City Council to Punish Problem Pet Owners


Faculty live-in resident Greg Maddox and his German shepard Quantam frequently roam Northwestern's Allison Residence Hall.


“He's actually from Germany,” Maddox says of the pooch. “Now he is part of the live-in faculty-in-residence in Allison Hall, so he's the puppy-in-residence."


Quantam is comfortable in his home in Allison, but some pets might not be as lucky.


Evanston City Council has proposed an ordinance that would prevent residents with a history of animal control violations from owning pets for up to two years.


"The other sanctions that we have traditionally employed have not been effective, so the city council has undertaken to adopt an ordinance that would address this specific misbehavior of the small minority of pet owners,” Evanston Police Chief Richard Eddington says.


Evanston Police say the ordinance would affect owners who have at least two animal control citations, ranging from waste on private property to animal cruelty.


"The proposed ordinance deals with the narrow band of pet owners who have not been as responsible as their neighbors and the city would like them to be,” Eddington says.


Some pet owners say the proposed ordinance is too strict.


"I don't think it's the government's place to manage an individual's pets,” Evanston pet owner Craig Snider says. “With that being said, many people abuse the right to own a pet and take care of it. I can see it going that way."


"Of the being able to say someone could never own a pet again - I would hope there would be at least a process that would allow somebody who is a good pet owner to not be caught just in-between bad circumstances,” Maddox says.


As long as owners and their pets like Maddox and Quantam stay out of trouble, they can continue to live side by side.


The city council will vote on the problem-pets ordinance later this year. The proposal adds to Evanston's dangerous dog ordinance that was passed in October.


What would you do to keep your pets out of trouble? Tell us in Rocktalk.

By Alexandria Johnson and Amy Li


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