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Poll: Should Illinois Ban Pit Bulls?

After two dogs were attacked in two separate incidents by two different pit bulls, the Skokie Health Department is looking to change their local pet ordinance. We want to know what you think: Should Illinois ban this breed?

A new Skokie ordinance stemming from two separate attacks involving pit bulls may soon require anyone with "vicious animals" to have them spayed or neutered. Owners may also be required to train there dog through special classes. What breeds fall under that category have yet to be determined.

The Skokie Review reports:

"The modified ordinance is likely to provide the village with authority to order that vicious dogs be spayed or neutered. There could be steeper fines and greater clarification about the differences between a “vicious dog” and a “dangerous dog,” officials say."

Over the last several years, only 14 percent of vicious animal attacks in Skokie involved pit bulls, the Review noted.

Authorities and village officials believe in many cases it isn't the breed that causes the attack, but the owner's lack of training for the canine.

What do you think? Should pit bulls be banned in Illinois? Or should owner's require mandatory training for certain breeds? What do you think the solution -if there should be one - should be?

Chime your thoughts by casting a vote or making a comment below.

Editor's note: We understand this is a hot button issue and support neither side; we just want to hear what the community thinks. Also, the Village of Skokie is not looking to ban pit bulls. If you have any questions or concerns please shoot me an email at georges@patch.com. Thanks!

