Downers Grove Dog Bite Attorneys

The dog bite injury lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. represent the residents of Downers Grove that were involved in an attack by a dog, or other animal.

Perhaps initiating with its unique historical background, Downers Grove municipal code pertaining to animals varies greatly in comparison to other Chicago suburbs. The village name dates back to 1832, when Pierce Downer, a NY stonemason, Pierce Downer, claimed stake to 160 acres of land in the community while working on Chicago’s first lighthouse. Downer’s subsequent farming efforts resulted in a successful and productive dairy farm. Thereafter, Downer’s farm prompted several individuals to join the community in areas surrounding the Downer’s prairie grove.

A view of Downers Grove current animal municipal code reflects its farming origins, particularly when comparing it to those of surrounding Chicago suburbs. For example, the rural nature of the village is demonstrated in the code by the explicit exclusion of certain animals; the inclusion of regulation of fowl; and the grouping of regulations pertaining to horses and ponies with those pertaining to dogs and cats. Whether you own an animal in Downers Grove, or were injured in an attack by one, it is important to understand the provisions set forth in Downers Grove Animal Municipal Code.

It is helpful to know the manner in which village ordinance classifies certain types of animals, particularly if an animal attack has occurred. For example, Downers Grove distinguishes between ‘dangerous animals,’ ‘dangerous dogs,’ and ‘vicious dogs.’ Section 5.26 of Downers Grove Animal Municipal Code, provides in part:

"Dangerous animal" means a lion, tiger, leopard, ocelot, jaguar, cheetah, margay, mountain lion, lynx, bobcat, jaguarundi, bear, hyena, wolf or coyote, or any poisonous or life-threatening reptile or any other mammal (with the exception of dogs), amphibian, reptile or fowl which is of a species which, due to size, vicious nature or other characteristics would constitute a danger to human life, physical well-being or property

Note the specific exclusion of dogs in Downers Grove definition of dangerous animals. This is because dogs that have either previously attacked, or that may potentially attack in the future are classified separately, as either vicious or dangerous. As stated in Section 5.26 of the village code:

"Dangerous dog" means any individual dog which, when either unmuzzled, unleashed, or unattended by its owner, or a member of its owner's family, approaches any person in a ferocious or terrorizing manner, and in an apparent attitude of attack.

"Vicious dog" means:

  1. Any individual dog that when unprovoked inflicts bites or attacks a human being or other animal either on public or private property; or
  2. Any individual dog with a known propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack without provocation, to cause injury or to otherwise endanger the safety of human beings or domestic animals; or
  3. Any individual dog which attacks a human being or domestic animal without provocation; or
  4. Any individual dog which has been found to be a "dangerous dog" upon three separate occasions.
  5. No dog shall be deemed "vicious" if it bites, attacks, or menaces a trespasser on the property of its owner or harms or menaces anyone who has tormented or abused it or is a professionally trained dog for law enforcement or guard duties.

Provided with the definitions of animals, it is then necessary to understand the prohibitions and limitations associated with each. Dangerous animals are generally prohibited in Downers Grove, unless such animals fall within an exception to the rule, such as scientific or zoological purposes. Dangerous or vicious dogs, on the other hand, may be permitted in Downers Grove, if the owner adheres to specific requirements, which, depending on the circumstances may include keeping the dog in an enclosure, on a run line, and when necessary, muzzled.

It is also important to understand which persons are subject to the obligations and penalties of Downers Grove Municipal Animal Code. In addition to the owner of a dog, cat, horse or pony, as defined by its usual and customary meaning, Section 5.11 of Downers Grove Animal Code, also provides:

“Any person who shall permit any dog, cat, horse or pony to be and remain at or about his/her house, stable, store or other premises in the Village, shall be held to be the owner of the same subject to the obligations and penalties of this article.”

While recognizing which persons may be held to be the owner of animal is certainly relevant for purposes of code compliance, it is also necessary to consider the manner in which liability can attach in the event that an attack causes the injury or fatality of a person or other animal. The Downers Grove dog bite and animal attack attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. encourage all residents to view the village’s Animal Municipal Code in its entirety, which can be accessed here.

While our primary emphasis in animal accidents is dog bites and dog attacks that result in injury or fatality, it is important to know that the Downers Grove personal injury and wrongful death attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C., also represent victims of attacks involving other types of animals. Our dog bite and animal attack attorneys recognize the necessity in understanding all laws pertaining to animals, both state and local. We also understand the devastating impact that an animal attack can have on the victim and their family. Our experienced and aggressive attorneys remain dedicated to seeking justice on behalf of our clients, through obtaining compensation for injuries, damages, and losses that the victim deserves.

If you, or a loved one, were involved in an incident involving a dog bite or animal attack, contact the Chicago dog bite attorneys online, or at 773-516-4100, to schedule your FREE personal injury consultation today.

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