Chicago Dog Bite Law…

Municipal Code of Chicago the promulgation of such administrative policies and rules as are necessary to implement the enforcement of this ordinance. The mayor shall designate one of its members to act as chairman for a term of 12 months, subject to redesignation for any number of additional terms of two years. The commission shall meet at least once every three months, unless otherwise determined by the commission or when called upon to do so by the chairman.

Each commission member shall serve for a period of two years from date of appointment, subject to reappointment by the mayor for any number of additional terms of two years, except that four of the initial appointments as designated by the mayor shall be for a term of only one year. Each commission member shall serve until a successor has been appointed by the mayor. The mayor shall appoint members to fill vacancies which may occur due to death, resignation or incapacity.

7-12-015  Executive Director – Powers and duties.

The executive director shall have the following powers and duties:

  • To supervise and administratively direct the work of the animal control center or centers as established by and defined in this chapter;
  •  To coordinate the activities of the animal control center or centers with the activities of other animal control and regulatory agencies within the State of Illinois and with humane societies as such societies are hereinafter defined;
  • To supervise and administratively direct any neutering and spaying clinic established by the commission;
  • To formulate and direct an educational program to develop better animal care;
  • To enforce the provisions of Article XXII of Chapter 11-4 of this Code and to notify the commissioner of business affairs and consumer protection of any violation for which the commissioner of business affairs and consumer protection is authorized to issue an emergency abatement order as set forth in Section 11-4-3030(b)(1) of this Code;
  • To enter into and execute sponsorship agreements with sponsors of events, programs, and initiatives under the executive director’s jurisdiction. Such sponsorship agreements shall contain such terms and conditions that the executive director deems appropriate.  All sponsorship agreements shall be subject to the approval of the corporation counsel as to form and legality.  For purposes of this definition, “sponsors” means those persons providing money or other in-kind goods or services to the City in exchange for advertising or promotional rights at events, programs, or initiatives under the executive director’s jurisdiction.  Persons meeting the definition of sponsor in the previous sentence may, in the discretion of the executive director, and upon such terms as the executive director determines, sell goods and services to the public at such events, programs, or initiatives.

7-12-020  Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following are defined and shall be construed as hereinafter set out unless it shall be apparent from the context that a different meaning is intended:

“Animal” means any living vertebrate, domestic or wild, not including man.

“Animal control center” means a facility operated by and under the direct supervision of the executive director of the commission for the purpose of impounding animals as henceforth set out in this chapter.

“Animal control officer” means an employee of the commission who shall be responsible to it and the executive director and have the power and authority to issue citations for any violations of this ordinance relating to the care, treatment, control or impoundment of animals.

“Animal under restraint” means any animal:

either secured by a leash or lead;

within the premises of its owner, or confined within a crate or cage, or confined within a vehicle, or on the premises of another person with the consent of that person; provided that any animal not secured by a leash or lead and that is outdoors on the premises of its owner or outdoors on the premises of another person with consent of that person shall not be considered under restraint unless the animal is on a fenced portion of the premises and the fence is: (i) constructed to keep the animal from reaching through the fence; and (ii) of sufficient height appropriate to the size of the animal to prevent the animal from jumping or reaching over the fence; or

within an area specifically designated by the Chicago Park District or by the City of Chicago as a dog park, or as an animal exercise run; provided that the animal is under the control of a competent person.

“Bite” means seizure with the teeth or jaws of an animal so that the skin of the human being or animal seized has been pierced or broken and further includes contact of the saliva of the biting animal with any break or abrasion of the skin of the human being or animal bitten.

“Cat” means any live male or female cat (Felis catus).

“Commission” means the commission on animal care and control.

“Dangerous animal” means an animal meeting any one of the following criteria:

any animal which bites, inflicts injury on, kills or otherwise attacks a human being or domestic animal without provocation on any public or private property; or

Any animal which on more than one occasion, without provocation, chases or approaches any person in an apparent attitude of attack, on any public property or in any place outside or over the boundaries of its owner’s property; or

Any animal owned or harbored primarily or in part for the purpose of dog or other animal fighting or any animal trained for dog or other animal fighting; or

Any dog that is used as a guard dog; or

Any animal which has been found to be a vicious dog under state law.

“Dog” means any live male or female dog (Canis familiaris).

“Euthanasia” or “humane destruction” means death brought about by any method which produces instant loss of consciousness and results in painless death.

“Executive director” means the executive director of the commission on animal care and control.

“Guard dog” means any dog used primarily for the purpose of defending, patrolling, or protecting property or life at a commercial establishment other than a farm; provided that, “Guard dog” does not include stock dogs used primarily for handling and controlling livestock or farm animals; provided further, that “Guard dog” shall not include any dog that is the property of any local, state or federal government.

“Horse” means an animal of the genus equus.

“Impounded” means having been taken into the custody of the commission or any other facility designated by the executive director.

“Licensed dog” means any dog four months of age or older for which the owner can produce proof of having paid the license fee for the current year.

“Microchip” means a passive electronic device that is injected into an animal by means of a prepackaged sterilized implanting device for purposes of identification or recovery.

“Owner” means any person having a right of property in an animal or who keeps or harbors any animal or who has an animal in his care or custody.

“Pet” means any species of domesticated animals customarily regarded as suited to live within an abode used for human occupancy.

“Provocation” means that the threat, injury or damage caused by the animal was sustained by a person who, at the time, was committing a willful trespass or other tort upon the premises occupied by the owner of the animal, or was tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the animal, or was committing or attempting to commit a crime.

“Severe injury” means any physical injury that results in death; loss of soft tissue; a broken bone; hospitalization admittance; impairment of any bodily function; disfiguring laceration; laceration requiring sutures or cosmetic surgery; or lacerations or puncture wounds caused by more than one bite.

“Snakehead fish” means a fish of the Family Channidae.

