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Understanding Illinois’ Animal Control Act

At the Law Office of Kerley & Associates in Illinois, we know how frightening a dog bite can be, especially if the dog bites your child. Even if (s)he receives only a tiny “nip,” you naturally worry about the possibility of rabies. In addition, this experience could make your child fear all dogs for the rest of his or her life. If the dog bite causes serious injury, (s)he could face extensive medical treatment up to and including plastic surgery to prevent permanent scarring.

Section 510 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes sets forth the Illinois Animal Control Act. This Act defines an animal as not only a dog, but any living creature except humans that can contract rabies. The statute also defines and makes provision for potentially dangerous dogs, dangerous dogs and vicious dogs.

Owner liability

A dog’s owner is responsible for his or her dog’s actions. Therefore, if a dog attacks and/or injures you, your child, or your pet, you can sue the owner to recover your medical costs and other damages. To prevail in your suit, however, you must be able to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the dog was not justified in biting because of one of the following reasons:

  • You and/or your child were trespassing on the owner’s property at the time of the bite
  • You and/or your child were threatening, abusing or injuring the dog’s owner or a member of the household at the time of the bite
  • You and/or your child were abusing, injuring or threatening the dog or its puppies at the time of the bite

For more information about this subject, please visit this page on our website.

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Springfield, IL 62704

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