Home » Politics

Council backs down again on pit bull rules

11 March 2010 RS 47 Comments

Sadly, the Elgin City Council has backed down yet again on pit bull rules. It looks like every four years they are going to do this, bring it up over and over again and then back down. It’s practically a comedy. This time they spent a year collecting information and considering this, and in the space of a week reversed themselves.

Yes, it does take political courage to pass pit bull rules that affect a vocal minority, but if they didn’t have the courage to start with they should not have brought it up again.

If the new council in four years does have the courage, I hope they will pass rules that govern the keeping of pit bulls in the city of Elgin, joining the hundreds of cities in America as well as military bases that regulate or ban pit bulls.

I don’t support an outright ban, but rules requiring neutering, microchipping and muzzling are entirely appropriate and necessary. Too many good dogs have been killed by pit bulls, but nobody collects statistics on that.

See the Daily Herald and Elgin Courier News coverage.

Possibly related posts:

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
Loading ... Loading ...

47 Responses to “Council backs down again on pit bull rules”

You can subscribe to these comments via RSS.

  1. WaWaWaWaitaMinute says:

    Let’s not be so quick to pass judgment against Prigge and the rest just yet. In all my years of following local politics, Elgin mostly, I have never seen any councilman do in years what Prigge did in one night. I am very impressed at his strategy. His stance on illegal aliens and how they are ruining Elgin notwithstanding, I had no clue he was a strategist on this level. Prigge must be a chess player and a damn good one at that.

    I can’t be the only one who sees this, am I? Pitbulls need to be declared dangerous and they’re demise has just been hastened now. Councilman, I take my cap off to you. A thousand dollars for your playbook!

    • Boxcar says:

      Wish I knew what you were thinking Wawa.

      It looks like it’s over. Or is it? Will this inspire the supposed “good” pitbull owners to report loose pitbulls in an attempt to prevent the council from passing this later? From what I understood, another attack no matter who it’s owner is will bring this back and it will pass, I assume. Good luck trying to stop it then.

      Will certain city and police department employees who clearly stepped way over the line during this debate see a change in their work life? I bet at least one will especially if there is a new chief.

      There definately was some future politicing going on behind the scenes here, which is very scuzzy. Even though I voted for Mike Robins last year, I am very much turned off to him now. Mr. Robins was last of four in his race last year. Enough said, really.

      If the rumor I hear is true, there is one other person thinking of running in 2011 who shared a lot of face time with their spouse on this ordinance. I’m guessing both of their last names are mud by now. I bet the zoo project is lost now, too. Thanks.

      • Carrie says:

        Boxcar, to your comment about city and police employees crossing lines during the pit bull debate. First, I didn’t see any line crossing and I was paying attention to all of the debates on all of the pages. Are you privy to something we aren’t? Second, are you implying that city employees have no right to voice their opinions on topics that affect them as taxpaying residents of the city, and if they do, they deserve to be reprimanded? I’m not a lawyer, but I’m pretty sure that isn’t legal - and I’m also pretty sure, as most cities do, Elgin would have a policy that addresses an employee’s right to be involved in city politics - even as residents of the city that employs them. Just what are you talking about?

        • Boxcar says:

          For certain, city employees do have a right to protest as citizens. However, who would risk retalliation in their job over a family pet, especially in this economy when their employer has already made cuts in their department?

          There are many ways an employee can be punished for the over the line behavior that does not involve union protection. Pesky little things like being one minute late or being disciplned for not turning off a light are really harrassment points but are within the rights of the employer and difficult to get union help on.

          Innocent, good fellow employees can also feel the pain because of a co-workers behavior and isn’t that what the pitbull owner complained about? Being lumped in with bad owners? Irony.

          • Carrie says:

            Because I’m sure management at the city and/or police department feels the need to dedicate that kind of attention to something you just implied is trivial matter, anyway (speaking up for the family pet). Seems to me the city has bigger issues to address than employees exercising their rights, Boxcar. I’m going to give city management more credit than that … and feel sorry for whomever you supervise (if anyone).

          • Boxcar says:

            It sounds like you are doing more hoping than predicting. Personally, I couldn’t take the stress for the rest of my career wondering.

