Does IL law require dangerous dogs to be euthanized?

Most dogs are wonderful animals to have in your life, but what happens when a dog bites and hurts another pet or person? Does Illinois law require the dog to be euthanized?

Aggressive Dog Laws in Illinois

This past weekend some dear friends of mine experienced a terrifying situation with their neighbor’s dog. Without going into detail, the neighbor’s typically good-natured dog broke through, went through a fence, and my friends’ dog was badly injured in the attack. The sweet pup survived, but the cost of emergency medical services was HIGH. Fortunately, her neighbors offered to pay the vet bills, but the horrible situation made me wonder; What does Illinois law cover when it comes to aggressive animals?

How is a dog considered ‘dangerous’ in Illinois?

I took a deep dive into Illinois dog bite laws and was able to realize that the Illinois Animal Control Law it is the primary law governing dog behavior in the state.

While the legal terminology can be difficult to understand, this law basically defines a dangerous dog as one that has bitten or attacked a person or animal without provocation.

Illinois is also a dog bite strict liability status. This means that the owner or handler of a dog that has attacked and/or seriously injured another person or pet is responsible for paying for all necessary medical treatment caused by the attack.

Now the super sad and scary question; Does Illinois law require a dangerous dog to be euthanized? The answer is not so simple.

According to this yahoo article;

A dangerous dog, particularly a repeat offender, may be euthanized if it is determined that this is in the best interest of the safety of the community. After a documented bite, a dog is considered vicious in the state of Illinois. This means that subsequent bites can lead to euthanasia. Furthermore, a serious enough attack could lead the court to find that euthanasia is the best course of action, even for a first offender.

Ways to ensure public safety with a dangerous dog

If you have an aggressive dog who is wonderful with your family but protects his territory and people at all costs, there are a few things you can do to avoid “dangerous dog” problems. These things include:

  • Keep the dog contained in your yard or home to avoid contact with strangers.
  • Post signs throughout your property warning people of the presence of a dangerous dog.
  • Register and obtain a dangerous identification tag from local animal control. This tag must be displayed on the dog’s collar at all times.

Dogs are truly one of my favorite things in life, but they are animals so their behavior should never be underestimated. Treat them with respect, stay out of their territory, and always watch for warning signs to protect your loved ones from a scary and sometimes tragic situation.

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