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Leash Law Information Clarified

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The West Chicago Voice’s social media was flooded with comments, concerns, and questions about the recent story we posted about the new fines for those who disobey the new local ordinance regarding the leash law for aggressive and threatening dogs that get out and run amok, and those who bite and chase residents. Readers were particularly stressed by this phrase in the City of West Chicago’s information, ” 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. ” In response to residents concerns, we went to the West Chicago Police Department’s Communications Officer, Robyn Arms for clarification.

In the social media comments regarding this story, people were concerned about the fines for barking dogs and felt they couldn’t help if their dog barked at another person. Officer Arms helped clarify- that the barking dog  piece of the leash law story is not new, it’s been in effect for a long time actually:

” West Chicago Ordinance 11-78(o)(2) states “no person shall permit at any time his animal to making disturbing noises, including but not limited to….barking…causing unreasonable annoyance, disturbance or discomfort to neighbors or others in close proximity to the premises where the animal is being kept or harbored”

Arms advised, “As with all local ordinance violations, officers have the discretion to either give a warning or to issue a citation.” When a citation is issued, that is when the fines are associated with the violation. She also noted, ” The updates did not change anything for barking, other than the fines that could be associated with any violations.  The ordinance about barking has not changed but the fines if found guilty of such a violation have changed ” – a list of the applicable fines is included in the story. (see below)

New Ordinance Requires Pet Leashes; Substantial Fines for Owners of Aggressive Animals



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