Richey was fatally attacked by her neighbor’s mixed breed mastiffs on Feb. 7, 2014. Richey, 57, had called local authorities dozens of times to report concerns about the dogs in the two years leading up to her death. The dogs’ owners were charged with a misdemeanor for failure to control their animals.
Another fatal mauling occurred in April 2017 in Dayton when Maurice Brown was attacked by a pit bull that had been the source of previous complaints and at least one dog bite.
Bills named after Richey failed to gain traction in three previous legislative sessions: one died in committee in 2014, another failed to win final approval in 2016, and a third bill failed in 2018. Antani will be the fifth area lawmaker to take on the issue.
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Antani, who will introduce his bill on Wednesday at the Statehouse, will model his bill after previous legislation carried by former state lawmaker Bill Beagle, R-Tipp City.
The legislation will call for:
- Requiring investigation or follow up on every call to a dog warden;
- Requiring owners to respond to warnings or postings at their home about their dogs;
- Allowing witnesses to give sworn statements regarding dog attacks on people.
- Increasing penalties for when dogs seriously injure or kill a person or kill a companion animal; and
- Defining dangerous, vicious and nuisance dog categories.
Data collected by the Ohio Department of Health show there were 64,735 dog bites reported across the state to local health departments between 2013 and 2017.
Antani as well as Savannah and her mother are scheduled to appear at a press conference Wednesday at the Ohio Statehouse to provide more details on the bill.