Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Good news and bad news. Bills to toughen Ohio law pertaining to vicious dogs introduced into the Ohio House and Ohio Senate. Month old baby killed by pit bulls in Mt. Vernon Ohio

SB 151, passed unanimously in the Ohio Senate just prior to the end of the session last year, has been reintroduced into both the Ohio Senate and the Ohio House as SB 195 and HB 352.
  The purpose of these bills is to toughen Ohio laws pertaining to vicious dogs. Since the passage of HB 14 in 2012, Ohio has seen an incredible jump in dog attack fatalities.  Including the death of a baby killed today in Mt. Vernon Ohio,  14 Ohioans have been killed by dogs in our state in the slightly over 5 years since the Ohio Legislature allowed Best Friends Animal Society to rewrite Ohio law.  The previous decade saw 5 fatal dog attacks in the state.  Draw your own conclusions.

Per the Dayton Daily NewsThe bills call for:
• Mandating that dog owners respond to warnings or postings from dog wardens;
• Requiring dog wardens to follow up on every complaint filed;
• Clarifying that dog wardens have arrest authority;
• Allowing wardens to take sworn affidavits from people who witness dangerous dog behaviors;
• Adding penalties for owners who fail to follow existing rules governing the sale or transfer of dogs labeled dangerous;
• Adding penalties for owners who fail to register their dangerous dogs with authorities;
• Extending the ban on dog ownership for those convicted of violent felonies to five years from three years;
• Extending the dog ownership ban to those convicted of child abuse charges"
"Owners could be charged with a fifth-degree felony, even if it’s a first offense. A dog would automatically be destroyed if it kills a person and a judge would decide if it should be euthanized in cases where the dog seriously injures a person."
State Senator Bill Beagle, author, and sponsor of the bill noted current Ohio law gives dogs "one free growl, one free bite, and one free kill.  Giving dogs a 'one-time pass' causes dangerous dogs to get a second chance to harm someone."

We sincerely hope for passage of this law very soon.

In today's news, Barrett Ethan Hagans, age one month, was apparently killed by dogs in his father's Knox County Ohio home.  The baby had been in a bassinet. Two pit bulls were removed from the home by the county dog warden. The investigation is ongoing.  There is no reported history on the family pit bulls at this time.

9/21/2017 Update.  The two pit bulls have been euthanized. 

9/27/2017 Update.  The Knox County Coroner confirms that one-month-old Barrett Hagens was killed by the family pit bulls. Coroner Dr. Jennifer Ogle stated the baby died of "extensive blunt and crush force injuries with puncture injuries."

9/29/2017 Update.  The killer pit bull was identified by examination of gastric contents during necropsy.  There is no doubt here.