Ryan Maxwell, 7, was killed after pit bull viciously attacked him. The Register-Mail reports that the boy was visiting the residence and playing in the backyard the afternoon of March 2, 2013 when the pit bull attacked. He later died from injuries suffered in the dog attack. Investigators said they had no previous reports indicating that the dog was dangerous. The Maxwell family has set up a memorial fund in Ryan’s honor at F & M Bank, 21 S. Main St.
City Laws Relating to Dangerous Dogs
The city of Galesburg, Illinois, where this fatal dog attack occurred has strict vicious dog laws. City laws require dogs labeled as “dangerous” or “vicious” to be identified, microchipped and covered by the owner’s insurance.
Police so far say that they have not found any reports concerning the pit bull in question that would classify it as such. The city’s dangerous dog ordinance states that a threatening dog can be classified as dangerous after a formal complaint and subsequent investigation by animal control officers.
Anyone who is determined to keep dangerous dogs must pay a $200 registration fee per dog and provide proof of liability insurance for $100,000 or more. In addition, any dog classified as dangerous is not allowed to leave the owner’s property without a leash. Any transfer of ownership is required to be documented with the City Clerk’s office.
Pit Bull Attack Statistics
According to 2011 statistics reported by Dogsbite.org, out of 31 fatal dog attacks in the United States that year, 22 (71 percent) involved pit bulls although the breed makes up less than 5 percent of the U.S. dog population. Of the 22 people who were killed by pit bulls, 68 percent were between the ages of 32 and 76 and 32 percent were 5 years and younger.
The year 2011 also marks an increase in pet pit bulls killing their owners, Dogsbite.org reports. Together pit bulls and rottweilers accounted for 84 percent of all fatal dog attacks in 2011.
Like California, Illinois is has a “strict liability statute” when it comes to dog attacks. This means that dog owners can be held financially liable for the injuries and damages caused by their pets. Injured dog bite victims or families of deceased dog bite victims would be well advised to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who will ensure that the negligent dog owners are held liable. Dog owners have the responsibility to ensure that their pets are kept restrained so they do not pose a danger to neighbors, community members or even visitors to their home.