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County of Cook v. Village of Bridgeview

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Sixth Division

April 25, 2014

THE COUNTY OF COOK, a Body Politic and Corporate, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
THE VILLAGE OF BRIDGEVIEW, a Municipal Corporation, Defendant-Appellant

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. 10 CH 39696. Honorable Mary Anne Mason, Judge Presiding.

Affirmed.

SYLLABUS

Defendant village was properly enjoined from enforcing its ordinance prohibiting residents from operating feral cat colonies within the village based on the trial court's finding that the village lacked the statutory and home rule authority to enact the ordinance, since the village's reliance on its home rule authority is negated by the greater interest of the state and the counties in dealing with the feral cat problem, and the authority granted to municipalities by section 24 of the Animal Control Act to " prohibit animals from running at large" and to " regulate dogs, cats and other animals" was exceeded by the village's ordinance prohibiting the operation of feral cat colonies.

FOR APPELLANT: Joseph Cainkar, LOUIS F. CAINKAR LTD., Chicago, Illinois.

FOR APPELLEE: Anita Alvarez, State's Attorney of Cook County (Kent S. Ray, Paul A. Castiglione, Sisavanh B. Baker, Assistant State's Attorneys, Of Counsel) Chicago, Illinois.

JUSTICE HALL delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice Rochford and Justice Reyes concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

HALL, JUSTICE.

Page 1276

[¶1] This appeal involves two apparently conflicting ordinances that regulate feral cat colonies within Cook County. One of the ordinances was adopted by the county. The other ordinance was adopted by the Village of Bridgeview, a municipality located within Cook County.

Page 1277

[¶2] In 1973, the Illinois General Assembly enacted the Animal Control Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 8, ¶ 351 et seq .) (now 510 ILCS 5/1 et seq . (West 2010)) in an effort to, among other things, control the stray animal population and prevent and control the spread of rabies in Illinois. See Village of Swansea v. County of St. Clair, 45 Ill.App.3d 184, 186, 359 N.E.2d 866, 4 Ill.Dec. 33 (1977); McQueen v. Erickson, 61 Ill.App.3d 859, 864, 378 N.E.2d 614, 19 Ill.Dec. 113 (1978). In 1977, based in part upon the authority vested in it under sections 3 and 5 of the Animal Control Act, the Cook County Board of Commissioners adopted the Cook County Animal and Rabies Control Ordinance (Cook County Ordinance No. 99-O-25, § 10-1 et seq . (Jan. 3, 1977))[1].

[¶3] In October 2007, the Cook County Board of Commissioners amended the ordinance by adding a section dealing with feral cats, the " Managed Care of Feral Cats" Ordinance (Cook County Ordinance No. 07-O-72 (Oct. 16, 2007) (feral cat ordinance)). The feral cat ordinance was enacted to further prevent the spread of rabies by reducing and controlling the feral cat population.

[¶4] The feral cat ordinance permits individuals living within Cook County, including those living in the Village of Bridgeview, to maintain feral cat colonies provided they participate in trap, neuter, and release (TNR) programs sponsored by approved humane societies. (Cook County Ordinance No. 07-O-72, § 10-97 (Oct. 16, 2007)). Under the privately funded TNR programs, citizen volunteers referred to as caretakers, humanely trap feral cats and then take them to veterinarians or humane societies to be microchipped, vaccinated and spayed or ...


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