Ga. Senate addresses dog attacks

Owner would face felony after 2nd attack on human

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ATLANTA -- The Senate voted 50-1 Monday to pass legislation that would charge a dog owner with a felony for its second attack on a human.

The bill was inspired by recent reports of children in Savannah and Atlanta who were attacked by dogs that had been involved in previous incidents.

Current law already creates a mechanism for a court to declare a dog as “vicious” after a first attack on a person. House Bill 685 would boost the penalties for human attacks by a dog declared vicious.

Sen. Jesse Stone, R-Waynesboro, succeeded in amending the bill to exempt so-called working dogs, such as guide dogs for the blind, companion dogs for the handicapped and even dogs used in herding sheep.

“Dogs can kill, as much as I love ‘em,” said Sen. Steve Thompson, D-Marietta. “I’ve just got to say that on behalf of my own dogs.”

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle lightened the mood by responding, “Any other senator wish to speak on behalf of their dog.”

After the Senate changed the version passed by the House earlier, the bill now must return to the House for another vote. Then it will go to the governor’s desk for his signature in order to become law.

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raul 03/27/12 - 09:16 am
No distinction between 'ankle

No distinction between 'ankle biters" and say, pitbulls?

a different drum
a different drum 03/27/12 - 10:38 am
Sheep herding dogs are

Sheep herding dogs are exempt. Just keep some sheep in the backyard.

Fundamental_Arminian 03/27/12 - 11:55 am
It's great to see our state

It's great to see our state senators implicitly recognizing the Bible's wisdom on how to deal with owners of dangerous animals.

    (28) “When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner of the ox shall not be liable. (29) But if the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has been warned but has not kept it in, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death. (30) If a ransom is imposed on him, then he shall give for the redemption of his life whatever is imposed on him. (31) If it gores a man's son or daughter, he shall be dealt with according to this same rule" (Exodus 21:28-31 English Standard Version).

Negligence in the restraint of dangerous animals such as pit bulls should be punished as severely as murder.

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