An Ohio Senate bill that would reform the state’s dog laws could be up for a vote in the coming days.
Sen. Bill Beagle, R-Tipp City, introduced the Klonda Richey Act on April 27, 2015. In February 2014, Richey was killed when two dogs owned by a neighboring couple attacked her outside her Dayton home.
Andrew Nason, 30, and Julie Custer, 27, were sentenced in May 2015 in Dayton Municipal Court a couple weeks after both pleaded no contest and were each found guilty of two misdemeanor counts of failure to control dogs.
The bill had its fourth hearing in the Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday. It could have its fifth hearing and a possible committee vote on Wednesday.
If passed, the bill would:
* Changing the definition of a vicious dog from a dog who causes serious injury to a person to a dog that has killed a person.
* Requiring a court to order the humane destruction of a vicious dog or a dog that has killed a person, but has not been determined to be a vicious dog.
* If a dog kills someone, the penalty for failure to confine or restrain a dog increases from a fourth to a fifth degree felony.
* If a dog causes serious injury, the penalty for failure to confine or restrain a dog changes from a first degree misdemeanor to a fifth degree felony.
* The addition of child endangerment to the list of offenses that can prevent a person from owning certain types of dogs.
* Clarifying that “dog wardens” have the authority to make arrests.