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Council will consider pit bull measures

23 February 2010 RS 87 Comments

Even before the meeting it looks like the comment threads at the Herald and the Courier are filling up. City officials wisely changed the location of the city council meeting to the Centre ballroom to accomodate what is expected to be a large turnout for the public comment portion.

The Courier summarized the proposed changes to the city ordinance:

Pit bulls would have to be spayed or neutered and would be required to undergo obedience classes.

The dogs also would have to be kept in fenced-in yards when outside — with the fence at least 6 feet high and the gate locked — and on non-retractable leads and muzzled when taken for a walk. Only people age 18 or older would be allowed to take pit bulls for strolls.

The same rules would apply to any dog that a hearing officer or court deemed to be dangerous (pit bulls automatically would be classified as such) or vicious (a dog that attacks unprovoked). Vicious dogs would not be allowed to be taken for walks on Elgin streets. Owners of dangerous and/or vicious dogs would have to put signs up by their residences warning others about their pets.

The new rules would be enforced by the police department. The update also would toughen the city’s approach to people mistreating dogs, setting restrictions for how a dog may be tethered or kept outdoors.

It does look like they put a good deal of thought into it, and I think the new laws will be welcomed by the vast majority of Elgin residents, especially coming right after recent pit bull incidents in the city. I think they took the right approach by not banning certain dogs and just imposing an additional cost of ownership and quite reasonable limitations.

Generally, the opponents of pit bull legislation show up in large numbers to meetings like this. If you oppose it, certainly feel free to join them. But if you support the measure, also consider showing up to voice your support. A silent majority is often ignored after all.

The meeting apparently starts at 6pm Wednesday in the ballroom at the Centre.

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87 Responses to “Council will consider pit bull measures”

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  1. Stop BSL says:

    Does anyone besides me think that if a city ordinance is going to be put in place that goes against what our home state of Illinois believes to be constitutional (Illinois does not as a state support BSL), shouldn’t we the citizens of Elgin be given a public vote to decide if this law properly displays what the general public supports? I am personally against BSL, however, if the majority of the city votes to enforce a pit bull ban then who could argue? I love my “pitbulls” but as a democracy we support the constitutional rights of “the people” which we have shown to mean the majority rule… I for one would like to know what most people have to say about this possible ordinance.

  2. Dale Friese says:

    I do not have the statistics of how many actual pit bull attacks there have been in Elgin. I think before the City Council considers such extreme measures, we should be provided with actual numbers to back up why this law should be put in place. In addition we should also be provided with information in regards to possible “environmental” influences which may have contributed to the behavior of the pit bull. As stated in the article I read today, 21 aggressive pit bulls were found during the raid of an indoor marijuana operation. These dogs were specifically trained by a drug dealer to be violent. How many of the other pit bulls attacks occurred in similar environments? Why should law abiding responsible pet owners in Elgin be penalized due to the actions of drug dealers? If we begin here, which breed will be next? Where will it end?

  3. Mike Robins says:

    To the first post, that’s a very interesting idea of a city vote on this issue, however, it probably will not happen. What I have heard so far with the reasoning on this is that all aspects of the ordinance would be enforced as complaints come in or infractions are seen. The belief is that the irresponsible owners will deminish through time, like you can’t hide yourself and the dog forever. Rick is correct that people on both sides of this issue should show tomorrow night at the meeting. I have heard that the mayor is going to allow the public to speak during the 6pm session which is not the norm! When the March post opens, I will explain some issues with the next election that may or may not change the council!

  4. William says:

    I am disappointed by my elected officials, not only they seem to be punishing the responsible pit bulls, but it seems that they have already made up their minds on the vote. They have changed ordinances pertaining to the historical district to fit their needs, in reference to the six foot high fence. I thought laws and ordinances were here to be fair and just. How is it just that I who has owned a pit bull for over six years and two for the last three have to classify my dog as being dangerous when they have never bitten or snapped at anyone or attack another dog? The way my city council members acted upon this measure and others will be remembered at election time.

    • Ute Aliah-Colgan says:

      We had a real estate agent give us an estimate of selling our house as we don’t want to live in Elgin anymore with our 2 pitbulls. Despite putting in new double glass windows and doors, installing a new kitchen, etc. etc. we would be lucky to sell the house for 35,000 less than we bought it for. It does not make sense to make the terrible housing market in Elgin worth by making people move.

  5. Gibster says:

    Motion approved to Amend Animal Control Ordinance - staff is to return with true cost to responsible owner of pitbull now labeled as ‘Dangerous Dog’ to comply before final vote 03/10.