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Lola's Dad May 10, 2012 at 07:12 AM
You're the one sir who is "oblivious". Search any breed of dog killing on google and something is gonna pop up. Doberman, German Shepard, Mastiff, retriever, Rottweiler, all of these dogs can be bigger in size and cause damage with a bite to the point of death. Please tell me why Pitt bulls are different. All your doing is throwing in "facts" that are complete myths and fabrications, you even admit a pitty nurtured your dog when it was a puppy. Did that pit ever do anything wrong to you or your dog? I would guess not or we would have heard all about it already. Any dog big or small has potential to kill, they are animals, it is our responsibility to train them, care for them and put them in situations to succeed. Thugs and dopes have Pitt bulls you say? They also have guns too, should we ban those as well, wait... we do have a law against concealed weapons in Illinois and one against convicted criminals owning guns. How's that working out for us? How about you ask your wonderful information source (Google) and get back to me. I can respect a mans opinion if he uses facts gained from personal experience, but your argument uses no real facts, just hearsay, myths and a google search. Troll
Anna May 10, 2012 at 10:47 AM
The dude whether or not you have your dog fixed is of course your choice. I just wanted to make the point that having an animal fixed is *not* surgical mutilation. There are in fact health benefits to your animal if you do not to mention it keeps pet over population down by not making new animals that also need homes. However having your dogs ears clipped and tail cropped for purely cosmetic reasons (simply for the viewing pleasure of the animal's owner) is a form of surgical mutilation because there is no purpose other than the viewing pleasure of the surgical alteration. Subjecting an animal to anesthesia and post surgery trauma and pain just for the "look" is in my humble opinion unkind. However the decision to have our animals fixed is not mutilation. It is a decision we made to extend the life of our animal and to keep the unwanted animal population down. For more information on the benefits to fixing your pet click here: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/spayneuter/spay-neuter-top-ten.aspx Thank you for your understanding.
Jen May 10, 2012 at 02:46 PM
That's what my friend said last night on a hike, Patrick, when his dog was attacked by a black Lab that unexpectedly attacked and tore his golden retriever's ear open. The owner of the Lab was horrified and she her dog had never done anything like that. Dogs will be dogs. It's up to us to do the best we can, but not all dogs will like each other and their method of dealing with dislike is to use teeth. That doesn't mean my friend thinks just because his dog was attacked by a "friendly" black Lab that all black Labs are evil.
Jen May 10, 2012 at 02:58 PM
If you have studied dog body language, there would have been clear signs that the pit bull was aroused (stiff body, tail straight out, tensed muscles, sometimes even a wagging tail) and the owner, regardless of whether his dog is normally friendly should have picked up on that and pulled his dog back. I always watch my dogs closely when they meet other dogs, although mine are very socialized going into stores, outdoor restaurants and downtown due to therapy dog work. There are entire classes on how to read a dog's body language. Also, the statistics show that dogs on leash tend to be more aggressive than dogs off leash. You didn't say if the dogs were on leash. However, dogs that do not know each other have a higher chance of tangling. Also, did your puppy jump on the pit bull's face at all? Sometimes that's a factor. Having said all that, I am very cautious when around a small puppy. My female is a great dog to teach puppies. My 70-lb. male just wants to play, which I don't let him do because he didn't learn how to put the brakes on when he was a stray pup himself. I say, yes, it was the owner's fault. He should have had better control of his dog, no matter how friendly, when approaching a strange dog and especially a puppy. For your sake, I hope your pup doesn't fear all large dogs now. That can be a traumatic experience and I'm sorry it happened to you and your pup. But it could have been any dog breed.
Jen May 10, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Hi Mike, Jen here again. Here's a link to the National Canine Research Council, an organization comprised of dog experts (they list their board members and advisors on the site if you want to take a look) that researches, sometimes for up to a year, all the dog bite related fatalities we read about, many of which are blamed on pit bulls by the media when it is eventually determined it wasn't a pit bull. Please read the 2011 and prior investigations and you will find that often the media gets it wrong. But most importantly, the background of the dog and how it was incorporated into the family (or not), trained, chained, fed and watered (or not), plays a huge role in attacks. Thanks in advance for considering this. I'm still willing to carry on a conversation with you! http://nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/dogbites/dog-bite-related-fatalities/
Rosanna Lorusso May 10, 2012 at 03:53 PM
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pit-bulls-are-great-dogs-Skokie/185665194890088
Rosanna Lorusso May 10, 2012 at 03:53 PM
like the page pit bull lovers
sarah andrews May 10, 2012 at 03:59 PM
I agree it is how the dog is raised. I have a female pitt bull that was rescued at 2 months old and she is afraid of her own shadow. she is so lovey dovey and doesn't hurt other people or other dogs.
green guy May 10, 2012 at 05:11 PM
I'm a dog lover and I own two pit bull type dogs that I rescued. I think all dogs, regardless of breed should be required to be spade/neutered. Something like 4-6 million dogs in the US are euthanized each year. Pit bull types are the most likely to be euthanized because they are often breed by idiots and there are just wayyy to many of them and few people are willing to adopt them out of fear. The cost to tax payers to kill these dogs is through the roof. Unless there is a legitimate medical reason a dog cannot be spayed/neutered a very expensive license should be required to own an unaltered dog and if you are caught with an unaltered dog the fines should be severe.
Lola's Grandpa May 10, 2012 at 08:55 PM
I agree with Lola's Dad.
spongebrooke May 10, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Why not go with a non-breed specific vicious dog law instead? Every owner regardless of breed should be held accountable for their dogs actions.
George Slefo (Editor) May 11, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Hey everyone - Just a head's up, but there will be an update regarding this story tomorrow (Saturday) on Skokie Patch. Be sure to check it out! Best, George
Rosanna Lorusso May 11, 2012 at 09:31 PM
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pit-bulls-are-great-dogs-Skokie/185665194890088?ref=notif&notif_t=page_new_likes Show support
Rosanna Lorusso May 11, 2012 at 09:33 PM
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pit-bulls-are-great-dogs-Skokie/185665194890088?ref=notif&notif_t=page_new_likes
Rosanna Lorusso May 11, 2012 at 09:33 PM
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pit-bulls-are-great-dogs-Skokie/185665194890088?ref=notif&notif_t=page_new_likes
Rosanna Lorusso May 11, 2012 at 09:33 PM
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pit-bulls-are-great-dogs-Skokie/185665194890088?ref=notif&notif_t=page_new_likes
Rosanna Lorusso May 11, 2012 at 09:34 PM
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pit-bulls-are-great-dogs-Skokie/185665194890088?ref=notif&notif_t=page_new_likes
