State may strengthen dog laws after Dayton woman’s death



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.

RELATED: Couple in fatal dog mauling case sentenced

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.


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