          • Carrie says:

            Well, then, Boxcar, if the stress comment is meant for my response, I would just say this - enjoy being a follower wherever your boss may lead you. It seems to me that convictions about beliefs and values demonstrated in a legal, protected and appropriately articulated way would be a personality trait that would translate nicely into a work environment. It shows a willingness to stand up for what an employee believes in, regardless of the higher authority that others, like you, might be intimidated by. To me, it exhibits the qualities of a leader. Leaders aren’t intimidated by what might happen, they are inspired by it - whatever ‘it’ might be.

          • The Better Half says:


            Given that you are so quick to point out spelling/grammatical errors in others, perhaps spellcheck is in order for you? ‘Retaliation’ not ‘retalliation’…..


          • Tania says:

            Hey all, my friend and I think we know who Boxcar is, when we went to the forums last year to watch Emi, there were always two guys that showed up and sat by themselves. One guy was fat, with short pants and white socks and never had anyone with him. The other guy was skinny and acted like a complete geek, and also never had anyone with him. My friend thinks it’s a guy named Richard that ran for a public office a long time ago that turned everyone off and lost. I know that unions often times bring managers into Human Resources for picking on employees, and most of the time, managers don’t bother other workers due to their feelings of one! We have an idea for all of you, since this guy always shoots off his mouth on this blog without much knowledge, most likely the same one that never talks to anyone at the forums, what we should all do is completely ignore him. Everyone should let this guy dry out and stop wasting your energy on him. When he blogs, don’t respond, just skip to the next poster. Let Boxcar enjoy his own posts in his shallow existance, without any of our imput. We have noticed most feed his desire to stir things up, he likes it when he gets or thinks he stirs people up. So, lets give it a try, everyone should completely ignore Boxcar posts without responding to him, and he will have nothing to feed off of while he watches the rest discuss issues without any of his input and shallow remarks. Move on to the next post or topic and skip his!

          • Paul says:

            Yeah, tania, lets all ignore Boxcar who is either the fat guy or the geek. Or just get RS to ban his posts. Then the world and this blog would be wonderful.

  2. Gibster says:

    Education is the key to this problem. Education people about the Ordinance, how to comply with it and help others will do WONDERS to assist Elgin to get to the root of some of these issues with problem dog owners.

    Take a look at our Current Animal Control Brochure… What would you put in here to reflect the new updates? http://www.cityofelgin.org/DocumentView.aspx?DID=1349

    I’m serious, I think our Animal Control officer needs more man-power, alas without pet license fees or finding the bad guys to collect fines… this will be a bit of a way off in the future.

  3. Dogjudge says:


    Question for you.

    If Elgin was considering whether a nuclear reactor was going to be built in Elgin, would you want the city council to listen to experts on BOTH sides of the issue or just Elgin residents.

    THAT is exactly what Prigge (the moving force behind all of this) did. Elgin residents only.

    Dangerous dogs are the issue here. None of the dog experts (I’ve never owned a pit bull or any bully breed) were allowed to speak as were none of the experts who feel that these people should be banned.

    Prigge’s obvious bias is demonstrated by one of his closing remarks. Paraphrased. “If any pit bull incident happens, we’ll be addressing this issue again.”


    Do you think that dog fighting in any way represents the 99.99% of the rest of the community? That’s like saying because of cock fighting all chickens should be banned. (and yes I realize that there are other issues about dogs.) A Michael Vick was SEVERELY condemned by the entire dog community and they felt his punishment was not severe enough.

    We’re on your side when it comes to dangerous dogs.

  4. Dogjudge says:


    American Kennel Club has started a program to encourage the owners of mixed breed dogs to get their dogs trained and to teach them about being a responsible dog owner.

    The program is being changed and more money is being offered.

  5. Tina says:

    Boxcar seams to enjoy himself by debating in the “elginite.org” blog site and using its space as a personal entertainment center for his own inner anger! So why don’t we give him his own page and ask the editor to transfer any of his views to this page, and this page only, so we don’t have to read his opinions unless we feel like being entertained like some of those TV shows such as Jerry Springer? —–past-blog—-
    Boxcar, please don’t make the mistake to think that you elicit a response or emotion from me, frankly most of your posts over time are racist or plain boring. The only reason for my post is to let new readers know of your past content which is a score of BELOW. You change your opinions like the Chicago weather using your emotional content at any given time, and made up phony intellect. You do not have the ability to learn and reason. RS on this site has suggested in your past rants that you move on. 90% of the participants on our site have tuned you out. You have brought up something being classy or not on pasts posts, you have none, your the one that needs to become more polished. I would suggest you get out more often and enjoy the culture of Chicago, and not spend the majority of your life sitting, ranting on your computer all alone, thats scuzzy!

