A Different Breed of Prejudice

Why is Illinois Punishing Dogs for the Sins of Their Owners?

As a response to the “dog-bite epidemic” many municipalities have begun to pass two types of laws: dangerous-dog laws and breed-specific laws. This Note argues that all dog breed-specific legislation in Illinois should be replaced with breed neutral legislation. Dangerous-dog laws do not distinguish between different breeds of dogs in their attempt to keep communities safe from dogs of irresponsible owners. Additionally, the existing dangerous-dog laws in Illinois should be strengthened, and better community education on dog behavior must be introduced. These measures, once implemented, will work together to squarely lay the blame where it belongs—on negligent owners and shelters—while keeping both dogs and communities safe.

The full text of this Note is available to download as a PDF.