    02/24 Vote: Dunne-no, Gilliam-yes, Shock-yes, Kaptain-no, Prigge-yes, Steffan-no, Warren-yes (lots of tears in crowd - over 200 in attendance tonight)

    I have emailed the council and staff to know what my husband was NOT allowed to publicly say tonight due to the LONG line of people trying to talk…(He did turn in a packet of facts about COSTS to the owners to the Clerk to distribute)

    FACT: once they designate our 6-year old Pit/boxer mix as “Dangerous” - our homeowners insurance will instantly be dropped… We may not be able to get RE-insured from any other company without relinquishing our dog from our home. Previous history does NOT come into play one the city labels the dog. Does not matter he is healthy, up to snuff with all Elgin policies and has never bitten a soul.

    …add to the fact my white picket fence in the historic district is replaced with a 6ft fence with 2×2 WARNING signage for street view… this will be 100% WORSE for Elgin then just passing the Amended ordinance to get the BAD owners and not single out responsible owners of a single type of dog to be revenue generators.

    The Council has a LOT to read and consider before they punish the majority of responsible owners of now ‘Dangerous’ dogs in Elgin and cause financial heartache on top of an already stressful housing situation for many in the community.

  6. Boxcar says:

    “our homeowners insurance will instantly be dropped”

    You either have bad information, a bad agent or many claims against your dog already to be in that position. Homeownersd get dropped because of repeated claims, NOT because a city claims your dog’s breed is dangerous.

    • Gibster says:

      Corporate Counsel William Cogley: Emails have been forwarded to you from State Farm, American Family and Farmer’s Insurance - all stating that once you label a dog as “Dangerous” those companies will be unable to offer liability coverage. The dog becomes “Radioactive” in their terms. Read the letters from these agents, make some calls - the ordinance is impossible for the responsible owner to follow.

  7. Gibster says:

    Math UPDATE: Fiscal Impact survey for BSL within Ordinance Amendments for Cities. http://www.guerrillaeconomics.biz/bestfriends/

    City of Elgin has an estimate of 19,710 dogs - with 1,370 suspected to fall into the “Pitt Bull” Dangerous designation in the new ordinance.

    That is $45,210 per year (@ $33 per pit-mix) — Estimated cost to ENFORCE this new law for Pits-Specifically and target the Gangs and Bad Owners…. $83k

    Way to go Elgin!!! Taxing the responsible owners of a designated breed and secretly taxing EVERYONE to again avoid taking care of the MAIN problem of the Knuckleheads who will not register their dogs or follow the rules anyhow!

    If we set a license at $25 per year per dog for ALL dogs (19,710) that’s $492,750 a year in licensing income to pay for a PROPER animal control and gang task force ordinance and do REAL change in Elgin. Currently we can barley pay for ONE animal control officer to enforce this ordinance, will require Police to enforce it on regular residents – yet can’t pay for DARE program for our kids??????

    Guess Mayor Schock with his German Shepards and Councilman Gilliam with his history of raising Dobermans are not INTERESTED in paying $25 a year for their dogs for the betterment of Elgin.

    • sick of gossip says:

      Not an expert on dogs -
      How will they (Elgin and/or insurance companies)know what is a pitbull? What about mix breeds?

      • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

        I hope comments will become open on the pit bull measure passes, new article because I have some thoughts as to why they might have outlawed chickens.

        • RS says:

          sorry. i just noticed that comments were closed there inadvertently. thanks for bringing it to my attention. comments can now be left on that post

  8. Dogjudge says:

    The same day that Mr Crogley stated that homeowner’s insurance would NOT be canceled, the Courier ran an article insurance companies are currently denying coverage to people who own various breeds, not just pit bulls. So apparently Mr. Crogley is a poor attorney, or he is hiding the truth.

    The State of Illinois has averaged fewer than 30 “pit bulls” bites per year.

    The lack of thought, and the blatant falsehoods that have been given to the public are outrageous.

    Simple fact, supported by the CDC. Ban breeds of dogs and overall bite statistics don’t go down. Reason, the people switch to other breeds and still don’t train, control them.

    Finally, this ordinance ALSO bans people simply driving through Elgin.

    If Mr. Walters is truly interested in EXPERT opinion on the issue, I suggest he contact the Elgin Kennel Club, Fox Valley Dog Training Club, Car-Du-Nal Obedience Club (at one time based in Elgin) or Northwest Obedience Club and talk to REAL experts.

    Mr. Walters needs to get away from anti-pet radicals such as PETA.

  9. Michelle C says:

    Since you have comments closed on the more recent blog, I’ll post here.

    But the College Green incident shows that it is a quite likely possibility that an owner will deny ownership of a vicious dog when confronted by law enforcement.

    …And it is exactly this type of owner who will not pay for licensing, fencing, signage; who will not muzzle, and who will not/cannot be held accountable with $1,000.00 fines.

    Who wins here? THEM. The very ones who are the problem to begin with.

    • maura wood maschinski says:

      please! give law enforcement some credit!!! if a man is standing over his dead wife with a smoking gun and says, “oh,no, i didnt shoot her! i just found this gun!” are law enforcement personnel going to believe him? and just let him go? of course not!! any more than they will let a dog owner who attempts to ‘deny ownership”

      • Michelle C says:

        Replying to Rick’s comment on the more recent blog. The statement in quotes was his.
        And law enforcement, bless their hearts, can only do so much. If a dog is loose or gets loose and attacks another, and nobody claims ownership…

        In particular, with individuals involved in dog fighting or other crime, this happens all the time. Complete denial of ownership and, therefore, responsibility. The new laws won’t change that.