“Sterilization” or “sterilize” means the rendering of an animal unable to reproduce by altering the animal’s reproductive organs. Sterilization includes the spaying of a female dog or cat, or the neutering of a male dog or cat.

“Stray animal” means any animal not under restraint and not in the presence of its owner.

“Vaccination” means the injection, as approved by the Department of Agriculture, State of Illinois, of an antirabies vaccine approved by said department, with verification thereof consisting of a current certificate and current tag issued in accordance with the statutes of the State of Illinois.

“Veterinarian” means a person currently licensed by the State of Illinois to engage in the practice of veterinarian medicine.

“Visiting hours” means posted days and hours during which an animal control center operated by the commission on animal care and control shall be kept open to the public for the transaction of appropriate business, as established by the executive director.

“Animal care facility”, “Animal Exhibition”, “Guard dog”, “Humane society”, “Pet show”, and “Veterinary hospital” shall have the same meaning ascribed to them as in section 4-384-010 of this Code.

7-12-030  Animals shall be restrained.

Each owner shall keep and maintain his animal under restraint; provided, however, that this section shall not apply to any dog being used for rescue or law enforcement work. It shall be unlawful for any owner to allow his or her animal to cross outside the property line of its owner to any extent, including reaching through, over or under a fence, or to keep or allow his or her animal to be outdoors on an unfenced portion of the owner’s property, unless the animal is leashed and under the control of its owner or another responsible person; provided that any animal not secured by a leash or lead and that is outdoors on a fenced portion of the owner’s property or outdoors on the premises of another person with consent of that person shall not be considered under restraint unless the fence is of sufficient height appropriate to the size of the animal to prevent the animal from jumping or reaching over the fence. In addition, it shall be an unlawful failure to restrain for an animal to attack, bite, threaten, or jump on any person without that person’s consent, outside the property of the animal’s owner. The provisions of this section shall be a positive duty of the owner and the offenses described herein shall be strict liability offenses.

Any owner who violates any provision of this section shall be subject to a fine of $300.00, if the violation does not result in severe injury or death to any person or damage to another person’s property. If the violation results in severe injury or death to any person, the owner shall be subject to a fine of not less than $1,000.00 and not more than $10,000.00. In addition to a fine, the owner may be required to submit full restitution to the victim or may be incarcerated for a period not to exceed six months, or may be required to perform up to 100 hours of community service, or any combination thereof. If the violation results in damage to another person’s property, the owner shall be subject to a fine of not less than $300.00 and not more than $1,000.00. In addition to a fine, the owner may be required to submit full restitution to the victim.

7-12-040  Impounding animals that are stray.

Any stray animal shall be immediately impounded by an animal control officer.

7-12-050  Dangerous animals – Determination and requirements.

The executive director shall have the authority to make a determination that an animal is a dangerous animal, as defined in Section 7-12-020, and to order the owner to comply with any of the measures set forth below for the protection of public health, safety and welfare.

(a)   Upon receipt of a citizen complaint or other report of an animal bite, attack, threatening behavior, or other reason to believe an animal may be a dangerous animal, the executive director or an animal control officer shall evaluate the seriousness of the complaint or report and, if the circumstances warrant, may conduct an investigation of the facts. Where practicable and readily located, the investigation shall include interviewing the complainant, the victim, if any, the animal’s owner, any witnesses, observation of the animal and the scene, and any other information presented by the owner. The investigator then shall make a written finding of whether an animal is a dangerous animal as defined in Section 7-12-020 and of the basis for that finding. In addition, if during the course of the investigation, the investigator uncovers evidence of inhumane treatment of any animal in violation of Section 7-12-090, he or she shall make a written finding of the specific violation and forward such to the executive director. For purposes of this section, a police report may constitute an investigation and may include a finding of dangerousness. Based upon the investigator’s finding of a dangerous animal, the executive director shall declare in writing whether the animal is a dangerous animal.

(b)   Where an animal is declared to be a dangerous animal, and the animal has caused severe injury to any person or other domestic animal, then the executive director may order the humane destruction of the animal, where appropriate, taking into consideration the severity and the circumstances of injury. Where an animal is declared to be a dangerous animal, and the animal has caused death to any person, then the executive director shall order the humane destruction of the animal.

(c)   Subject to subsection (g) of this section, in all cases where an animal is declared to be a dangerous animal and the animal is not humanely destroyed, the executive director shall order the owner to comply with the following requirements:

(1)   While on the owner’s property, the owner must securely confine the dangerous animal indoors or within a securely enclosed and locked pen, structure, or fence, suitable to prevent the entry of young children and designed to prevent the animal from escaping. Such pen, structure, or fence must be a minimum of six feet in height and must have secure sides and top. If it has no bottom secured to the sides, the sides must be embedded into the ground no less than two feet deep. The enclosure also must be humane and provide some protection from the elements for the animal. In addition to the enclosure required by this subsection, the owner shall erect a fence on the perimeter of that portion of the property where the enclosure is located. The location and height of the fence shall be approved by the executive director. The enclosure and fence shall be erected within thirty days of the declaration that the animal is a dangerous animal.

(2)   While off of the owner’s property, a dangerous animal must be muzzled securely to prevent the possibility of biting, restrained by a substantial chain or leash not exceeding six feet in length, and under the control of a responsible adult at all times. The muzzle must be made in a manner that will not cause injury to the animal or impair its vision or respiration but must prevent it from biting any person or animal.

(3)   Within 24 hours of the declaration that the animal is a dangerous animal, the owner must display, in a conspicuous manner, a sign on the owner’s premises warning that a dangerous animal is on the premises by stating in capital letters:

“Warning – Dangerous Animal – Keep Away.”

The sign must be visible and legible from the public way and from 50 feet away from the special enclosure required pursuant to subsection (c)(1) above.

