Vicious dog law changes to be presented this month

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The debate over dog laws has been a hot issue this year in Ohio as well as the city of Dayton.

Current laws say the owner of vicious dogs cannot be charged with a felony even if their dog killed someone, just like in the case of Klonda Richey.
State lawmakers are trying to change that and we found, they are getting ready to introduce a bill.

A law is in the works that would change the way vicious dogs rules look in Ohio.

“When I saw what Klonda Richey did in terms of notifying people, like everyone else, you shake your head and say how could something like this happen and of course I happen to be in a position where we can do something about it,” said State Sen. Bill Beagle.

State Senator Bill Beagle tells 2 NEWS he plans to introduce a bill to the general assembly by the end of February.

It will hopefully help those who deal with vicious dogs every day have more tools to deal with the pets and their owners.

“We’re looking at higher penalties, more serious charges, perhaps as simple as putting signs in yards that say hey I’ve got a dangerous dog in my yard, making sure our dog wardens are able to arrest people in case there are problems with owners.”

Beagle said he’s been working with several lawmakers on what needs to be included to make our communities safer.

They believe something needs to be done to get vicious dog owners to take more responsibility for the pets.

There’s been talk about giving more authority to dog control officers to deal with owners as well as creating a database where people can see the vicious dogs living in their neighborhood.

But Beagle said those are both ideas still being flushed out so their efforts will be presented in steps.
The first will focus on higher penalties for owners.

“There has been a lot that’s been going on and I it doesn’t seem that way because we don’t have anything new but I think it’s important that we take our time and get it right”

Beagle is also looking at extending the time limit from three to five years before a felon can own a vicious dog.

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