Saturday, July 8, 2017 || LETTERS || @maywoodnews
In response to your article of May 3, 2017 entitled, “Maywood Pit Bull Owners Pressing Village to Change Regulations”, I would very much like to challenge one point. The Pit bull owners of Maywood are not pressing the village to change the current Pit bull ordinance. We are demanding that the ordinance be repealed entirely.
The Village of Maywood is completely on the wrong side of this issue. We are the only municipality anywhere in the area to have any type of regulations about Pit bull ownership. Chicago, Cicero, Berwyn, North Riverside, Riverside, Bellwood, Broadview, Melrose Park, Forest Park, Oak Park, River Forest, none of these communities have any laws restricting Pit bull ownership. Pit bulls are not even mentioned in any of their Animal Control laws.
The State of Illinois has prohibited Breed Specific Laws (BSL), or laws that single out any one breed, and the Centers for Disease Control, part of the federal government does not endorse the use of this kind of a law. Even the American Bar Association, the national representative of the legal profession, does not support the passage of BSL.
In fact, no one seems to even remember why this law was passed here in the first place. Let’s be honest, we all know that there probably more Pit bulls in the Village of Maywood than any other kind of dog, and even so, no specific issues with Pit bull attacks have been cited, and no one seems to feel that there is a problem, or that there has ever been a problem with Pit bulls in the Village of Maywood. Officer Johnson even spoke about loose Pit bulls, abandoned by their owners, who were nonetheless not aggressive toward anyone.
We already have laws that protect our citizens from any dogs of any breeds who have exhibited aggressive behavior. This Pit bull law is overkill and is unfair to responsible pet owners and to innocent animals who have never bothered anybody in their lives.
This issue is scheduled to be on the agenda at the next Legal, License and Ordinance Committee meeting. Changing the law is not good enough! This law has to got to go! People of Maywood, if you own a Pit bull, if you love animals, if you are tired of Maywood’s leadership being out of touch with the world around us, or even if you just care about fairness and justice in Maywood, come to the village meeting on Wednesday July 12 at 7 p.m. in the Village Council Chambers above the police station and demand that the Board of Trustees get rid of this law once and for all! Make Maywood safe for its citizens, human and dog alike.
— Heather Stelnicki, Maywood