Wesselhoft Looks to Lillian's Law
Oklahoma - Despite two previous legislative setbacks, state Rep. Paul Wesselhoft said he would again author legislation to prevent vicious dog attacks. His previous bills -- written in 2006 and 2007 -- attempted to ban pit bull dogs, and would have allowed cities to outlaw dog breeds they considered a public health risk. Neither bill succeeded.
This year, the Moore Republican said, he plans to write a proposal which is "non-breed specific." He said, "This bill is modeled after similar legislation which passed in Texas. It passed their Legislature and was signed by the governor." Wesselhoft said his new proposal could make a dog's "first-bite" a felony, just as Lillian's Law does in Texas.
"If a dog gets off its property and if that dog attacks someone and if that attack is serious -- that is if a prudent person would seek medical help -- then my legislation calls for making that attack a felony offense with a mandatory 20 days in jail," he said.
Wesselhoft said a serious attack would include deep, penetrating wounds, torn muscles or a wound requiring sutures. He said, "My bill will make people hesitate when purchasing pit bulls because it would be a felony if the dog bit someone." Wesselhoft said such a law would dramatically reduce the state's pit bull population and reduce the number of attacks.
09/22/08: Oklahoma: One State's Struggle with a Breed-Specific Prohibition