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Joliet animal pet safety

Brock A. Stein | 2/28/2018, 11:49 a.m.
A year after establishing its own animal control office, the City of Joliet has a better process in place for ...
A year after establishing its own animal control office, the City of Joliet has a better process in place for addressing pet-related safety concerns for residents. Photo by Brock A. Stein

A year after establishing its own animal control office, the City of Joliet has a better process in place for addressing pet-related safety concerns for residents.

Joliet’s animal compliance officer Robert Badertscher said that the process provides a framework for addressing those concerns and in cases of injuries making sure it doesn’t happen again.

“We now have a process in place,” said Badertshher.

The office works in coordination with Joliet Township Animal Control to investigate issues that can range from dogs running loose to incidents where humans or other pets are attacked he said.

In those cases, the office can issue compliance tickets, check records for pets including rabies check and produce reports for an eventual hearing if the situation calls for it.

The process also includes a monthly hearing schedule to adjudicate cases.

Owners of animals involved in alleged attacks may be required to muzzle their dog while in public, provide proof of liability insurance and rabies vaccination, as well as post signs indicating a dangerous dog lives on their premises. The hearing committee can also make recommendations that an animal be spayed, neutered or microchipped, and provide fencing or be required to see an animal behaviorist in some cases.

In 2017 the office responded to 209 incidents, issuing 102 compliance tickets for incidents ranging from dog on dog attacks, to dog v. human incidents, negligent control, and animal cruelty. The office also held 20 administrative hearings during its first year.

The highest number of incidents, 130, occurred in the warmer months between May and September.

Badertscher said that the office also responds to animal cruelty cases that involve pets being left in hot or freezing temperature vehicles. He said that on an 85 degree day that the temperature inside a vehicle will reach 104 degrees within 10 minutes.

In one case, a 42-pound dog was tied up with a chain that weighed over 16 pounds well over the state law that mandates that any tether shouldn’t be more than an 1/8 of a dog’s total weight.

In total, he said that the office has a record of just over 80% compliance during its first year of operation.