Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Louisiana - In a bill that will broaden state laws on negligent homicide and make it easier to prosecute dog attacks that result in human death, House Bill 155 passed the Louisiana House 89-0. Earlier in the month, the Senate passed the proposal 31-0. The bill is dedicated to 83-year old Luna McDaniel of Ville Platte who was killed by three loose pit bulls in 2008 and to 4-year old Michael Blaise Landry of Morganza, who was killed by three loose boxers in April.
HB 155, which began as the Luna McDaniel Act, says negligent homicide is the killing of a human being by a dog or other animal when the owner is criminally negligent in confining or restraining the animal. Violators would face fines of up to $5,000 and five years in prison. Tony Clayton, who was the prosecutor in the case of the attack on the 4-year old boy, said that the bill would have ensured the conviction of the dogs' owner, Candace Wells of Morganza.
In the case of Luna McDaniel, the City of Ville Platte had a pit bull ordinance in place, which increased the charges that could be brought against the owner of the dogs, Theo Doucet.1 These charges immediately advanced to Negligent Homicide after Luna later died from the severe injuries she suffered. HB 155 now allows prosecutors statewide to more harshly charge all dog owners who fail to properly confine their animal and the result ends in human death.
Though not mentioned by the media after the passage of HB 155, we later learned that the bill also addresses victims who are seriously injured by unrestrained dogs. To convict a dog owner under the statue, prosecutors must show that the person showed a reckless disregard for the public prior to the attack that resulted in serious injury. The Negligent Injury charge carries a penalty of up to six-months in jail and a $500 fine. The law was authored by Rep. Rickey Hardy.
04/14/09: 2009 Fatality: Michael Blaise Landry, 4, Killed in Own Yard
08/25/08: Death and Injury by Pit Bulls: January 2006 - September 2008
09/10/08: 2008 Fatality: Luna McDaniel, 83-Years Old, Dies from Pit Bull Injury
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| 6/24/2009 11:52 PM |
For a state as entrenched with dog fighting culture, this is a big step forward. Yes, they have further to go, but it's amazing given the political climate and history of the state for anything like this to pass with so much support. Whether it gets enforced is another matter.
| 6/25/2009 3:49 AM |
Well it's something, especially in dog fighting country.
But it doesn't prevent the attacks, and it doesn't do anything, as you wrote, about the people alive but left limbless, eyeless, scalpless, faceless, blind, without ears, or any of the other side effects of a pit bull mauling.
The problem is going to be that these hillbillies will chain up their dogs but the dogs will break the chains after going nuts for awhile and getting more aggressive, and break free and do lots of damage.
They need to pass anti-tethering laws, so that PROPER kennels and fencing are constructed.
| 6/25/2009 9:04 AM |
Why did a country like England ban pit bulls? Isn't Staffordshire a village there? Isn't this the country that gave us the sport of bull-baiting and later on, dog fighting? (See John Colby)
When will the federal government step in? Why doesn't the CDC do another study like the 1979-1998 CDC report?
Lots of questions. The answer is to eliminate pit bulls.
| 6/26/2009 12:59 PM |
---- Attacks that ended in death ----
Luna McDaniel Act - Louisiana (2009)
Named after 83-year old Luna McDaniel who was brutally attacked by 3 loose pit bulls and later died from the injuries she suffered.
Lillian's Law - Texas (2007)
Named after 78-year old Lillian Stiles who was killed by loose pit bull-mixes while gardening in her yard.
Anna's Law - Illinois (2005)
Named after 48-year old Anna Cieslewicz who was killed by several pit bulls while jogging in Dan Ryan Park.
Tylers Law - California (2005)
Named after a 6-year Tyler Babcock that was violently struck down and killed by a pit bull named "vicious."
---- Attack that did not end in death ----
Ryan Armstrong Law - - Illinois (2003)
Named after 7-year old Ryan Armstrong who was bitten by a stray rottweiler in 2001. The father, Jeff Armstrong, immediately set out to advance new laws but was quickly "sucked into" a pit bull lobbying, the American Canine Foundation. Armstrong then lobbied for the group on behalf of the "Armstrong" bill that explicitly prohibited breed-specific law on a statewide level.
A near identical path in Illinois -- both attacks and laws also stemmed from Cook County -- is taken in the development of Anna's law. Both are examples of predatory pit bull lobbying groups seizing the opportunity to manipulate lawmakers after a violent attack, and "in the name of a victim" no less, draft statewide laws that do anything but prevent new attacks.
Ryan' law was so successful (NOT) that it was replaced 2 years later with Anna's law, which was little more than a "pet population" law AND a law that strengthened the state's anti-BSL prohibition. Anna's law was written in part by none other than Ledy VanKavage, now a lobbyist for Best Friends, who coined the ridiculous term "pit bulls are wiggle butts."
Not only did both laws fail to directly address the dangerous dog problem, they explicitly disenabled all municipalities within the State of Illinois to enact breed-specific laws, which are by definition designed to prevent attacks from dangerous dog breeds. Three months after the passage of "Anna's Law," in the adjacent county of McHenry, a neutered, family pit bull led the catastrophic assault on Nick Foley and five other individuals.
| 6/26/2009 4:00 PM |
The dog breeders and the dog fighters want to write the "dangerous dog laws" to protect their breeding and fighting.
And it is very clear that Ledy VanKavage is making public guarantees about pit bull behavior that she needs to be held accountable for.
| 6/26/2009 8:39 PM |
That's why the blame "The Owner" and never the Breeder. They made garauntees about the safety of their breed so the next logical step is to throw the owner under the bus. Frickin' Systematic and Diabolical!
| 11/02/2009 9:03 AM |
Representative: Pitbull should die and owner should go to jail
"Louisiana has a new dangerous animal law. The author of the bill, State Representative Ricky Hardy, says not only should the pitt bull be killed, but the owners should face charges of negligent injury and go to jail. The law, which went into effect in August, calls for 6 months in jail and a $500 fine.
"Once incident is too much. You know what type of breed you have," Hardy said."