(4)   Within ten business days of the declaration that the animal is a dangerous animal, the owner, at the owner’s expense, shall have an identifying microchip installed under the animal’s skin by a veterinarian.

(5)   Within ten business days of the declaration that the animal is a dangerous animal, the animal shall be sterilized, at the owner’s expense.

(6)   Within ten business days of the declaration that the animal is a dangerous animal, the owner must procure and maintain in effect liability insurance, including coverage of claims arising from the conduct of the owner’s animal, in an amount not less than $100,000.00 for each animal declared dangerous. The insurance shall include a provision whereby the insurer notifies the executive director not less than 30 days prior to cancellation or lapse of coverage.

In addition, the executive director may order the owner to comply with any of the following requirements, in any combination:

(7)   The owner must confine the dangerous animal to the secure enclosure described above in subsection (c)(1) at all times and only allow the animal out under the conditions set forth in subsection (c)(2) when it is necessary to obtain veterinary care for the animal, comply with a court order, or where an emergency is declared by a government agency requiring evacuation of the owner.

(8)   The owner and the animal must complete a course of animal obedience training approved by the executive director.

In the alternative to (1) – (8) above, the executive director may order that the dangerous animal:

(i)   at the owner’s expense, have an identifying microchip implanted under the animal’s skin by a veterinarian; and

(ii)   be permanently barred from the city limits. The owner shall provide a statement, verified by affidavit, to the executive director indicating the new location of the animal, and the name and address of the person having custody of the animal.

(d)   Where the owner’s address can be reasonably ascertained, the executive director shall send written notice to the owner, by first class mail, stating that his or her animal has been declared a dangerous animal, describing the basis for such declaration by specific behavior and date(s) of occurrence, setting forth all applicable orders and restrictions imposed reason of such declaration, and informing the owner of his or her right to appeal such determination by filing a written request for a hearing within seven days of service of the notice. A notice shall be deemed served on the date the notice is mailed. A copy of such notice shall be sent to the complainant, if any. Where the animal has been impounded pursuant to subsection (f) below, such notice shall be sent within 30 days after such impoundment.

(e)   If the owner requests a hearing, the executive director, if the department of administrative hearings has not exercised jurisdiction in accordance with Section 2-14-190(c) of this Code, or the department of administrative hearings, if the office has exercised jurisdiction in accordance with Section 2-14-190(c) of this Code, shall appoint an administrative law officer who shall hold a hearing, at which all interested parties may present testimony and any other relevant evidence, within 30 days of the request. The hearing shall be taped or recorded by other appropriate means. If the administrative law officer upholds the executive director’s determination that the animal is dangerous, the owner shall have 30 days to satisfy all requirements set out in subsection (c) and the notice. In those cases where the executive director has ordered humane destruction of the dangerous animal, that order shall not be carried out until seven days after the hearing; if the owner appeals to the circuit court during that time period, that order shall be stayed until resolution of such appeal.

(f)   Where there is probable cause to believe that an animal is a dangerous animal, the executive director or his designee is authorized to impound and hold such animal, at the owner’s expense, pending the investigation and final resolution of any appeals. Where the animal has caused severe injury or death to any person, the executive director or his designee is required to impound and hold such animal, at the owner’s expense, pending the investigation and final resolution of any appeals. Moreover, in no event shall a dangerous animal be released to its owner before the owner obtains a dangerous animal license pursuant to section 7-12-052 or before the executive director or his designee approves the enclosure required by subsection (c)(1). The holding period and impoundment procedures for animals of unknown ownership shall be governed by Section 7-12-060.

(g)   Guard dogs and dogs which have been found to be “vicious dogs” under state law, automatically are required to comply with the requirements of Section 7-12-050(c)(1) – (4) and (c)(6) without the need for any individualized declaration or the right to any hearing, except that, to the extent an owner disputes the fact that his or her animal is used as a guard dog the hearing procedure set forth in subsection (e) of this section shall apply. The commission may promulgate rules and regulations that set forth the conditions under which the provisions of subsection (c) of this section shall not apply to guard dogs when the dogs are on assignment.

7-12-051  Dangerous animals – Violations.

(a)   Any owner who fails to comply with any of the requirements of Section 7-12-050, Section 7-12-052, or any additional orders of the executive director as authorized by those sections shall be punished by a fine of not less than $500.00 nor more than $1,000.00, plus impoundment of the animal. If the owner fails to make the animal available for impoundment or fails to come into compliance with the requirements or orders within 7 days after the impoundment of the animal, the owner shall be incarcerated for a term not to exceed six months and the animal shall become the property of the commission. In addition to the penalties set forth above, the executive director may order an owner who violates Section 7-12-050 to attend with his or her animal a course of animal obedience training approved by the executive director.

(b)   Any animal which has been declared a dangerous animal and which (1) is seen outside and not confined within the enclosure required by Section 7-12-050(c)(1), and not muzzled and under control as required by Section 7-12-050(c)(2), or (2) thereafter attacks or injures a person or domestic animal, shall be impounded by an animal control officer or a police officer, at the owner’s expense, and the executive director may order the owner to comply with any of the alternatives set forth in Section 7-12-050(b) and (c), including humane destruction of the animal. If the owner fails to make the animal available for impoundment or fails to come into compliance with the requirements or orders within 7 days after the impoundment of the animal, the owner shall be incarcerated for a term not to exceed six months and the animal shall become the property of the commission. The owner shall be entitled to notice and an opportunity for a hearing in the same manner as provided in Section 7-12-050(d) and (e) above.

7-12-052  Dangerous animals – Miscellaneous.

(a)   Every owner of a dangerous animal shall allow inspection of the required enclosure by the executive director or his designee.

(b)   All dangerous animals as defined in this chapter are hereby declared to be a public nuisance; provided that they are lawful if maintained in strict compliance with the requirements set out in Section 7-12-050(c).