      • Boxcar says:

        Uh, no. They will hold the husband for 24 hours and try to get charges. No charges? He walks in 24 hours!

        All a pitbull owner has to do is say nothing to an officer and close the door. The cops will come back when and if they can arrest or cite someone. No witnesses, no proof of ownerships? NO ARREST!

  10. Lisa Holbrook says:

    My greatest concern about a universal law against “pit bulls” is tha too many people quickly classify any large dog as “pit bull.” How will owners defend themselves when their dogs are mislabeled???

    • Julia says:

      This will be an issue.

      Counsel Cogley stated that Elgin will define a pit bull as per Denver’s definition, which reads as follows:

      “any dog that is an American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier; or any dog displaying the majority of physical traits of any one (1) or more of the above breeds, or any dog exhibiting those distinguishing characteristics which substantially conform to the standards established by the American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club for any of the above breeds”.

      The distinguishing characteristics of these breeds include, but are not limited to the following:
      • Head is medium length, with a broad skull and very pronounced cheek muscles, a wide, deep muzzle, a well-defined, moderately deep stop, and strong under jaw. Viewed from the front, the head is shaped like a broad, blunt wedge.
      • Eyes are round to almond shaped, are low in the skull and set far apart
      • Ears are set high. Un-cropped ears are short and usually held rose or half prick, though some hold them at full prick.
      • Neck is heavy and muscular, attached to strong, muscular shoulders.
      • Body is muscular, with a deep, broad chest, a wide front, deep brisket, well-sprung ribs, and slightly tucked loins.
      • Tail is medium length and set low, thick at the base, tapering to a point.
      • Hindquarters are well muscled, with hocks set low on the legs.
      • Coat is a single coat, smooth, short and close to the skin

      Based upon Denver’s definition, any dog with a broad head, round eyes (incidentally, aren’t eyeballs round by their very nature?), short ears, a muscular body, short coat and a tail could be classified as a pit bull. By using this definition, Elgin is casting a net that will result in the mis-identification of many pure and mixed breed dogs as pit bulls.

      Have a boxer? How about a Heinz 57 with these physical characteristics? You had better be worried because this ordinance is going to impact you and your dog.

      It has been proven time and time again that breed identification based upon physical characteristics is subjective and inaccurate. Even the so called experts get it wrong a high percentage of the time. DNA tests, such as Wisdom Panel are available, but limited to catalogued breeds and “pit bull” is not a breed - see http://www.wisdompanel.com/faq.html.

      According the its manufacturer, Wisdom Panel is designed and intended to be used solely to identify the genetic history of a mixed-breed dog and not authorized for use by regulatory or animal control officials to determine whether individual dogs should be subject to BSL.

  11. Katherine Minard says:

    I am in agreement with all of the comments regarding BSL. I would like to organize a peaceful protest against BSL on Saturday, March 6, 2010 in front of City Hall. Anyone wish to join me? My husband is a veterinarian in Elgin and at least one of his clients from outside Elgin said that if this ordinance passes, he will find a veterinarian outside of Elgin because he will not crate or muzzle his three pits to bring them into Elgin. So, this will affect the veterinarians in Elgin. Let’s not forget the realtors who are showing homes adjacent to a “dangerous” dog residence. This will also effect their income, which of course, effects income for Elgin. Hey, council members, are you listening yet!

    • maura wood maschinski says:

      i will be glad to participate in any peaceful protest you can organize. i spoke during the council meeting last week and it was clear that none of our concerns are or will be considered by the current council. we, as responsible dog AND property owners need to be heard, loudly. and soon.

      • Katherine Minard says:

        9:00 A.M. Saturday. Pass the word and thank you for your support and concern. If we do nothing, then we only have ourselves to blame if we are defeated. At least our show of solidarity cannot be ignored.

        • Gibster says:

          Should we bring our dogs?

          Would standing along Kimball Bridge or someplace a bit more public with signage work better to attract attention?

          Safety should be the #1 concern for all though…

          • Katherine Minard says:

            I was informed yesterday by a person that has been involved with the City of Elgin government, that we made need to obtain a permit before proceeding on Saturday. I will check this out first thing this morning and then we can proceed. Please, no dogs. I would hate to prove anyone right if some dogs did not take a liking to each other and a fight insues.

  12. Michelle C says:

    Katherine and Maura,

    Could you post this information on the Herald & Courier articles?

    Or I’d be happy to pass on the info if you’d like.




  13. Katherine Minard says:

    I have contacted the city regarding the need for a permit for a “peaceful protest march” on Saturday, March 6th. I was informed that a permit is not necessary as long as we remain on public property, which means sidewalks and not hamper the flow of traffic or pedistrians.

