Dog owners could face felony charges for attacks if new Ohio legislation passes

Current law issues a misdemeanor

Dog owners could face felony charges for attacks if new Ohio legislation passes
An Ohio lawmaker wants to make it a felony if your dog gets loose and viciously attacks a person. (Source: Pixabay)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -For the sixth time an Ohio lawmaker is trying to get a bill passed that would issue a felony to the owner of a dog involved in an attack on a person.

“This is a public health crisis that we are facing,” Representative Niraj J. Antani said about dangerous, and sometimes deadly, dog attacks the state has seen in recent years.

Dog owners could face felony charges for attacks if new Ohio legislation passes

Antani said too many dog owners are not making sure their dogs are confined or leashed so they can’t escape.

“Proper restraint of animals should be the law, in fact it is the law. People need to be responsible owners," he said.

Current law says such attacks are misdemeanors but Antani said that doesn’t go far enough.

Last year, SB 195 never made it out of committee, so Antani has reintroduced the measure this month which has not been assigned a new number.

The proposal would issue a level 5 felony, the lowest level of all felonies, to the owner of the dog involved in a vicious attack.

If convicted a person could be sentenced to six to 12 months in prison and a possible $2,500 fine.

Copyright 2019 WOIO. All rights reserved.