    • Boxcar says:

      Thank you, for your response, Mike. I’m sorry you do not like my opinions. I don’t like all of the opinions I see here, either and I’m not supposed to. Don’t take it personally. You do have your good points, it’s just that trying to capitalize on an emotional animal issue for a possible run for city council is shallow.

      You know, Tina, sir, it “seams” to me I should consider moving on. Then I can watch you use this forum to build a campaign, although, “your the one that needs to become more polished.” (Priceless misuse of the word followed by wonderful content, by the way.)

      May you find something resembling a coherent platform to run on should you decide to run in 2011.

    • paul says:

      Absolutely hilarious, tina.
      “Boxcar, please don’t make the mistake to think that you elicit a response or emotion from me”

      Your entire lengthy post was nothing but an emotional response to Boxcar!

      ” your posts over time are racist or plain boring.”

      If they are boring why do you respond to them? And if any of his posts are racist, please provide evidence. Calling someone a racist is a serious charge. It is incumbent upon you to provide evidence of your slanderous charge. Be advised, being against certain illegal activities in Elgin DOES NOT evidence racism. I’ve read many of Boxcar’s posts and have yet to see any posts evidencing racisim. I’ll bet large you cannot provide any evidence either. SO how would your unevidenced charge of racism be different from a lie! In fact, how is your demonizing boxcar different from Nazi demonization of the jews?

  6. Mike Robins says:

    Wow, I need to check in here more often, this is very interesting. Lets start from latest and go back. Mr. Boxcar, Im sure glad that you like my good points, I have more than you realize, however, with my Heart Condition, I do not blog on any site at 3:40 in the morning. With the meds I’m on, a second also as needed, I get 7 to 8 hrs. of sleep every night. My wife and dog wake up when I need to go to the bathroom, and we all fall asleep again. No computers for me for anyone in the middle of the night, including you! Now, no one, including Dave Kaptain and myself were or are trying to use an animal issue for a future campaign. I spoke to Dave last week, he felt as I did that the silent majority, or MINORITY was not out to voice matters on this issue. In fact, Dave stated to me, he was calling up residents and could not find one person in favor of the bsl, which he thought was odd. All were against it. Bob Gilliam also told someone I know, that usually on 4 to 3 vote issues, it has always been the norm that both sides have a voice and are out. Bob thought this was not the case and had never seen anything like it, according to a statement he made to someone reliable with the city. Gilliam’s comments were that most were on one side of the issue, the others were not present during the process. This is an issue I would have approached the same way, in or out of any political field. Now, Waitaminute, There were several factors going on at once with the council during this ENTIRE issue. Mr. Prigge would probably tell you that there is a stragety to everything, not necessarily negative in nature. I shared with him, when we spoke the next morning, that I thought it was the right and fair thing to do for the present time, that the future is an unknown. Boxcar, there is no difference when all us talk, or take action on a matter during a campaign, or not during the campaign. Look at all the issues during the last election that came up, of which one is still very alive and active-Immigration matters! If the timing of the animal issue came up during an active election, then the perception would be, to capatalize is indeed not the issue! The next time I check in which will be sooner than later! I will discuss points of interest with Immigration changes, our code restrictions for sq. footage living, jobs for elgin, taxes, and our budget. The chief leaving had to do with performance issues, that she was on thin ice for approx. the last year. If this is factual, my research will tell me what performance modifications we need in the future for all of us and our family’s.

    • Boxcar says:

      “My wife and dog wake up when I need to go to the bathroom, and we all fall asleep again.”

      Touching. I can only imagine how warm and fuzzy that would make a voter feel at the ballot box.

  7. Michelle says:


    I’m disappointed that you consider unwarranted, mandatory muzzling for an entire group of dogs “entirely appropriate and necessary”.

