Illinois Animal Law: What is the Difference Between a Dangerous Animal and Vicious Animal in Urbana?

Rincker Law Animal Law 1 Comment

If you live in Urbana, Illinois, under Section 4-1 of the Urbana Code, a “dangerous animal” is defined as a an email when:

either unmuzzled, unleashed, or unattended by its owner, or a member of the owner’s family, in a vicious or terrorizing manner, approaches any person in an apparent attitude of attack upon streets, sidewalks, any other public place, or any property other than the property of the animal’s owner.

There is no “bite” that is required but the City would have to prove that the dog acted in a “vicious or terrorizing manner” or with an “apparent attitude of attack.”

Whereas, a “vicious animal” is defined under the Code as one of four things:

  1. When unprovoked, inflicts bites or attacks a human being or a domestic animal either on public or private property;
  2. With a known propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack without provocation, to cause injury or to otherwise endanger the safety of human beings or domestic animals;
  3. Which has as a trait or characteristic and a generally known reputation for viciousness, dangerousness, or unprovoked attacks upon human beings or other domestic animals; or
  4. When either unmuzzled, unleashed or unattended by its owner, possessor or keeper, in a vicious or terrorizing manner, has approached any person in an apparent attitude of attack upon streets, sidewalks, any public grounds or places, or any property not owned or occupied by its owner, on three (3) or more separate occasions.

“Attack” is then defined by the code “to charge in an aggressive manner such that a reasonable person would be put in fear that biting will follow. As used in this chapter, the term shall not require actual physical injury to be inflicted in order to be deemed an ‘attack’.”

What is the most concerning to me about the Urbana definition is that it does not require an actual bite, unlike the state definition.  However, it does require that the “attack” (i.e., a charge in an aggressive manner so a reasonable average Joe/Jane would believe that he/she was about ready to be bitten) be unprovoked.  Additional, note that the #4 choice about the “apparent attitude of attack” happen on 3 separate occasions to be considered a “vicious animal” vs. a “dangerous animal” (only once is required).

Many of us at Rincker Law, PLLC are pet owners ourselves.  We love animals and want to protect them and the people who love them.  We are ready to help people with animal law disputes.  Cari is also a trained mediator and can mediate animal law disputes as well.  We have handed dangerous dog and vicious dog disputes.  I hope you will consider setting up a consultation with us to discuss your animal law matter. 

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