Oak Lawn Dog Bite Attorneys
The Dog Bite Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. provide legal representation to residents of Oak Lawn that sustained injuries or damages as a result of animal-related incident. Located southwest of Chicago, and bordering the city in two areas, Oak Lawn offers a number of residential incentives. Given its beauty, locational benefits, well-maintained neighborhoods, low-crime rates, and unique sense of community and stability, Oak Lawn is known as a village where ‘residents stay and second generations return.’ In accordance with the village’s desire to uphold its overall appeal as a desirable place to live, residents of Oak Lawn are policed through a highly detailed set of ordinances, including those pertaining to the ownership, care, and control of dogs, cats, and other animals.
While the Illinois Animal Control Act sets forth regulations that are applicable statewide, Oak Lawn, as permitted by such act, provides additional control over the animals within its jurisdictional territories, through the provisions set forth within its Village Code. Although many of these regulations closely mirror those enacted by surrounding Chicago suburbs, there are many animal-related regulations that we, as dog bite injury lawyers, find to be highly beneficial to residents, in terms of preserving both village beauty, as well the health and safety of the public.
In example, Oak Lawn is quite strict in defining what it means for animal to be “running at large” within the village. Some Chicago suburbs allow domestic cats to roam freely outdoors, and dog to be on the owner’s property, free of leash, tether, fence or enclosure—Oak Lawn does not. Pursuant to section 10-3B-5(A) of Oak Lawn’s Municipal Code, ‘Restriction While on Owner's Property:’
“It shall be prohibited to allow an unsecured dog to roam an owner's property. While on an owner's property, all dogs must be restricted to a fence enclosed yard. If the owner's property is not encompassed by a fence the dog must be restricted by a cage, stake and chain, or wire dog run. The choice of restriction must be secure enough to restrict the dog to the owner's property and comply with the provisions of section 10-3B-11, "Cruelty To Animals", of this article.”
In addition, the leash law is quite stringent in Oak Lawn as well, requiring that dogs being walked on public property be bound by a leash (including real extender leashes) that are of a length or extend no further than 5 feet. In comparison to neighboring Chicago suburbs, this leash length restriction is fairly short. However, for purposes of preventing dog bite injuries and attacks, shortening the length generally does allow for more control over the dog, and therefore serves a purpose in terms of public safety.
Further, with regard to cats, section 10-3C-1(C) of Oak Lawn’s Animal Control Code provides that the “[o]wner of domesticated cats shall not permit their cats to roam unsupervised off their property.” Although requiring cat owners to supervise their outdoor cats while off their premises may seem rather unusual, this regulation, too, serves a purpose.
Consider the ‘running at large’ restrictions for both dogs and cats in conjunction with one another. In example, it is easy to see how a roaming cat might be chased by a dog allowed to roam free on their owner’s property, and thereby cause a subsequent incident (i.e. animal versus animal attack, dog attack on person, or motor vehicle collision).
While Oak Lawn’s Animal Control regulations may seem quite stringent, and in many cases may even go unenforced, as injury attorneys, we can certainly see the many benefits that they offer to the members of the community. The more animals are controlled, the more secure the public is in knowing that they will not be unsuspectingly attacked or bitten by an animal that is running at large. To this extent, we support Oak Lawn’s effort to ensure the safety and well-being of its residents.
At the same time, we also recognize that accidents and mishaps do happen, and that pet owners are not always responsible. If you were attacked, bitten, chased, or harmed by a dog or other animal in Oak Lawn, it is important to know that Illinois holds owners strictly liable for injuries proximately caused by unprovoked attacks. For a free personal injury case evaluation, contact the Oak Lawn Dog Bite Injury Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C., either online, or by calling 773-516-4100.