    Especially when you have, in the past, criticized hasty legislation, and knee-jerk reactions, calling for the application of wisdom and legislation that is both just and moderate.

    A true understanding of responsible dog ownership includes the knowledge that dogs require exercise and socialization for their health, well-being, and balance. Not to mention, quality of life. Muzzling significantly hinders that.

    Also, did you ever consider how sinister and dangerous looking a dog is with a muzzle? With so many people already uneducated about ‘pits’ and fearful, all that does is perpetuate a myth.

    The new ordinance is much stronger with regard to the true dangerous and vicious dogs out there– no matter what breed they are.

    Dogsbite.org is a website created by a woman who was an unfortunate victim of a dog attack and a vehicle for hysterical propaganda. Her main sources of data for her “studies” include Merritt Clifton (another propagandizer) and Google news.

    She presents no actual methodology:
    delimitations, assumptions, tools used for quantitative and qualitative results, analysis and interpretation, and in particular, findings on causation.

    As far as your comment on collecting statistics, the AVMA clarifies that “to infer any breed-specific risk for dog bite fatalities (e.g., neither pit bull-type dogs nor Rottweilers can be said to be more “dangerous” than any other breed…). it would be necessary to know the numbers of each breed currently residing in the United States. Such information is not available.

    Furthermore, “singling out one or two breeds for control can result in a false sense of accomplishment. Doing so ignores the true scope of the problem and will not result in a responsible approach to protecting a community’s citizens.”

    The AKC also opposes BSL for its unfairness and ineffectiveness in wide-range protection.

    The Herald article mentions:
    “In 2007, there were 142 reported dog bites in Elgin, followed by 120 in 2008. The tally dropped to 113 in 2009, and there have been nine so far this year.

    Danger: Restrictions can apply if any dog attacks or bites”

    Needless to say, I’m grateful the council had the “courage”, did the right thing and adopted an ordinance that will better serve in the protection of everyone, and their pets.

  8. Elgin2030 says:

    37 years ago today, in an alternate reality, George McFly was murdered. Remember him today by dismantling your time machines and watching the latest webisode closing out the Pit Bull series for Elgin –> http://elgin2030.com/wordpress/?p=46

  9. Dogjudge says:

    As I suspected, Mr. Prigge is going full force with his continued vendetta on this issue.

    In the Daily Herald today he again stated that as soon as there is ANY pit bull incident in the city of Elgin, he’s going to bring his bill forward again.

    I’ve got a question for you Mr. Prigge. If a German Shepherd bites/mauls someone are you going to bring up a bill to ban German Shepherds from Elgin? Since the mayor has one, I sincerely doubt it.

    NOTHING has changed with him.

    There has NEVER been any scientific study that has shown pit bull or for that matter ANY BSL works. Why? Because they DON’T.

    Mr. Prigge appears to think that he can’t be touched by this.

    I can’t wait for the next time he’s up for election.

    • sick of gossip says:

      Instead of “watching us”, why isn’t he on the phone with someone downstate trying to get them to pay U46 the money they shorted us???

      • Boxcar says:


        I didn’t vote for my councilmen so they can be a bill collector for a poor-performing school district. Can anyone say U-46 would be a better district if they had the millions of dollars they are owed? They would just have more money to spend and that does not make a district a better.

        • Carrie says:

          The state of a school district does impact your property values, if the social impact of subpar education isn’t scary enough. But, if you don’t care about the schools, ok. What about having councilmen pressure the State to pay the City of Elgin the $2.5 million it is owed? Should the State keep the money, read for yourself the potential consequences. What is more important here? Pit bulls and the people who own them? Really??


    • Boxcar says:

      I don’t get it, Prigge said last week if there was another incident he would bring the BSL law back for review and people applauded. He says it again and now everyone is mad?

      I’m beginning to agree with the pitbull supporters! The problem here IS the owners! Listening IS a skill for dogs, their owners and the ever so self-important trainers/experts/scientists.

      • E.P. says:

        um, nope boxcar? Were you AT the meeting in-person, or just watching the edit posted on the cities video archive?


        Councilman John Prigge Booed = 1 Applauded = 1 Dirty Looks he gave to the audience = priceless

        NO ONE applauded when we Said he “I will be watching” and that was his comment urging a fatality from a pit bull to occur in Elgin, he also indicated if his dreams came true, he will be back pushing this to be passed to BAN these breeds immediately.

