Jim Otte Reports On The Dangerous Bog Bill
Data is not available on the number of fatalities or serious injuries. But Antani said that just when it comes to dog attacks on kids, it’s reasonable to assume that each of Ohio’s five children’s hospitals are seeing similar volume of cases as in Dayton.
“The argument that I want to present to the Legislature and the public is that this is not a one-off, isolated incident. This happens often all across Ohio to adults and children, with varying degrees of injury or death,” Antani said.
Antani will be the fifth local lawmaker to try to tighten up Ohio’s dog laws in the past five years. He said his bill picks up where former state senator Bill Beagle left off in the effort last year.
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Antani’s bill calls for:
— Making it a fifth degree felony for an owner when a dog seriously injures or kills a person, up from the current minor misdemeanor;
— Clarifying that dog wardens have the authority to make arrests;
— Giving dog wardens the authority to designate a dog as dangerous;
— Mandating additional training for dog wardens; and
— Requiring euthanasia of a dog that kills or causes serious injury to a person.
Dog owners facing charges due to their animal’s behavior could use a defense that the dog was teased, defending someone, responding to its own pain or responding to a person trespassing or committing a crime on the owner’s property.
Savannah Coleman, the 8-year-old girl who was viciously attacked by a pit bull in July. She is pictured with her mother, Tierney Dumont and her boyfriend, Nate Baker.
Also at the press conference was Tierney Dumont, a high school friend of Antani’s. In July, Dumont’s 8-year-old daughter Savannah Coleman was attacked by a neighbor’s dog.
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Suffering from lacerations and a fractured skull, Savannah spent four hours in surgery with Lober and his team and five nights in the hospital, Dumont said. She is still seeing a counselor weekly to deal with the psychological trauma, Dumont said.
The bill, which Antani named after Savannah, will be formally introduced in the Ohio House at the first opportunity, Antani said.
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