This portion of the Municipal Code explains the requirements for animal restraint in the City of Chicago and details the penalties dog owners are subject to in the event that they do not comply. It also explains what the owner is responsible for in the event that his or her dog attacks someone or damages property.
- Dogs must be confined to the property lines of their owners’ residence. If the dog owner does not own a fence on his or her property, the dog must be properly leashed and supervised or it may not be kept outside. Fences must be high enough to prevent the dog from being able to jump over and escape.
- If a dog bites any person while not on its owner’s property, it is an automatic offense.
- The fine for not properly restraining a dog is $300 unless the animal causes serious injury to another person, in which the fine is increased to a minimum of $1,000 and maximum of $10,000
- In addition to fines, the responsible party will be obligated to pay for damages and may be required to perform community service.
- If an unrestrained dog damages property, there is a fine of between $300 and $1,000
- Owners must notify the executive director of any incident in which their dogs attack or bite another person.
- The owner of a dog involved in an attack must place the animal under the care of a veterinarian so that the dog may be observed for ten days unless evidence exists that the animal has been inoculated against rabies.
- If the animal is up to date on its rabies shots, the animal must still remained confined, but on its owners’ property for ten days in a location where it may not do any harm to any other person or animal.
- If the animal caused serious injury or death, the owner will not be allowed to keep the animal on his or her property and it will be impounded at the owner’s expense
- Any dog involved in an attack must be observed to determine if the animal has rabies.
- The owner of the dog must pay $150 for the observation and if the animal was ordered to be impounded, the owner is responsible for any related fees.
Transfer of Ownership
- It is illegal for the owner of a dog involved in an attack to sell the animal, inoculate it after an attack or give it away.
- A fine of between $300 and $500 may be imposed for the failure to meet any of the provisions in the municipal code regarding the restraint of dogs and proper procedure following an attack.
- Each day that the law is broken may constitute another fine.
- Dog owners who offend the law may be subject to up to six months of jail time.
We are mindful of the devastating impact of dog bite attack cases. Our commitment to dog bite victims is simple: we will use every tool the law allows to recover the maximum compensation for your dog bite injury. Contact us for a free case consultation.
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