As spring approaches, so does dog bite season in Chicago. If you are a dog owner, be aware that animal inflicted injuries are frequently litigated. But in addition to civil law damages, you may also be facing a “dangerous animal” designation per the Chicago Municipal Code (Sec. 7-12-050). If deemed “dangerous,” your dog may be required to be muzzled (whenever outside), spayed/neutered, microchipped, insured, specially enclosed in your yard, trained, banished, or even euthanized. If your dog is accused of injuring another person or domestic animal in Chicago: (1) keep an eye on your mail for correspondence from the City; (2) gather any/all information you have about the incident; and (3) be ready to obtain an attorney if needed.  Not every incident merits a dangerous designation, and defenses – such as provocation – do exist.  If you believe your dog has been wrongfully declared dangerous, you must timely file an appeal and present your case before Chicago’s administrative courts (400 W. Superior).

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