(c)   The executive director and/or the commission are hereby authorized to enact regulations governing dangerous animals as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter and to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

(d)   Where an animal has caused severe injury or death to any person, but it is not found to be a dangerous animal on the grounds that the attack was provoked, the executive director shall advise the owner to comply with the safety measures set forth in Section 7-12-050(c) in order to protect the public health, safety and welfare.

(e)   In addition to any other license required under this chapter, the owner of any animal declared dangerous shall obtain a dangerous animal license within 10 days of the declaration that the animal is a dangerous animal; except that this provision shall not apply to the owner of any guard that is licensed under Chapter 4-384 of this code. The owner shall pay an annual license fee of $100 for the privilege of owning the dangerous animal. The application for the license shall be made to the executive director.

7-12-060  Redemption of impounded animals.

The commission or any agency the commission may designate to take possession of animals for the purposes of impounding, shall hold impounded animals for seven days, unless the owner redeems the animal sooner, during which time reasonable means shall be used to facilitate their return to the rightful owners. The owner of any animal impounded in any animal control center may, at any time during visiting hours at the animal control center, and before the sale or other disposal as provided in this ordinance, redeem such animal by paying the required fees or charges and, in the case of an unlicensed animal by complying with the license requirements.

The seven-day holding period shall not apply to an animal relinquished by its owner to the commission under owner signature authorizing the commission to make immediate disposition of the animal at its discretion, nor shall any required holding period apply to an animal received for impounding in obviously critical physical condition or for which immediate euthanasia shall be deemed proper for humane reasons by the executive director or the executive director’s designee.

An animal of unknown ownership shall be held for a minimum of five days, or for such longer length of time as the executive director may deem necessary to permit location of and redemption by the rightful owner, except that wild animals which are noxious by their very nature such as wild rats, and undomesticated rodents may be euthanized at once following an examination for zoonotic diseases.

Any animal remaining unredeemed after the prescribed holding period shall at once become the property of the commission.

7-12-065  Impoundment of dogs and cats – Compulsory sterilization and microchip implantation.

(a)   Any dog or cat impounded under Sections 7-12-040, 7-12-080, or 7-12-290 shall prior to redemption:

(1)   have a microchip implanted; and

(2)   if the dog or cat is capable of reproduction, be sterilized, unless, in the determination of the executive director, the sterilization would endanger the life or health of the animal.

(b)   The implantation of a microchip in and the sterilization of the animal pursuant to this section shall be performed only after the owner, if known, is given notification either in person, or by first class mail, of the executive director’s intent to implant a microchip in and sterilize the animal and informing the owner of his right to appeal such determination by filing a written request for a hearing within five days of service of the notice.

(c)   If the owner requests a hearing, the administrative law officer shall be appointed by the executive director unless the department of administrative hearings has exercised jurisdiction in accordance with Section 2-14-190(c) of this Code, in which case the department of administrative hearings shall appoint the administrative law officer, who shall hold a hearing, at which all interested parties may present testimony and any other relevant evidence, within 15 days of the request. If the administrative law officer upholds the executive director’s determination that the cat or dog is subject to the requirements of this section, then the executive director shall not sterilize or implant a microchip in the animal until seven days after the hearing; if the owner appeals to the circuit court during that time period, the order to sterilize and implant a microchip in the animal shall be stayed until resolution of such appeal.

(d)   In addition to all other applicable fees, the cost of the sterilization and the implantation of the microchip shall be charged to the owner upon redemption.

(Added Coun. J. 12-4-02, p. 99026, § 4.1; Amend Coun. J. 3-14-07, p. 99838, § 1)

7-12-070  Facilities to be used for impoundments.

For purposes of impoundment, the executive director shall utilize an animal control center or the facilities of any humane society properly equipped and willing to impound animals, or, if the animal shall be of a species that may be better or more safely impounded elsewhere, the executive director may designate an alternate facility that is properly equipped and willing to accept the animal.

(Prior code § 98-3.4)

7-12-080  Removal of neglected animal.

(a)   Whenever the executive director shall determine: (1) that any animal is kept within a building or upon any premises without food, water, shelter, or proper care and attention for a period of time sufficient within his judgment to cause undue discomfort or suffering, and the owner cannot be located after reasonable search, or if the owner shall be known to be absent due to injury, illness, incarceration, eviction, or other involuntary circumstance; or (2) that any animal is kept at a residence under such conditions that endanger the public health, safety and welfare, or the safety and welfare of the animal, it shall be the duty of the executive director to obtain the necessary legal process to allow him or her to enter or to cause to have entered such building or premises to take possession and remove such animal to an animal control center or to a humane society or other appropriate agency equipped, able and willing to accept the animal.

(b)   The animal control center, humane society or other authorized receiving agency shall exercise due caution for the welfare and temporary safekeeping of any animal so removed, in conformance with policies to be prescribed by the commission. After due notification to the owner, or, if the owner cannot be located or contacted after reasonable effort by the animal control center, humane society or other authorized receiving agency, any animal so removed and unredeemed shall become the property of the commission and disposed of under policies prescribed by the commission.

(Prior code § 98-4; Amend Coun. J. 3-14-07, p. 99838, § 1)

7-12-090  Owner’s responsibility where animal has bitten another animal or person.

(a)   It shall be the duty and responsibility of the owner of any animal which has bitten any other domestic animal or person to:

(1)   notify the executive director of such bite within 24 hours of the bite;

(2)   subject to subsection (b), confine such animal under the observation of a licensed veterinarian for a period of ten days beginning within 24 hours of the biting incident. If, however, a licensed veterinarian is presented evidence that such animal has been inoculated against rabies within the time prescribed by law prior to the biting, such animal shall be confined on the premises of its owner and in a manner which shall prohibit such animal from biting any other animal or person for a period of ten days; except that, where the animal bite has caused severe injury or death to a person, confinement on the owner’s premises shall not be allowed.

