On September 18, in response to a rising number of occurrences of dogs roaming without a leash and an increase in dog-related biting incidents, the West Chicago City Council adopted a new ordinance that mandates animals to be secured at all times. Additionally, the law establishes a tiered fine structure for owners of pets involved in attacks on people or other animals.
Under the new regulations, owners of any animal are required to restrain their pets with a leash, keep them within their own property or that of a consenting individual, place them in a crate or cage, or confine them inside a vehicle.
Furthermore, pet owners could face substantial fines if their animals engage in behaviors such as chasing, barking at, or biting people, vehicles, or another animal. These fines are no lower than $500.00 for the initial offense; $1,000.00 for the second offense; $1,500.00 for the third offense; each up to $50,000.00. These penalties are separate from any costs associated with the damages and injuries suffered by a biting victim as mandated by the County.
Despite the existence of relevant ordinances in DuPage County, the City has introduced these additional measures to reinforce responsible pet ownership within its own jurisdiction. These newly enacted rules, coupled with applicable County ordinances, aim to address concerning trends while also ensuring that the City remains a safe community for all individuals and their pets.