Legislators Try to Rein in Dog Attacks and Abuse
Nashville, TN - Tennessee lawmakers are talking tough and considering strict new dog laws. Some of the proposals include: strengthening penalties against owners of vicious dogs that harm people and automatic civil victim recourse, even if the dog attack occurs on the dog owner's property. After noting that the city of Rockwood recently voted to ban pit bulls within city limits, Senator Kilby states:
"If someone has a vicious dog that attacks you and mangles your arm, you should be compensated." At the same time, he wants to raise awareness about certain breeds, such as pit bulls, which are often behind many high-profile attacks.
Additionally, legislation that targets animal abusers is being reviewed. The bill would create an online registry for animal abusers, much like the sex offender registry maintained by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
According to the bill, studies show a link between children and teens that repeatedly hurt or kill animals later becoming violent criminal offenders and even serial killers. Among information available to the public would be the abuser's name, age, convictions, addresses and photo. The legislation adds:
"There is a compelling and necessary public interest that the public have information concerning persons convicted of severe animal abuse offenses...to adequately protect themselves and their animals."
DogsBite.org applauds the Tennessee legislature for committing to realistically evaluating the dangers fighting breeds pose to public safety in addition to clamping down on the dogfighters themselves.