heard.
I was asked to come in and counter her words tonight (October 25) at a village meeting.
I did wonder publicly how the village can overcome the statewide ban against banning a specific dog breed or dog breeds. I thought maybe Oak Brook maintains what’s called home rule, and can determine their destiny whether the state likes it or not. That’s not the case, and Oak Brook officials figured out that getting such a law passed to overrule state law would take some doing.
Would even bringing up the topic be worthwhile, if nothing can pass? What’s more, some residents and residents of nearby towns were reportedly ready to picket if a breed ban was considered a real possibility. No doubt supporting a breed ban would only draw the ire of dog lovers around the world.
I have been told – no breed ban is going to happen, or even considered in Oak Brook. Discussion over. I have been told not to bother attending the meeting since there will be no opportunity to talk about a breed ban.
What likely prompted the idea of an Oak Brook ban is what occurred in Montreal, as a dog attack that tragically claimed the life of Christiane Vadnais of Montreal earlier this year. The city responded by swiftly passing a breed ban that was to go into effect October 3, 2016. However, Quebec Superior Court Judge Louis Gouin said “No,” and immediately suspended the ban. The judge rattled off a series of queries before lawyers even began their arguments, beginning with, “How is ‘pit bull’ even defined?”
The Montreal Mayor remains defiant in support of the ban. Most residents, however, feel otherwise, as does the Montreal SPCA. No word, yet, on when a judge will make a determination.
There are many reasons why breed bans aren’t appropriate. At the end of the day, I participated in pointing out what is likely the best reason of all not to implement a breed ban – breed bans just don’t enhance public safety. A peer reviewed study I co-aurhored with Sagi Denenberg DVM, DACVB, Dip. ECAWBM, MACVSc (Behaviour) for the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior looked at many cities, and realized that after enacting a breed ban, serious dog bites did not decrease in any significant way, though in some places serious bites increased.