By Bob Negele
Conflict of a pit bull in the northern suburbs of Chicago has lead to a law suit to ban the animal from the neighborhood.
A recent article in the Chicago Tribune is reporting that residents of suburban Wilmette have filed a suit against the owners of a pit bull with the aim of banning the dog.
According to the report, John Grady, the plaintiff, has alleged that the pit bull has escaped on three occasions and acted in aggressive and vicious behavior.
“We did it with a heave heart because we regard lawsuits with neighbors as things to be avoided if at all possible,” said Grady. “There just came a time when we had to act to protect our children.”
While the article does discuss the three escapes of the pit bull, it does not allege that the dog has actually bitten or injured anyone. But, because the neighborhood has more than 40 children on the street, neighbors like Grady don’t want to wait for an injury.
The pit bull, which is a rescue dog, “allegedly attempted to attack a young child playing in a nearby yard, according to the lawsuit… The suit states neither Albright [the dog’s owner] nor her parents, were present during the incident, though the family declined comment.”
The pit bull is owned by Megan Albright, who recently moved back in to her parents house. Albright also allegedly owns a Doberman Pinscher.
In the suit, Grady alleges that, in one instance, after the pit bull escaped, Megan’s father retrieved the dog and said that the dog was mean and “I can’t understand why [Megan] keeps it.”
It raises issues that remind many of breed bans in areas like Denver. In Denver, residents are forbidden from owning pit bulls. This has caused frustration for owners, and confusion for what exactly constitutes a pit bull.
In this case, the rescue dog has not yet caused any injuries. The fear of injuries or death has caused the families to attempt to take preemptive measure. Grady, and three other families that joined the plaintiffs side of the suit, allege that the dog has taken an “attack position” several times.
In general, courts are not likely to require defendants to take certain actions when there is yet to be any harm. The court will have to carefully evaluate the potential harm of the pit bull when it determines whether or not to require Albright to find alternative housing for the animal.
Until the case is heard and more facts are released, it seems that the pit bull will remain in Wilmette. Hopefully that means that the dog will remain safely inside the Albright home and not interacting with residents on the streets.