Photo of BuddyMoved by the vicious dog attack of a 10-year-old Yorkie named Buddy, the Illinois Senate this week approved a plan to restrict the activities of dangerous dogs and their owners.

“I have worked for over a year to get justice for Buddy, a constituent’s pet who was killed by a neighbor’s dogs,” said State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines). “The issue of dangerous dogs killing other dogs is all too common.”

Senate Bill 2386 creates a “reckless dog owner” definition. An individual would be defined as a reckless dog owner if their dog is deemed dangerous for killing another dog and is found running at large twice within 12 months of being deemed dangerous.

If a person is found to be a reckless dog owner, all dogs on their property would be forfeited to a licensed shelter, rescue or sanctuary, where efforts would be made to re-home the dogs if they are believed to be adoptable. Additionally, a reckless dog owner would be prohibited from owning dogs for up to three years if found guilty.

The legislation was prompted by the circumstances of Donna Dary of Hanover Park and her Yorkshire terrier, Buddy, who was killed by a neighbor’s dogs in 2017. The neighbor disregarded guidelines that the dogs needed to be muzzled while walking, and the dogs were found running at large within a week of killing Buddy.

Buddy had been with Dary since he was 2 months old.

“We, as dog owners, are morally obligated to protect, provide and train for our furry family member,” said Dary, who is a constituent of Murphy’s. “The Justice for Buddy Act is about awareness and consequences to reckless dog owners.”

A dog is deemed dangerous if it bites a person without justification or is found running at large and behaving in a manner that a person would believe poses a serious and unjustified imminent threat of serious physical injury or death to a person or a companion animal.

“Poor behavior in dogs is often a result of their training,” Murphy said. “Owners need to take responsibility for their dog’s actions, and we need to strengthen the system to prevent dangerous dogs from injuring other animals.”

 

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