On February 27, 2006, I will testify before the Judiciary Committee of the Tennessee State Senate, on the subject of dog bite law. Senator Doug Jackson has introduced 5 bills that will go a long way to reducing dog attacks. I will be discussing these bills and the the more general subject of preventing dog attacks.
Senator Jackson’s bills will eliminate the one-bite rule, make it illegal for a dog to run at large under any circumstances, increase the criminal penalties for allowing a dangerous dog or fighting dog to run at large, increase the penalty for being present at an organized dog fight, and make it a crime for a dog owner to stand by and do nothing when his dog is mauling a person.
These new laws would implement roughly half of the measures I have proposed in Preventing Dog Bites. I would still like to see Tennessee and all states to enact laws that require dog safety education in schools, make pet stores give customers specific information about breeds, force dog owners to have insurance that would compensate dog bite victims, give every city a fair method of taking dangerous dogs off the streets, keep certain high-risk breeds away from the wrong people, places and situations, and support further research into dog bites.
However, the pending bills are a great start and are urgently needed in Tennessee, and I support them wholeheartedly.