    I do agree with the city council on one matter, this is an Elgin issue and we do not welcome nor do we want outside radical influences involved in this cause. The proposed legislation is being discussed in newspapers and on radio, particulary by Steve Dale of WLS AM. We certainly have enough support right here in our own city without outside help.

    Please bring you message on a sign to carry if you wish. Civil messages only please. We are responsible pet owners and should act in such a manner that does not distract from our message.

    Thanks to everyone who wishes to join. For those of you reading this that are not directly involved because you will not be effected by this BSL, let me remind you that your breed could be the next target.

  14. maura wood maschinski says:


    i have posted a web link to a petition i authored on both local newspapers. i think katherine should be the one to post her protest info. i would be happy to do it for her, but i dont know if that is the avenue she is looking for.

    here is the link to the petition. please forward it to anyone you fell will be helpful to our cause.


    katherine, let me know if there is anything more i can do…..


    • Katherine Minard says:

      I would prefer that we not advertise our “protest march” outside of Elgin. I would hate to have hundreds if not thousands of people from outside of Elgin. This truly is an Elgin issue, people from outside of the city will be watching. We will try to contact Jeff Myers are local coverage to see if he has an interest in this story.

    • Katherine Minard says:


      Jeff Myers is unavailable on Saturday due to a telethon. Could you please contact the Daily Herald and/or Courier News. Perhaps they would have an interest in the event on Saturday.


      • Gibster says:

        Saturday Protest… Thank you for trying to get something organized and going ASAP - a few questions…

        A. It needs to be on Kimball Street bridge…. signs with “Honk if you love your Dog”, etc. Then there is access to the Library if someone needs water, phone or restroom. NO ONE will see it at city hall, it’s Saturday - you need traffic and SAFE public areas along the bridge and nearby public parking, etc.

        B. Courier News, Daily Herald, Tribune… need to contact them all and ask for a photographer for Saturday coverage, a reporter also if available. If they don’t have one, as for the Email for the Photo Desk so you can submit your own.

        C. ElginToday (and Jeff Myers) are paid for by the city and will NOT cover a protest, Peaceful or otherwise. I can talk with Tony at Elgin2030.com about coming out and interviewing the ‘citizens on the street’ to include in his Video Show online. Those people would need to sign a release, etc. ;)

        D. Do you have a place on Facebook or online besides this thread to get the word out to the Local Elginites? I can help with that through our Save Lords Park Zoo contacts. email me –> GibbyPhD at mindspring dot com

        • Katherine Minard says:

          I was informed by the police department that we cannot stand still. We must keep moving. I have only tried to rally some concerned citizens regarding this critical issue. If you wish to take the ball and run with it, then by all means, do what you feel is necessary to raise the community awareness, as long as this remains a peaceful demonstration.

          • Gibster says:

            I’m not trying to tell anyone what to DO and NOT do, just sharing from our past experiences with Healthcare (2007) marches in Elgin against Denny Hastert (2007), Iraq War Protests (2006) and the Zoo protests involving the news media in 2009. I will show up with a sign and support whatever is organized, I cannot organize the effort myself without directly hurting the work I’m already doing 1 on 1 to re-write portions of this Ordinance before 03/10. (if you know what I mean)

            I have been told by a City Employee that “the dog people are a joke”, “they can’t get organized and only whine about how their dog is different”. The City has “no guilt about charging responsible owners to try to get stronger laws in place to get fines off the irresponsible owners”. Also, “give it 2-years, no one will remember to be angry about it or miss the amount of Pitt Bulls in town, those that can’t let it go will move away with their dangerous dog to Carpenterville”.

            So just let the Elginte know the time and place, I’m sure we’ll all spread it around in a responsible manner. Thank you for what you are doing.

          • mike d says:

            So what time is this going to be? Or is it? Has anyone put in for the required permits?

      • maura wood maschinski says:

        katherine, both papers were notified…no commitments from either.

        • Katherine Minard says:


          Courier News just called for phone interview. Thank you.

          • maura wood maschinski says:

            good!!! the person i have been speaking to seems upfront and straight forward.

    • Ute Aliah-Colgan says:

      My husband and two pit bulls have been Elgin residents for 4 years. The new ordinance is going to change our lives, selling the home, etc. etc. I think that we need all the help we can get to fight this ordinance and we will welcome support from anyone who offers, be they residents of Elgin or not. This is much bigger than Elgin.

  15. mike d says:

    So where and when is this supposed to take place?

    • Katherine Minard says:

      We are meeting at City Hall at 9:oo A.M. There is no permit required according to the police department. This will be my last posting. Everyone is sensitive regarding this issue.

  16. Boxcar says:

    To all that are planning to be at the protest, PLEASE BRING YOUR PITS!