(b)   After notification by the owner pursuant to subsection (a)(1), the executive director may impound, at the owner’s expense, any animal that has bitten any other animal or person to make a dangerous animal investigation pursuant to Section 7-12-050(f).

(c)   In the event of severe injury or death to a person, the executive director shall impound the animal, at the owner’s expense, as set forth above in Section 7-12-050(f). It further shall be the duty and responsibility of the owner to have such animal examined by a licensed veterinarian on the first and tenth day of impoundment or confinement or as soon thereafter as possible; provided, that the impoundment or confinement of the animal described above shall not be terminated until examination by a veterinarian.

(d)   If an animal is to be impounded by the executive director pursuant to this section, the owner shall pay a $150.00 rabies observation fee to cover the cost of housing, food, veterinary services and any other service rendered to the animal. Prior to release of said animal, vaccination and license certificates must be presented to the executive director or the director’s authorized representative.

(e)   It shall be unlawful for the owner of any animal that has bitten any person to sell, euthanize, inoculate, or give away the animal or to permit or allow the animal to be taken beyond the limits of the city during the time period for rabies observation and a dangerous animal investigation.

(f)   The owner of any animal impounded pursuant to this section shall pay all costs incurred by the commission for the housing, care and treatment of the animal. Any person who violates any other provision of this section shall be fined not less than $300.00 nor more than $500.00 for each offense, or may be incarcerated for a term not to exceed six months, or both.. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense. In addition to any fine or incarceration that may be imposed by this section, if the owner fails to make the animal available for impoundment, the animal shall become the property of the commission.

(Prior code § 98-5; Amend Coun. J. 10-2-95, p. 8604; Amend Coun. J. 12-4-02, p. 99026, § 4.1; Amend Coun. J. 3-31-04, p. 20916, § 3.26; Amend Coun. J. 3-14-07, p. 99838, § 1)

7-12-100  Excessive animal noise – Prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person who owns, controls, has possession of or is charged with the responsibility for caring for any dog or other animal to allow such animal to make excessive noise in a manner that unnecessarily disturbs the comfort, quiet, peace or repose of any other person in the vicinity, at any time of the day or night.  Any person who violates this section shall be fined not less than $50.00 nor more than $250.00 for each offense.  Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.

A citation for a violation of this section may be issued based on either: (1) personal observation of a violation by any city officer or employee charged with enforcement of this section; or (2) a complaint alleging a violation of this section, signed and sworn to by residents of three different addresses, and specifying the date and time of the violation.

For purposes of this section, the term “excessive noise” means any continued, repeated or habitual barking, whining, crying, howling, whimpering, crowing, or loud noise common to an animal’s species that exceeds ten consecutive minutes in duration or occurs intermittently for a significant portion of the day or night, that is louder than average conversational level at a distance of 100 feet or more.

For purposes of this section, the term “any other person” means a reasonable person with ordinary sensibilities.

7-12-110  Adoption of unredeemed animals.

The commission shall designate, and the executive director shall cause to have posted or published, the day or days of each week and the hours when unredeemed animals in possession of the commission shall be offered to the public for inspection and adoption. The executive director also shall designate, with the approval of the commission, reasonable ownership standards deemed necessary for the care of adoptive animals, including inoculation and enforcement of neutering and spaying requirements for all dogs and cats adopted.

(Prior code § 98-7)

7-12-115  Rabies and distemper vaccinations; spay/neuter clinics.

(a)   The commission and the executive director may establish and maintain one or more clinics for the administration of rabies and distemper vaccinations to, the sterilization of, and the implantation of microchips in cats and dogs owned by city residents.

(b)   Persons who submit a dog or cat for any of the services specified in this section shall complete an application form promulgated by the executive director. The application shall include a consent form certifying that the applicant is the owner of the animal or is otherwise authorized to present the animal for the service. The consent form shall contain a waiver of liability of the city, the commission and the executive director, and any of their agents or employees, for any injury or death of an animal resulting from the services provided under this section, or other services provided incidental thereto.

(c)   The commission shall impose and collect the following fees for the services specified:

(1)   Sterilization surgery   $25.00

(2)   Rabies vaccination   15.00

(3)   Microchip implantation   15.00

(4)   Distemper vaccination   7.00

The fees shall be in addition to any applicable license fee.

The commission may, no more than five days per month, waive the sterilization surgery fee for residents in those areas having the highest stray populations. Residents are eligible for the fee waiver only if they present proof of residence within the designated area. The commission shall annually promulgate rules setting forth the areas with the highest stray populations.

In addition, the commission may establish, impose and collect a reasonable boarding fee upon an applicant who fails to pick up the animal at the time specified by clinic personnel.

(Added Coun. J. 11-4-98, p. 80929; Amend Coun. J. 12-4-02, p. 99026, § 4.1; Amend Coun. J. 5-12-10, p. 91121, § 1)

7-12-120  Fees.

The commission shall charge and collect the following fees and shall attach such additional requirements as are stated for release of animals from the animal control center:

(a)   Redemption fee for:

(1)   Licensed dogs and all other animals impounded as strays   $30.00

(2)   Unlicensed dogs impounded as strays   60.00

(3)   Any animal impounded two times in a 12-month period   90.00

(4)   Any animal impounded three times in a 12-month period   120.00

In addition to the imposition of the foregoing fee, the executive director shall recommend that the owner of any animal impounded three times in a 12-month period attend an animal care education program.

(5)   Any animal impounded four or more times in a 12-month period   150.00

In addition to the imposition of the foregoing fee, the owner of any animal impounded four or more times in a 12-month period shall be subject to the hearing requirement of this section.

(b)   Housing fee per animal, per day   8.00

(c)   Adoption fee for:

(1)   Dogs and cats   65.00

Or higher bid price if auctioned

(2)   All other animals   5.00 – 30.00

Or higher bid price if  auctioned

(d)   Euthanasia fee – owner’s request   10.00

In addition to the redemption and housing fees, all mandatory licensing fees shall be paid at the time of the redemption of the animal.

