05-24-06 - A bill designed to tighten the leash on owners of vicious dogs passed the house Tuesday and is on its way to the senate, but will the new legislation really work?
You have heard about stories of vicious dogs that not only attack other animals, but humans as well and some lawmakers think it has become a problem and now want to make sure the owners are held accountable. The bill would strengthen penalties on the owners of vicious dogs that attack humans.
Owners of those types of dogs would face a misdemeanor charge if they attack another person. Those would be punishable by fines up to $1,000 or $5,000 for a second offense. If the dog kills another person, felony charges with a $25,000 fin and up to five years in prison could be the punishment for the owner.
Most municipalities have punishments set aside for owners of cruel dogs, but authorities say this new legislation could help deter those who harbor these types of dogs. As for what classifies a dog as vicious, authorities say it is a god that is normally out of control and is trained to attack anyone without remorse. Usually, animal control will be able to determine if a dog is vicious or not.
Cities also require owners of dogs classified as vicious to carry liability insurance policies on each dog they own with the mandate in Ardmore being $50,000.