    • Gibster says:

      Oh Boxcar (que the womp-womp music)…

      Any responsible dog owner would know to NOT bring their dog out to a protest, no matter what the topic is. But with your witty comment, I’m thinking there maybe a few Elgin ‘animals’ there after all. They are always there, standing across the street - mumbling and commenting on the goings on for people trying to DO something.

      Spreading the word to those that were emailing yesterday asking about a rumored protest. Thank you for getting things together Katherine.

  17. Boxcar says:

    I just it would help the cause for the public to see the animals that will be most affected by this ordinance. I mean, when there are school protests, parents bring their children along so how is this different?

    I think the more pitbulls there, the better.

  18. Mike Robins says:

    I was very impressed today when my cell rang and Dave Kaptain was on the other end. He was calling everyone on the sign up list to speak who did not get called up at the last council meeting. I said, Dave! do you realize how impressed I am that your reaching out to residents on the list that did not get called up. He stated that’s one of the issues that I brought up during the last election to have everything brought up on an open platform. I advised him that if I were voting on this issue at the present time, that I would be voting NO! He stated that the majority of people, RESIDENTS, he has spoke with are all against this ordinance. We then discussed some issues of the next election that are his private business, however we will all hear about it soon. After speaking with Dave, I researched the City of Highland Park’s website! click on government, then go down to city code, then to dog regulations revised Jan 1st 2010. 95% of that ordinance is similar to the one now up for a vote. However, Highland Park does not have an automatic classification for Pit Bulls! Im going to reach out to some people during the week, lets see if they have an open mind to possibly tweek this. They might with the recent upheavel of our residents. Ordinance NO. 61-09 amending chapter 90 of the Highland Park code of 1968, ordained by the city council. Check it out!

    • Julia says:

      The Highland Park ordinance is MODEL dangerous dog legislation. I sent the text to all of the City Council members months ago as a proposed solution to the problem of dangerous dogs in Elgin. Only one council member responded, Prigge, who informed me that the Highland Park ordinance won’t work in Elgin because our communities are too different. Hmmm. Elgin’s median income and property values might be lower than Highland Park’s and Elgin’s population more diverse, but in my 30+ years of dog ownership, I never regarded income or ethnicity as determining factors of responsible dog ownership. Prigge’s comments, however, do speak volumes as to his opinion of his constituents.

      Elgin had the making of an excellent ordinance until they ruined it with BSL. If their are any critical thinkers on the council that would be willing to give the Highland Park ordinance some serious consideration, I would support them completely.

    • Boxcar says:

      Isn’t it ironic and very revealing that protesters who will assemble in public about a non-existant pitbull ban are SELF-BANNING their own pitbulls from attending? What kind of country is this!?

      Moreover, what kind of PROTESTERS are you?

      The word, “credibility” comes to mind here…

      • Gibster says:

        Boxcar, you bring your dog, I’ll bring my pit bull… where you want to meet? I’ll gather with you on the street sidewalk in public to help your protest whatever you want, I trust my dog, can I trust your animal to behave?

        • Boxcar says:

          But this isn’t about MY breed of dog, now is it?. It’s about yours. My dog won’t need a muzzle, extra insurance, a license, a micro-chip, neutering, a 6-ft. fence, an 18-year old or older walking it, a leash no longer than 6-ft, etc., just to live in Elgin. Yours will.

          Bring your dog Saturday. Make your point by showing everyone how trustworthy your dog is in public and on the same sidewalks the public uses. Don’t hide your breed of choice! Take this opportunity to show off your breed! Show all of us how lovable and baby-like your breed of choice is! What are you ashamed/afraid of?

          People know why you do not want them there Saturday. That’s another reason why this will become a law.

          • Michelle C says:

            People know why you do not want them there Saturday.”

            Right… it’s called being responsible. Being around traffic, as well as certain people in support of the “four” whose actions may be unpredictable, isn’t a safe scenario for the dogs.

          • Boxcar says:

            “Right… it’s called being responsible. Being around traffic,”

            LOL! Do you mean the same traffic pitbulls are currently exposed to every day when being walked? Some of Elgin’s busiest streets have pitbulls walking right next to them and you’re worried about non-existant SATURDAY MORNING TRAFFIC? IN DOWNTOWN ELGIN!?? At 9 a.m.?? LOL!

            “as well as certain people in support of the “four” whose actions may be unpredictable, isn’t a safe scenario for the dogs.”

            How assumptive you are to think those who support this law will attend this protest! Here is where you will find out
            most people do not care about the problems you have with this ordinance.

            Let’s not be naive here any longer. You know as a pitbull owner when you are with your animal you HAVE no fear.
            THAT’S the real reason you own one.

            PLEASE, EVERYONE, bring your pitbulls to the city hall protest Saturday morning. No muzzles, please.

        • Common Sense Clarence Hayward says:

          I wish I didn’t have to work Saturday. I would love to meet Boxcar and find out who Boxcar is.

          I seriously doubt if Boxcar would identify him or her self as Boxcar. Some people want to remain anonymous behind their opinions.