The commission shall promulgate regulations establishing the adoption fees for animals, other than dogs and cats, pursuant to the requirements of subsection (c)(2) of this section.

The owner of an animal impounded four or more times in a 12-month period shall not be entitled to obtain return of the animal until a hearing is held by the city and the hearing officer concludes that the owner can exercise responsible ownership and control of the animal. If the owner requests a hearing, the executive director, if the department of administrative hearings has not exercised jurisdiction in accordance with Section 2-14-190(c) of this Code, or the department of administrative hearings, if the office has exercised jurisdiction in accordance with Section 2-14-190(c) of this Code, shall appoint an administrative law officer who shall hold a hearing, at which all interested parties may present testimony and any other relevant evidence, within 15 days of the request. The hearing shall be taped or recorded by other appropriate means. If the administrative law officer concludes that the owner is entitled to return of the animal, the animal shall be returned to the owner upon payment of all applicable fees. If the administrative law officer concludes that the owner is not entitled to return of the animal, the animal shall become the property of the commission.

(Prior code § 98-7.1; Amend Coun. J. 11-30-88, p. 19542; Amend Coun. J. 11-10-94, p. 59125; Amend Coun. J. 12-4-02, p. 99026, § 4.1; Amend Coun. J. 7-26-06, p. 81855, § 1)

7-12-130  Refund of spaying deposit – Exchange of animal – Commission’s right to repossess.

Any adopter of an animal from an animal control center may exchange such animal for another of the same species and sex within 14 days from date of adoption if said animal has been examined by a veterinarian or by an authorized representative of the executive director and found to be physically or otherwise defective, or unadaptable to the home of the adopter, but no refund shall be made if exchange shall be declined by the adopter.

The commission shall have the right to repossess irrevocably without refund or exchange privilege, any adopted animal if the owner is in default as to licensing requirements or any other provision of this chapter.

7-12-140  License required.

(a)   It is the duty of the owner of each dog four months of age or older to obtain from the city a dog license for the privilege of owning such dog, unless such dog shall be temporarily within the possession of a veterinary hospital, pet shop, animal care facility, or humane society. The license fee for each dog license shall be as set forth in Section 7-12-170.

(b)   Upon determining that an owner subject to the license requirement of subsection (a) of this section has failed to obtain such license, the city clerk shall issue a notice of violation to the owner. If, within 30 days from the date such notice is deposited in the mail, the owner has not come into compliance with subsection (a), the city clerk shall issue a second notice of violation to the owner. The notice required by this subsection shall be sent by first class mail addressed to the owner at the most recent address shown on county rabies vaccination records.

(c)   The penalty for failure to obtain the license required by this section shall be no less than $30.00 and no greater than $200.00 for each offense.

(d)   The provisions of Article I of Chapter 2-14 of the code shall apply to this section.

7-12-150  License application forms.

(a)   An application for a dog license shall be made to the city clerk on forms or in an electronic format as prescribed by the city clerk, and shall contain the owner’s name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, information sufficient to identify the dog, and any other information as may be required by the city clerk.

As part of every dog license application, the owner shall attest to the following information for each dog for which an application has been submitted:

(1)   that the dog has a current certificate of rabies inoculation that complies with Section 7-12-200;

(2)   the number of the rabies inoculation certificate or tag referred to in subsection (a)(1) of this section, and the date of expiration of the rabies inoculation the dog received;

(3)   the age of the dog’s owner; and

(4)   whether the dog has been sterilized.

(b)   The city clerk shall keep on file, for two years from date of issue, a copy, which may be an electronic copy, of each application or a copy of each license so issued on the basis of application.

(c)   Any person who knowingly makes a false statement of material fact on any dog license application shall be subject to the provisions of Section 1-21-010 of the Municipal Code.

7-12-160  Rabies inoculation certificate.

Application for such license shall be made to the city clerk.  Before a license is issued, a certificate of inoculation against rabies for each dog, issued by the county rabies control officer, or by his deputy, or by a licensed veterinarian, shall be submitted to the city clerk for examination.  No license shall be issued for any dog unless such inoculation certificate bears a date within three years prior to the date of application for license or such other interval as approved by the Department of Agriculture of the State of Illinois.  Such certificate shall be returned to the applicant after the current dog license number has been stamped thereon.  When applying for a dog license by mail, the certificate of inoculation shall accompany the application. Said certificate shall be returned at the time the license tag is mailed to the applicant.

7-12-170  License fees.

(a)   A dog license may be issued for either a one-year or three-year period as limited by subsection (e) of this section.  The fee shall be paid at the time of the issuance of the license and shall be as follows:

One-Year Fee

Three-Year Fee

Male or female, not sterilized

$50.00

$150.00

Male or female, sterilized

$5.00

$15.00

except that owners 65 years of age or older shall be charged as follows:

One-Year Fee

Three-Year Fee

Male or female, not sterilized

$5.00

$15.00

Male or female, sterilized

$2.50

$7.50

(b)   The fee for a replacement license shall be one- half of the original fee, or $20.00, whichever is less.

(c)   No fee shall be charged for:

(1)   any service dog which is properly trained to guide or otherwise assist a blind person; or

(2)   any dog which is the property of any subdivision of local, state or federal government.

(d)   Each dog license issued after July 1, 2008 shall expire at the end of the applicable one or three year period or on the expiration date of the certificate of inoculation that is in effect at the time the dog license is issued, whichever is earlier.

7-12-180  Exemptions from license requirements.

(a)   Section 7-12-140 shall not apply to dogs owned by or in the charge or care of nonresidents traveling through the City of Chicago or temporarily living therein; however, any person keeping or harboring any dog for 15 consecutive days within the city shall be considered a resident owner and shall comply with the licensing requirement.

