DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Monday’s Butler County attack of Cindy Whisman, 59, is bringing several local officials together, who are pushing to change some laws about dogs known to be troublesome.
The committee made up of lawmakers and law enforcement officials met Thursday morning to plan ways to stop dog attacks.
But members said they are taking a new approach to ending this potentially deadly problem.
Concerned officials said several steps must be taken to minimize and ultimately end dog attacks.
But to do that, they said they must address the owner and not the breed.
“It’s on us to figure out what can we do to solve the problem– that’s why we gather the subject matter experts. We bring in the dog wardens, we bring the sheriffs in, we bring the lawyers in, we bring the county commissioners in– to try and figure out how we solve the problem and it’s a challenging problem to solve,” said State Senator Bill Beagle (R- District 5), a member of the exploratory committee.
State Senator Beagle said limited resources hurt prevention efforts.
He told 2 NEWS that often dog complaints go to the bottom of the list, mostly because they’re minimal crimes or none at all.
But the senator said ignoring repeated petty complaints leaves the back door open for tragedy.
In Monday’s meeting, he and others discussed a plan to avoid dog attacks, which recently have led to serious injuries and even deaths.
“We need to look at ownership, penalties– again trying to prevent, but when something does happen that law enforcement has the tools they need to make sure that people can get charged and pay a price for it,” the state senator said.
Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer is another committee member who believes the issue lies with owners.
He recently spoke with 2 NEWS on the matter and said some bully breed dogs are tied to even larger crimes.
“”I mean, should a drug dealer own a pit bull? I don’t think so. You know, when we do drug warrants, there’s two or three pit bulls guarding this drug house,” Plummer asked and later answered himself.
Plummer’s question is one he’s posed before the committee, even recommending that felons should not own bully breeds.
It’s a suggestion that the committee will review; however, Beagle told 2 NEWS that despite the group’s eagerness, it may take several months before legislation is proposed.
Committee members hope the new laws will be in effect some time in 2015 and will force owners to pay up.