          • Michelle C says:

            You’re probably right, but perhaps someone should make sure to have ONE muzzle on hand just in case.

            I guess he/she won’t be there; clearly boxcar does not care about the problems we have with the ordinance, as demonstrated by the many comments that have been posted (esp. on last summer’s blog).

  19. Michelle C says:

    I tried to post this earlier…

    Chicago Trib article:


    Katherine, Maura, others- if you want to discuss anything regarding Saturday in another (private) forum:


    (must be logged in)


    • RS says:

      Just to let you know why it sometimes takes time for a comment to show up, as a precaution against spam, any comment with 2 or more links automatically go into the moderation queue.

  20. WaWaWaWaitaMinute says:

    I would like to say that many of the people here and on other blogs are showing courage, especially in this economy on this issue. Maura is willing to put her job with the city at severe risk, or at least her working conditions in peril by openly criticizing the city, spreading rumors and organizing protests. I could not take that sort of risk in this world over a dog. I DO admire that kind of drive in someone else.

    Mrs. Gibson-Aiello and her husband also should be praised for their courage by making slick home videos and blogging everywhere. It really keeps their names in front of city hall. I love the barroom catcalls from the seats of the council meeting by Mr. Aiello and his YouTube videos! Imagine the accomplishments someone like that could make working with city staffers and the Mayor and the same councilmen they are calling out! Now THAT’S progress!, No, THAT’S courage!

    • Gibster says:

      Agrred, Props to Maura and Katherine!!!

      Mr. Aiello had the last straw at at 02/24 meeting when it was very apparent they were going to “ram it down your throat” to quote Mr. Gilliam. It’s not just Dog Laws, the city has been doing very strange and shifty actions the past 18 months of so… yet they keep touting it’s all for Elgin 2030 Comprehensive Plan and betterment to all Elginintes…

      I did see the preview of the next video for http://www.Elgin2030.com is very well executed, it did get re-edited based on the latest softening of the ordinance… alas, should be online later today.

    • maura wood maschinski says:

      To WaWaWaWaitaMinute,

      At no point in time, in any setting or forum, have I ever mentioned, promoted myself as, or expected differential treatment, because I am a city employee. On the contrary, you are the only person who has bothered to mention that. The fact that I am a long-time city employee is, at best, irrelevant, and at worst, on your part, an effort to make life difficult for someone who is simply asking for fair treatment for all dogs in Elgin. I have not organized any protest, however, I do plan on attending the peaceful gathering tomorrow. I have not spread any rumors, any and all information I have give was my own opinion, or personal wishes that city amend their B.S.L. stance. And I have never criticized the city, on the contrary, I have loudly and peacfully applauded the new city ordinance as long over due.
      However misguided your sarcastic remarks may be, and however cowardly you may appear hiding behind a moniker, I offer you my best wishes and will pray for you.


  21. pixie says:

    boxcar, please introduce yourself when you come out tomorrow. i definitely want to meet you. my name is amy, i will be wearing a bright blue fleece. i am 5′2 with brown straight hair. please look for me. can’t wait to meet you!

  22. pixie says:

    actually, it would be great if you gave me a description of you so I can look for you as well (or dog description if you’re bringing one). thanks!

  23. Patricia says:

    So when is this protest supposed to be going on? I’ve heard at 9AM in front of City Hall? But wait, City Hall is closed on Saturday.. Isn’t there anywhere else, more public, where people can witness this? Instead of us protesting outside of an empty building and a street with no traffic? I would think that the Kimball bridge would be a better option.

    • El-Prahtiti says:

      I will Park and meet at the City Hall to find the organizer (Katherine?) perhaps enough people together can organize a march around the Centre of Elgin to Kimball bridge and back. Lots of coverage at the Library, the Hispanic Expo at the Centre and the traffic in Downtown Elgin for a few hours. Parking at the civic lot will be a real convenience.

      • Boxcar says:

        Hispanic Expo?? At the same time??

        PERFECT! All PLEASE, PLEASE bring your pits to the protest! Now more than ever. This is the perfect time to make a statement!

  24. Joyce says:



  25. Dogjudge says:



    I went through this with “Brian” yesterday at the DH site.

    Someone who doesn’t know what he’s talking about and went down this same accusation road there.

    I’ll make the same offer to you that I made to them.

    Open forum where dog trainers and normal citizens can attend. I can get the building without a problem.

    YOU can show up and we can talk about our expertise in the area and have people question us about the issue.

    So how about Monday or Tuesday evening of this week?

    The only self-promotion that’s going on here is you showing how little you know about the issue.

    So Monday or Tuesday, which one do you want?

    And if you’re a member of the city council or connected there, I’d LOVE to have the opportunity to expose your “wealth” of knowledge.

    Thank God Elgin isn’t erecting nuclear reactors without the input from experts.

    • sick of gossip says:

      BINGO!!! I, too, suspect one of these posters lives “on the Hill”.

