Changes to Vicious Dog Laws

By: Rachel Heinz

State Senator Bill Beagle is attempting to create new legislation regarding vicious dogs. Sen. Beagle has been serving as state senator for the 5th District of Ohio since 2011. This is his second attempt at adjusting fines and the amount of time before a felon can own a dangerous dog. Current laws state that even if a dog kills someone, the owners cannot be charged with a felony. Beagle is trying to get dog owners to take more ownership for their animals

Sen. Beagle is trying again at creating this legislation a year after the mauling death of a woman in Dayton. According to The Columbus Dispatch, Klonda Richey, 57, died last February by mixed-mastiffs in front of her home. With anonymous complaints from the community regarding the dogs, the attack did not come as a surprise for many. Richey tried protecting herself and her cats by building a fence along with setting up surveillance cameras around her home. This came after Richey filed for a stalking protection order against her neighbor who she said had threatened her cats and allowed the dogs to chase her. Her request was denied.

Sen. Beagle states, “I don’t want to see another Klonda Richey before we get changes.” One of Sen. Beagle’s proposals is to create a database for law enforcement to be able to locate the vicious dogs in the area as well as potentially requiring signage such as “Watch out – dangerous dog” placed outside of homes. He is also hoping to extend the amount of time before a felon can obtain a vicious dog from three to five years.

According to WDTN, Sen. Beagle says that these are just ideas and that the first step to making our community safer will be on creating higher penalties for owners of vicious dogs.