        The 250+ people there on 03.10 tuned him out at that point - poor Councilman Prigge. Pick your battles appropriately, stop telling people you are being a LEADER forEelgin, just lead already on something that MATTERS to the majority. Oh, and the sly comments to “friends” about running for Mayor to replace Shock in 2011.. you’ve GOT to be kidding me!!!!!!!!

  10. Tania says:

    There’s Boxcar’s babble again, he does’nt get it, well at least he admits it this time. He also switches sides again on who he supports. Stop responding to this guy, ignore him, he feeds off you guys, cut the cord!

    • Boxcar says:

      Mr. Robins may find out that no matter how many aliases he uses here it will not get him elected in 2011 or in any election, for that matter.

      Maybe he just “does’nt” get it.

      • Paul says:

        Wasn’t it Mike Robins who ran for city council with his main plank being a ban on chaining dogs up!
        The voters did get that one right.

        • voters says:

          February 25, 2009 at 9:17 pm
          On the contrary, Robins came from total obscurity and nearly beat a former councilwoman and DID beat a well-based, Sligting. That’s the story of this election.

  11. Dogjudge says:

    Well it appears that Councilman Prigge may have a MUCH harder sell the next time around.

    He had the Elgin law drafted using the Denver pit bull ban as an example. He and Crogley lied when they said that the law had withstood challenges.


    Denver has LOST another round with this suit AND there are other suits that have been filed that they are trying to fight.

    The city attorney admits that his staff is short people so they’ve had to go outside of their office to fight these suits.

    So does Elgin REALLY have all this extra money to spend?

  12. Brent says:

    It doesn’t take “courage” to pass such a law…it takes ignorance. The reality is that every single mainstream organization that deals with canine/human interactions is against what Elgin proposed.

    The national organization for Veterinarians, the AVMA - Opposes breed-specific proposals

    All mainstream groups of dog trainers.

    HSUS, Best Friends, the ASPCA, the No Kill Advocacy Center and others that represent the rescue community oppose the legislation.

    Heck, even the National Animal Control Association is opposed to breed specific laws because they’re unenforceable.

    At some point, when every group that has real knowledge about the topic is opposed to something, there may be a really good reason for it. And in this case there is. The people who support such legislation are usually those with the absolute least amount of information available.

    If I were building a new bridge in my community, I’d want to hear from architects and engineers about how the bridge should be built, not just someone from the general public.

    So why would all of the experts be ignored when it comes to dog legislation? It just doesn’t make sense.

      • Carrie says:

        Prigge was publically blasted for using PETA’s extremist information in his “research.” Funny to see it reappear. Yes, they support BSL because it’s one step towards their mission and vision of no domesticated animals - regardless of the breed. You really can’t pick and choose which part of PETA statements you want to use. It might support one part of your position, but be assured they have more verbiage out there that will cause your position problems. Just ask Mr. Prigge.

        There are thousands of sites out there dedicated to informing the general public as to what PETA supports - including the domestic terrorist group ELF.

      • Michelle says:

        Great. First cite dogsbite, now PETA. And… completely disregard the medical and all other professional communities.

        Personally, I have no interest in what an organization that adopted out 8 animals while killing 2,352 in 2009 has to say.

    • Michelle says:

      Thank you, Brent!
      Well said.

  13. Boxcar says:

    From PETA’s site: “The vast majority of people who want pit bulls are attracted to the “macho” image of the breed as a living weapon”

    Pit bull owners do not like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

    • Carrie says:

      This one’s for you, Boxcar …. I hope you enjoy.


      • Boxcar says:

        I did enjoy that video although I loved looking at all of the owners more than the dogs. Where were the over age 40 crowd of owners? Probably at their jobs, I’m guessing.

        Here’s a completely unrehearsed, impromptu video involving a family pitbull that I favor:



        • Carrie says:

          I wasn’t ask to be in the video I posted, though I am a professional, educated female in her her 40’s with two pit bull mixes. There are a lot of us out there .. you just don’t look beyond gang members and negative stereotypes to see us.

          As for the video you posted, a simple youtube search would net similar results for other breeds of dogs, as well.