      Don’t waste your time taking it personally. And as you’ve already experienced, well thought out, intelligent, fact-based arguments will get you nowhere.

      However, you can take comfort that in addition to dog owners, these “two” also hate teachers, Clarence, firemen, and anyone with even the slightest hispanic sounding name is an illegal. Oh yeah, and only a horrible, bad parent would subject their child to U46.

      Who he really is, is best buds with, and who he works for will have you shaking your head and thinking you just got transported back to High School.

      Regulars to these sites have him pegged, pay him no mind, and stick him with the big thumbs down whenever possible…

  26. Dogjudge says:


    Follow up to your self promotion comment and Hispanic Expo comment.

    What I’m seeing here is someone who has NOTHING to add to the discussion about the pros and cons of this issue. So once you’ve run out of nothing to say, you baselessly attack the person.

    Try discussing the ISSUES.

    Care to explain the Hispanic Expo comment more.

    There’s only one thing that I can draw from your comment and it isn’t especially flattering.

    So please tell us exactly why a connection between pit bulls and Hyspanic Expo is “perfect”?

    • Boxcar says:

      It’s perfect because there CERTAINLY will be many people in downtown at the same time for maximum exposure. Because when it comes to pitbulls, I’m ALL for maximum exposure to the public. The more, the merrier, in fact. Show your cutsie-wootsie, never-hurt-a-flea dogs off! Bring them to the protest! Let’s put some facee on this protest and let everyone see exactly what the city is trying to restrict.

      Let the unaware public not prejudge these wonderful, lovable, harmless, sweetheart dogs and keep them confined to their homes while the city is trying to muzzle them!! Owners are their voices since they cannot speak for themselves! Let everyone SEE the dogs that sadly cannot speak for themselves.

      Bring these beautiful creatures of God out in the public today and everyday! Let them mix with other dogs and small children! Expose their good nature and nanny breed capabilities to all and start dispelling the rumors!

      C’mon people! Show off your family members to all of Elgin!

      • Carrie says:

        Hey guess what, Boxcar … people did bring their dogs. And children. And there were no issues. And there were also no muzzles.

        For the record, any gathering with any dogs can have consequences. Again, not a breed-based behavior. Get a group of labs together, you may find labs that don’t like each other. Kinda like people, as well.

  27. maxpower726 says:

    See footage of the peaceful protest.


  28. WaWaWaWaitaMinute says:

    At 9:47 a.m. Saturday, I counted 27 people at this rally, if that’s what you want to call it. I counted twice from my car in the city parking lot. Just 27 people 47 minutes after the start time. I noticed 3 pitbulls were kept safely away, yet together, from the “crowd” of 27. What about the loving dogs they are? Lord, there were more people at the last city council meeting and probably more than 27 standing in line at the Elgin post office at that time! Only the Courier News covered it and that is probably only because they needed a photo to go with their previously-written story about pitbulls. Maybe people stayed home because they knew there would be no TV cameras there like at council meetings?? WLS radio mentioned it and yet, 27 came. So long, pitbulls.

    • Gibster says:

      Beg to differ… did you count everyone who was WALKING down Douglas, Kimball, Route 31, Highland/Chicago bridges, and back to City Hall? Or just those chit-chatting and enjoying the free cookies and punch while organizing? I assure you, there were many more then what you counted from the parking lot, others were parked in the lot near the Centre and joined up at the bridge. People were free to come and go as they wished, and they did so.

      How come you didn’t get out of the car and say hello to the nice people?

      People were coming and going as the wished, I know I only had from 9:40 - 10:40 to commit in time, but we were there with my party of 6 - did our walk with our sign. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=4862902&l=f135004c01&id=568793022 Chose to put a picture of my dog wearing a muzzle, then bring him to the rally to join the other 13 dogs there.

      Tony from Elgin2030.com was there, he shot footage from the walk talking to a variety of people. I’m sure later you can watch his latest episode by Monday & re-count there people, animals and children in the short clips of footage.

      After the walk, I was there when the courier photographer was counting heads and he was already up to 70, trying to figure out the number actually at the rally. I’m wondering if he counted your head as well?

  29. Dogjudge says:


    Apparently you were either early, or have trouble counting.

    It’s not on their online version, but today’s Daily Herald has a picture on page four of their front section. With that item, they mentioned that there were 100 protesters.

    Everywhere it was mentioned that there were NO dogs.

    Since the organizers of the rally specifically asked people to not bring their dogs, that’s why the dogs weren’t there.

    Since you are the only one to have “seen” these dogs, we’ll take that for what it’s worth. ZERO.

    As for the Courier wanting a picture to go along with “their previously-written story”, I guess you got that wrong too. If you’ll check with the story they wrote earlier in the week, they mention how they were going to cover the story in more depth on Sunday.

    For a variety of reasons, I can tell you that the story was NEVER run before. Check with the reporter, he’ll confirm that.