Rosanna Lorusso May 11, 2012 at 09:34 PM
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pit-bulls-are-great-dogs-Skokie/185665194890088?ref=notif&notif_t=page_new_likes
Rosanna Lorusso May 11, 2012 at 09:34 PM
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pit-bulls-are-great-dogs-Skokie/185665194890088?ref=notif&notif_t=page_new_likes
Rosanna Lorusso May 11, 2012 at 09:38 PM
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pit-bulls-are-great-dogs-Skokie/185665194890088?ref=notif&notif_t=page_new_likes
Frank May 12, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Yes, they can be very sweet dogs. A friend of mine has one....but I just don't trust the animal......
sherwin dubren May 24, 2012 at 10:34 PM
I follow news stories about dog attacks reported in the newspapers. Why is it that almost all the time a pit bull is responsible? There could be pit bulls around that are controlled adequately, but from a statistical point of view, I consider the pit bulls a dangerous breed, for whatever reason of their genetics or training. Certain dogs have been bred for specific tasks, like pointers for hunting. I'm afraid the pit bulls have a inbred trait for aggressiveness that could come out at any time. There are two new pit bulls living next to me. I didn't confront them or antagonize them, but they go crazy when I am out in my yard. I keep a can of spray handy in case their owner forgets to close the gate to his yard.
Anna May 24, 2012 at 10:47 PM
All dogs have the propensity to turn violent: http://www.ucdenver.edu/about/newsroom/newsreleases/Pages/DogBiteConcern.aspx According to the ATTS (American Temperament Test Society) the American Pit Bull has a better temperament than many many other breeds: http://atts.org/breed-statistics/statistics-page1/ Additionally the pit bull was called the "nanny dog" in the United States for over 100 years: http://www.ywgrossman.com/photoblog/?p=676 Breed bans do not work and every decade seems to have a dog breed it vilifies. German Shepherds, Dobermans, etc etc etc. Not to mention the breed has its own share of heros: http://www.myfoxboston.com/story/18178649/pit-bull-rescues-owner-from-trains-path Breed bans do nothing but punish law abiding citizens like my family. We take good care of our animals, a rescue Pittie and GSD. The bad people who train dogs to fight will just find another breed to torture and maim to make them killers. To deter these people we need much harsher laws against animal cruelty and neglect. Punish the people who do the bad things not the people who love their animals. My older son is autistic. He is severely developmentally delayed and may very likely end up in a group home as an adult. We specifically got a pit bull rescue dog *BECAUSE* of its temperament. This animal is very patient with my older son. Please do not want to take our son's friend away. http://www.pitbulladvocate101.com/BSL.php
Ashlei Diana Fiorentino July 24, 2012 at 06:01 AM
I refuse to let my children around pits...I don't care if it is someones sweet pet the evidence against them doesnt lie...I don't doubt that some are amazing dogs with the RIGHT OWNER...But too many idiots own puts...Compare the numbers...I don't own those breeds because I am looking out for my family...Pits were breed to be working dogs...would you buy a ticking time bomb and not expect it to go off.. http://www.thebullyhouse.net/pitbullproducts/breakingsticks.html That is coming from a pit fan page...now tell me they aren't aggressive if they are sweet and loving all the time why is that needed...My female lab we just lost to cancer refused to even close her mouth if you put your hand in it...I took food out of her mouth with no repercussion...She just turned and sat and waited for me to give it back wagging her tail because she thought I was playing a game...I never even heard that dog growl... Im not saying that they should all be dead but they def. shouldn't be a wide spread as they are and if people love their pits they need to be responsible and keep them in their homes because the min one comes running in my yard it will be shot because Im not going to risk my pets lives or my kids or family... Other dogs do attack but they don't do even close to the damage pits do...Pits don't know when to stop... http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fbslforpitsmakessense.blogspot.com%2F2010%2F07%2Fpit-bull-attacks-understand-danger.html&h=SAQGKft_h
Ashlei Diana Fiorentino July 24, 2012 at 06:13 AM
http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fbslforpitsmakessense.blogspot.com%2F2010%2F07%2Fpit-bull-attacks-understand-danger.html&h=SAQGKft_h
Ashlei Diana Fiorentino July 24, 2012 at 06:23 AM
I think you sound like the perfect owner for a pit but there are too many who don't do that...I personally own a lab puppy (we just lost out 5 your old lab to cancer and we got a puppy a few days ago) and I know that a lab is an energetic smart loyal dog who drives to please us...I also have small children so we watch the dog/s ever close and we take her outside to run off energy and play ball and such and my husband will be training her to hunt...To many people don't do what is best for the dog...You obviously keep your dogs busy so that they are happy healthy and their minds busy...The problem is dogs become destructive as you probably know when they aren't stimulated personally I have found in the winter our lab would pace and run around the house and chew more...Pits on the other hand can become very aggressive so of those that aren't stimulated like you do for your its dangerous and since Pits do more damage its scary...I won't say they should all be killed but they should be kept in rural areas not cities...Thats my opinion I would not own one because I don't want to be responsible for the outcome...I even crate my dog around new people because if my big dog knocks someone down it can hurt them and When you own a large breed you have to be responsible
Jen July 24, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Ashlei, any dog can bite, maul or kill. You, as a dog owner with children, have a responsibility to be aware of that. Don't ever trust your dog 100%. It's just not worth it. Every dog owner should be able to take food out of their dog's mouth, handle their body, feet, ears, tails. I can put my face in my dogs' bowls and pretend to eat their food. That doesn't mean I would leave them unattended with very young children. http://www.k9magazine.org/labrador-puppy-kills-baby/ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2003849/Boy-3-left-horrific-facial-injuries-Labrador-savages-Poole-Harbour.html#ixzz1UXuVQ1l5 Please, please, please don't assume that Labs are always safe. They are not. As you can read in the article above about the Lab puppy that tore into a young boy's face at a park while his mother was petting the owner's other dog, she thought she didn't need to watch her son because "It's only a Lab, Labs don't bite."
Jen July 24, 2012 at 02:40 PM
P.S. Ashlei, you state that pit bulls are working dogs. Most dogs are working dogs. Labs are working dogs, as are golden retrievers, pointers, shepherds, border collies, Australian shepherds, Bernese Mountain dogs, Maremmas, poodles and many other breeds. Not many breeds are bred without a working dog purpose.
dave November 03, 2012 at 02:43 AM
I think to ban any animal because of there breed is wrong. I have 2 pitbull and a mut and when the pitbulls are playing and my mut thinks it is getting out of hand he jumps in the middle and separates them we also volunteer and rescue shelter with these breeds and they are all very loving. So to ban a dog for its breed is like saying they should ban or put down any human with gang tattos or colors because they could be a threat to society.

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