(b)   Section 7-12-140 shall not apply to any person who is properly licensed under Chapter 4-384 of this Code to engage in the business of permanent animal exhibition or properly permitted under Section 7-12-185 to operate a temporary animal exhibition.

(Prior code § 98-8.4; Amend Coun. J. 7-26-06, p. 81829, § 3; Amend Coun. J. 6-13-07, p. 2873, § 2; Amend Coun. J. 6-13-07, p. 2891, § 2; Amend Coun. J. 5-9-12, p. 27485, § 153)

7-12-185 Temporary animal exhibitions – permit required.

(a)   For purposes of this section, the term “temporary animal exhibition” shall be defined as set forth in Section 4-384-010.

(b)   No person shall operate a temporary animal exhibition without first having obtained an animal exhibition permit.

(c)   An application for an animal exhibition permit shall be made on a form prescribed by the executive director, and shall be accompanied by a non-refundable application fee as set forth in Section 4-5-010.  The application shall contain:

(1)   The name and business address of the applicant and any other associated information that the executive director may require, including any disclosures pertaining to ownership or control of the applicant;

(2)   A description of the proposed exhibition, including location, dates of operation, the species and numbers of animals included, and any animal tricks, behaviors or other activities intended as part of the exhibition;

(3)   Proof of insurance with amounts and coverages set by the executive director, following consultation with the City’s risk manager; and

(4)   Such other information as the executive director may reasonably require.

(d)   Upon being satisfied that a permit application is complete and meets the requirements of this section, and that the proposed exhibition will not endanger the public or create an imminent hazard to the health of the animals included in such exhibition, the executive director shall issue the permit.  The permit shall be valid only for the exhibition as described on the application. If the executive director denies the permit, he shall inform the applicant in writing, stating the reasons for the denial.

(e)   (1)   Any person found to be operating a temporary animal exhibition without the permit required by this section, or in violation of the terms of a permit issued pursuant to this section, shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100.00 nor more than $1,000.00 for each offense, or summary closure of the exhibition, or both a fine and summary closure.  A separate violation shall be deemed to have occurred for each day of noncompliance.

(2)   If the executive director determines that any violations are limited in scope or egregiousness such that they can be corrected by the permittee, the executive director may mandate that the permittee complete corrective action by a date certain, or, if summary closure is imposed, as a precondition to re- opening the exhibition.  Provided, however, that summary closure of a temporary animal exhibition shall only be authorized if an inspection by the department results in a finding of an imminent hazard to the health of animals included in such exhibition.  Corrective action may be imposed in conjunction with a fine.

(f)   (1)   Any applicant who believes that his application for a permit is wrongfully denied, or any permittee whose exhibition has been summarily closed pursuant to this section, may file an appeal with the department of administrative hearings within five business days of the date of the notice of the executive director’s denial or the closure.  If no appeal is filed within said five-day period, the executive director’s action shall be deemed final.

Upon the filing of such appeal, the department of administrative hearings shall cause a hearing to be held within five business days and based upon the evidence contained in the record of such hearing, either affirm or reverse the decision of the executive director.

Any final decision of the department of administrative hearings shall be subject to judicial review in accordance with applicable law.

(2)   If under the circumstances there is not sufficient time to file the appeal in accordance with the procedure set forth in this subsection, the decision by the executive director shall be deemed a final decision subject to judicial review in accordance with applicable law.

7-12-190  Citations.

The commission, through its animal control officers, is authorized to issue citations against the owner of any animal for violations of this chapter.

7-12-200  Rabies vaccination required.

Each owner of any dog, cat or ferret four months of age or older shall have the animal vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian of the owner’s choice. Evidence of vaccination shall consist of a certificate signed and dated by the veterinarian. Type and brand of vaccine used shall be as approved by the Department of Agriculture of the State of Illinois. Vaccination shall be required every three years or at such other interval as required by the Department of Agriculture of the State of Illinois.

A current certificate of vaccination issued by a veterinarian licensed to practice in any other jurisdiction establishing vaccination with a vaccine approved by the Department of Agriculture of the State of Illinois, may be accepted by the executive director, or for the issuance of dog licenses, by the city clerk.

7-12-290  Cruelty to animals – Fines.

No person shall do any of the following:

(a)   Beat, torture, torment, bait, mutilate or cruelly kill any animal, or cause or knowingly allow the same to be done;

(b)   Fail to provide any animal in the person’s care or custody with proper food, water, air or sanitary shelter;

(c)   Cruelly force into undue physical exertion or carry, keep, drive, overload, overwork, or cause to be carried, driven, overloaded, overworked, or kept, any animal in a cruel manner;

(d)   Leave for any unreasonable length of time any animal unattended in a motor vehicle, trailer or other enclosure in such a manner that the animal does not have proper air circulation;

(e)   Have, keep or harbor any animal which is infected with any disease transmissible to other animals or man, or which is afflicted with any painful disease or injury, including severe parasitism, unless the animal is under the care of a veterinarian;

(f)   Abandon any animal on any public way or in any place where it may suffer or become a public charge;

(g)   Stake out unattended, or leave unrestrained outside and unattended any female dog in season; or

(h)   Knowingly poison or cause to be poisoned any animal except with a written permit from the Illinois Department of Agriculture or the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prevent the use of poisons, approved by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, for rodent or vermin control.

(i)   In cases where the violation of this section creates a danger to the public health and safety or to the health and welfare of an animal, the executive director may cause the animal to be impounded until such time that the conditions that caused the danger are corrected. If the owner fails to correct the conditions within 7 days of the impoundment of the animal, the animal shall become the property of the commission. It shall be the duty of the executive director to obtain the necessary legal process to allow him or her to enter or to cause to have entered any building or premises to remove and impound such animal.