    Most importantly READ the Courier story. Multitude of dog experts saying how this law is WRONG. They found ONE guy who said pit bulls. Anderson Animal Shelter, American Veterinary Medical Association, Humane Society of the US, Chicago Veterinary Medical Association, local vets, all OPPOSED the law.

    The ONE guy for the law cites a BLOG website put up by a woman who was bitten by a pit bull and is a zealot (NOT A SCIENTIST WHATSOEVER) against the breed.

  30. WaWaWaWaitaMinute says:

    I only counted the heads that were at the only site mentioned which was 150 Dexter Ct. Of course, I expected your husband, Tony from Elgin2030, to be there. He’s part of my count total. Even if there were 70 people there that is still dozens fewer than were at the last city council meeting and way below any number to be taken seriously. No TV cameras really hurts. So much too for the power of a mega giant radio station WLS. Tell me, what drew more people, the bison memorial or this? Again, I say, so long, pitbulls.

    • Gibster says:

      Why the negativity on your perspective? Why ‘beat down’ the people and tell them it’s not even worth it to stand up and be counted or show up to an event? Yes, there were 3 photographers there from 3 separate sources, no news TV crews, then again it’s a peaceful protest, little ‘action’ to cover. People that couldn’t come to the event said it best being interviewed on WLS radio at 6am and 2pm Saturday.

      We do what we can do, those organizers are gathering MORE people to be outside the windows at the Centre of Elgin and inside the ballroom on Wednesday. So they will be counted, no matter what the final outcome. Make sure you say HI next time you’re “spying on me” at any event, or come out and volunteer for the Bison is that suits you better. ;)

  31. No BSL/No budget! says:

    “…he (Warren) will be fine as long as he thinks independently of the mayor.

    Impossible. Warren was created from the hands of Schock. He has no guts, no soul. “Buckets of money”? “Do more with less”? Those are puppet words.
    Will Mike Warren step up and be his own man, or will he follow Schock again on another council agenda? How much money will this cost us and the city? Warren has followed suit now for one year without much gusto, just going with the normal flow. Will he do it again?

  32. Dogjudge says:

    Again, thanks to everyone who helped turn this around.

    Thank you to all of the city council members for reconsidering their views. I realize that’s never easy.

    Finally. To everyone who fought against this.

    Now WE need to help Elgin get the TRULY dangerous dogs off the streets of Elgin.

    If there is/are a dog(s) in your neighborhood that are problems, PLEASE let someone KNOW!!

  33. Michelle C says:

    THANK YOU everyone for all your help and support! (You know who you are)


    We have won this battle, for now.

  34. I find it difficult to argue with the summary of changes by the courier. Pit bulls can be quite intimidating and if poorly trained and controlled very dangerous. That can be said of any large improperly handled dog.

    All things considered the laws help protect people and animals. I consider that a win win.

  35. This is a very important issue but once again we run the risk of governing and regulating every little thing. At some point people need to take responsibility for themselves. It can be as if our governments feel the need to interfere with every day civilian life, when in truth they could credit us with intelligence.

  36. forcryeye says:

    Keeping a breed of dog that routinely kills other dogs and people is NOT “every little thing.” I would buy that if I a two year old could be held responsible for their actions. The 71 year old man was just walking to the store! The dog that was killed was just being walked! The nine year old in Indiana just opened the door to her own home to let her dog out!

    The worn out excuse of any dog can be dangerous is fading and inappropriate because the FACTS are no other breed of dog kills people or pets like this one does. NO OTHER. Pit bull owners know it and love every minute of it.

    Show me where citizens of this country have the right to own dangerous animals? They don’t. In some place we can’t even own a gun. All I’m saying is that there will be an outright ban on these damn dogs soon. It won’t be later. That ban will be a turn-in ban or a total confiscate ban, all because this city council didn’t follow through to save lives and protect people whose right to safety is more important than the non-existent rights to own a dangerous breed of dog.

  37. gary says:

    I did some research on this.. uyou only have to google for Dog Bites.. to get som alarming ststistics.

    Lets hope the counsil acts responsibly and enacts legislation to protect its constituents as far as possible, from
    Dog bites send nearly 368,000 victims to hospital emergency departments per year (1,008 per day). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nonfatal Dog Bite–Related Injuries Treated in Hospital Emergency Departments — United States, 2001, MMWR 2003;52:605-610. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report is published by the CDC.

    16,476 dog bites to persons aged 16 years or greater were work related in 2001. (Ibid., Nonfatal Dog Bite–Related Injuries Treated in Hospital Emergency Departments — United States, 2001, MMWR 2003;52:608.

    Every year 2,851 letter carriers are bitten. (US Postal Service.)

    Getting bitten by a dog is the fifth most frequent cause of visits to emergency rooms caused by activities common among children. (See Weiss HB, Friedman DI, Coben JH. Incidence of dog bite injuries treated in emergency departments, JAMA 1998;279:53.
    An American has a one in 50 chance of being bitten by a dog each year. (CDC.)