Legislators propose law to protect from “dangerous dogs”

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Monday’s dog mauling in Butler Township has been ruled an accidental death.

The Coroner’s Office says Cynthia Whisman, 59, died because of dog bites.

She is one of five people recently attacked by a dog.

That’s why Beairshelle Edmé dug deeper, asking legislators what they plan to do.

In several recent incidents, the dogs were cited for previous attacks or problems.

That’s why, some lawmakers and law enforcement agents are calling for tougher penalties on dog owners.

Senator Bill Beagle (R) said owners need to be held accountable, but often can’t be.

“You’ve got limited resources to attend to animal issues. So many of them don’t result in anything particularly serious, but there are those that are very, very serious and tragic and it’s always a struggle,” the 5th district representative said.

Senator Beagle is sponsoring legislation for a solution.

If passed, it will allow dog wardens and animal control officers to arrest owners of troublesome dogs; it also calls for dangerous dogs to be registered.

The senator is part of an exploratory committee looking to draft legislation to address what some see as a growing issue in the community.

Committee member, Sheriff Phil Plummer hopes the bill will help with prevention– that all dog, poor history or not, can be stopped from attacking.

“You know, has this dog bitten other dogs in the past, has this dog chased a mailman, has the dog  bitten other people, you know, do we need to designate this dog as a dangerous dog,” Plummer listed as examples of questions not being asked.

These officials believe answering these questions will make them proactive, instead of reactive.

And both the senator and sheriff agreed that owners have to be better at caring for their pets.

“I’m not the type of person that says ‘this type of dog is a vicious dog.’ The dog is like a gun, it’s how it’s used. It’s how people handle it. It’s how it’s raised,” Plummer said.

Meanwhile, as Montgomery County officials and lawmakers search for answers, as too are those in Butler County.

The county’s dog warden said Monday’s pit bull has been seized; the pit bull, Polo, will not be euthanized until the victim’s daughter signs it over or there’s a court hearing.


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