(j)   Any person who shall violate any provision of subsections (a) or (h) shall be fined not less than $1,000.00 nor more than $5,000.00 for each offense plus forfeiture of the animal; any person who shall violate any other provision of this section shall be fined not less than $300.00 nor more than $1,000.00 for each offense. Each day that such violation exists shall constitute a separate offense.

7-12-310  Removal of injured or diseased animal from public way.

Any animal which is on any public way or within any public place and which is severely injured or diseased, and for which care is not being provided on the scene or any severely injured or diseased animal that has strayed onto private premises, shall be removed, if possible, to the care of an animal control center, to the nearest humane society, or to the nearest veterinarian or veterinary hospital willing to accept them. If immediate removal shall not be possible, such animal may be destroyed by the most humane method available on the scene, unless the owner shall come forward beforehand and assume responsibility for removal and care.

Handling of any such case shall be the responsibility of the commission or, in the absence of a representative of the commission, any City of Chicago police officer, or any humane society representative duly authorized by the society to act in its behalf.

7-12-340  Notice to commission for removal of dead animal.

Every person having within his possession or control or upon any premises owned or occupied by him or her any dead animal which that person cannot, or does not intend to, bury or have buried or otherwise lawfully disposed of shall immediately give notice to the commission and the commission shall cause such animal to be removed and disposed of consistent with sound environmental standards.

7-12-350  Dyeing baby chicks, other fowls or rabbits prohibited.

No person shall bring or cause to have brought into the city, sell, offer for sale, barter or display living baby chicks, ducklings, goslings, or other fowl or rabbits which have been dyed, colored or otherwise treated so as to impart to them an artificial color.

It shall be unlawful for any person to display, sell, offer for sale, barter or give away any chicks, ducklings, or goslings as pets, unless the purchaser shall have proper brooder facilities. It shall be unlawful for any person to give away such animals as novelties or prizes. Except that nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit legitimate commerce in poultry for agricultural and food purposes.

7-12-360  Wild or nondomesticated animals.

Each person who shall possess, keep or maintain any wild, or nondomesticated animal, including any wild animal native to the State of Illinois, shall upon demand by the executive director or his authorized representative, furnish proof of compliance with such restrictions and/or permit requirements as may be imposed by statutes of the State of Illinois and/or federal law. The executive director or his authorized representative shall be empowered to demand surrender of any animal possessed, kept or maintained in the absence of proof of such compliance or in violation of the city ordinance relative to zoning regulation and to make whatever disposition of it as may be prescribed under policies approved by the commission.

It shall be a violation of this ordinance for any person to refuse to surrender any animal kept in noncompliance.

7-12-370  Animal fights and contests prohibited.

No person shall promote, stage, hold, manage, conduct, or carry on any animal fight, or train any animal for the purpose of an animal fight or any other type of contest, game or fight of a similar nature, nor any simulated version of same that involves baiting or inciting an animal to fight.

Any person who violates any of the provisions of this section shall upon conviction thereof be punished by a fine of not less than $1,000.00 nor more than $5,000.00 for the first offense or second offense and shall be punished as a misdemeanor for each subsequent offense by incarceration in the county jail for a term not to exceed six months or by both fine and imprisonment.

7-12-387  Restrictions on pigeons.

(a)   For purposes of this section only the following definition applies:

“Pigeon” means any live bird of the Family Columbidae.

(b)   It shall be unlawful for any person to import, sell, own, keep or otherwise possess any live pigeon within any area designated as a residence district under the Chicago Zoning Ordinance. Nothing in this subsection prohibits any person from transporting a live pigeon through a residential district, if the pigeon is caged during transport and not released in a residential district.

(c)   It shall be unlawful for any person to construct or maintain any coop or cote that is, or may be used for the storage, maintenance or sheltering of any live pigeon within any area designated as a residence district under the Chicago Zoning Ordinance.

(d)   The provisions of subsections (b) and (c) of this section shall not apply to the keeping of pigeons as part of an exhibit at either Lincoln Park Zoo or the zoo at Indian Boundary Park.

(e)   Violation of any portion of this section shall constitute a public nuisance, which may be abated pursuant to the procedures described in section 7-28-010. In addition to any fine or penalty, an amount equal to three times the cost or expense incurred by the city in abating a nuisance may be recovered in an appropriate action instituted by the corporation counsel.

(f)   Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be fined not less than $100.00 nor more than $1,000.00 or may be incarcerated for a period not to exceed six months, or both. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.

(g)   [Reserved.]

7-12-390  Transfer of animals – Records.

The commission may require persons who sell, transfer ownership of, give away, or otherwise dispose of animals, or of specified species of animals, to maintain records of such transactions, including information descriptive of the animals and identity and location of the recipients. The commission shall prescribe the length of time such records shall be kept on file by the preparer and shall be permitted access to the records upon demand.

7-12-395  Enforcement.

The executive director, or the executive director’s designee, and the department of police are authorized to take action necessary for the effective enforcement of this chapter, including the issuance of citations.

7-12-400  Rules and regulations and inspections.

The commission shall have the authority to establish and enforce rules and regulations relating to any matter pertaining to the administration, implementation and enforcement of the provisions of this chapter.

The commission may conduct, or cause to be conducted by an animal control officer or authorized representative, such inspections as are necessary to insure compliance with all applicable ordinances, statutes, and laws of local, state and federal governments and compliance with administrative regulations of the commission.

7-12-420  Removal of excrement.

No person shall appear with a pet upon the public ways or within public places or upon the property of another, absent that person’s consent, without some means for the removal of excrement; nor shall any person fail to remove any excrement deposited by such pet. This section shall not apply to a blind person while walking his or her guide dog.

Any person found to have been in violation of this section shall be fined not less than $50.00 nor more than $500.00 for each offense.

7-12-430  Violation – Penalty.

Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter for which no specific penalty is provided, shall be fined not less than $50.00 nor more than $200.00 for each offense.