Illinois continues to be one of the leading states in which pit bull attacks occur. In 2013, Illinois was listed as one of the top states in which millions of dollars were paid out for dog bite claims. State Farm statistics report that Illinois dog bite claims amounted to over $8.9 million in 2013. Throughout the nation, State Farm paid over $104 million for dog bite claims.
The Need for Responsible Pet Ownership in Illinois
There is clearly a need for pet owners to become aware of the dangerous propensities and behaviors of pit bulls. New pet owners who are uneducated about the pit bull breed often underestimate the ability of a pit bull to overtake the will of another person. Pit bulls may act friendly within the home, but they may suddenly lash out when they are left outdoors for extended periods of time. A child may also unwittingly provoke a pit bull into attack mode. Those who desire to own a pit bull must ensure that they are prepared to take on the liability and risks associated with ownership of this breed.
Young Girl Recently Killed by Pit Bull in Illinois
Every year, there are tragic accounts of individuals who are injured by pit bulls in Illinois. Just recently, one of the most controversial pit bull attack stories occurred in Illinois and entailed the taking of a young four-year-old’s life. The young girl was from Bloomington, Illinois, and she was tragically killed by a family pit bull on her birthday in January of 2014. The young girl suffered from multiple dog bites associated with two of the pit bulls owned by the family. The McLean Country police department have euthanized all three of the pit bulls that were owned by the family. The pit bulls did not have a prior history of attacks, so the county’s attorney did not pursue criminal charges.
Pit Bull Attacks Can Escalate
The recent tragic case of the young girl also displays how pit bull attacks can quickly escalate. When one dog begins to attack a person, it may trigger attacks from other nearby dogs. If multiple pit bulls are involved in an attack, the attack can quickly turn fatal. Families that own multiple pit bulls need to be aware of the location of their pit bulls at all times. If pit bulls are accidentally released or allowed to roam free, then an innocent bystander may be at risk of involvement in a pit bull mauling.
Dealing with Statewide Rates of Pit Bull Attacks
It is unclear whether pit bull attacks will decrease in the future if states fail to educate individuals about the risks associated with owning a pit bull. Some advocacy groups argue that ownership of pit bulls must be completely banned. Other animal rights advocacy groups argue that children and people must be educated about dealing with pit bulls. These groups claim that people must be taught about behaviors that can trigger aggressive behavior in pit bull breeds. If a pit bull ban gains enough support, then the Illinois legislature could potentially ban the ownership of pit bulls in the state. Some cities have already started to enact legislation aimed at banning the ownership of pit bulls. Pit bull owners have retaliated against such legislation by attempting to claim that their dogs are actually “service dogs” and emotional pets.
Victims May Have a Right to Compensation
Those who are injured as a result of a pit bull attack should be prepared to fight for their legal rights. Pit bull owners are increasingly making legal arguments that assert their pets are “service dogs” and other types of pets that may have certain exemptions under the law. Illinois dog bite lawyers are fully aware of these types of arguments and can help victims sift through statewide laws concerning pit bulls.
If you have been injured in a pit bull attack, call our lawyers to learn more about your case. Our attorneys are ready to fight for your legal rights.