          Have a lovely day, Boxcar.

          • Carrie says:

            (woops, before you point it out for me .. I wasn’t “asked.” I apologize for the typographical error, I know how they do bother you)

  14. Mike Robins says:

    Hello, checking in, Several valid points have been brought out on the bsl agenda, the point of money spent by the city was shared by me with two city council members in regards to all around costs with this issue. There was recent mention of using our name to post, I prefer to use mine to share my interest in matters and remain focused on current agenda and not minutia.
    I also Spoke with Mike Warren on cost factors, he was kind enough, to speak with me on speaker while getting ready to go out for the evening. His thoughts were the city attorneys felt comfortable with any litigation they may have to fight off. Also that the city gets sued often whether its workmans comp cases or other matters. I thanked him for listining to my proactive views on revenue. It was great to see Rich Dunne and John Steffen getting involved with state budget matters in regards to Elgin and the Fox Valley area. Now thats proactive, what council members should strive for.

  15. Dogjudge says:

    Here’s another website that covers these types of issues on a national level.


    “Over the past 45 years (1965 – present) there have been 27 fatal dog attacks in Illinois or an average of one (1) fatal attack every 1 to 2 years.”

    That’s NOT pitbull attacks, that’s attacks by ALL dogs and all of those incidents did NOT occur in Elgin.

    More people are killed by bees, hornets and wasps each year than by dogs.

    Perhaps Mr. Prigge needs to pass a dangerous bee/hornet and wasp ordinance.

    • rm says:

      Forget the bees and wasps. Leave that to Orkin.

      Perhaps Elgin’s leaders should be looking into Mexican drug cartel operations in Elgin and the use of Elgin neighborhoods as sanctuaries for illegal alien gangsters and narcotics distributors. Wouldn’t you think that responsible political and media interests would be looking closely into the background and connections of Alejandro Campos-Rivera, the drug dealer who started all this dog business? Where did he come from? What was his residency status? Who has been employing him? Was it just a coincidence that he was in a house near a public school - part of a deteriorating school district with its own narcotics problems?

      Can’t do that though… That would mean looking into the whole racket of “immigration” that provides the cheap drugs,cheap labor and welfare environments that sustain the corrupt political and economic interests running Elgin and Illinois. In a dysfunctional Blagojevich Model City like Elgin, what passes for leadership will waste its time and our money on trivial matters like dogs, “climate change,” and 40 oz. packages of malt liquor while ignoring the real problems afflicting Elgin’s remaining honest residents.

  16. Paul says:

    “27 fatal dog attacks in Illinois… that’s attacks by ALL dogs ”

    No, they weren’t Chihuahuas.
    Which readily puts the lie to your ilks repeated claims that all dogs are equally dangerous.

    “Perhaps Mr. Prigge needs to pass a dangerous bee/hornet and wasp ordinance.”

    He hopefully will if you are keeping them as pets.

  17. ???????? says:

    What’s status of Prigge’s license to auctioneer?

    March 21, 2010

    I found this online at the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation. Could you ask Councilman (John) Prigge about this?

    “John Prigge May 2, 2005

    The auction license was placed on indefinite probation during which regular written reports are to be tendered to BRE and a $4,000 fine was assessed for failing to account for personality, failing to timely remit funds to several clients, for having engaged in unprofessional conduct & unlicensed practice of auctioneering of his corporate entity and failing to register in accordance with the Assumed Business Name Act.” (Source: http://www.idfpr.com/DPR/RE/AuDisp.asp)

    Answer: “Business complications arose seven years ago, which led to the eventual dissolving of my corporation. All claims were settled and I agreed with the decision and fine and also remain in good standing with the State as a licensed auctioneer,” Prigge said.

  18. Paul says:

    Please, tell me what kind of rationale propels you to keep asking a question which you yourself readily provide the answer???

    “What’s status of Prigge’s license to auctioneer?”
    >>remain in good standing with the State as a licensed auctioneer,” Prigge said.<<

    My question is rhetorical. The answer is obvious. The dirt you are
    attempting to smear Prigge with has the distinct aroma of pitbull feces on it.

    P.S. His good standing as councilman has been enhanced by his efforts to protect ALL the citizens of Elgin over the objections of a few vocal pitbull owners.