JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A new bill on the House floor punishes dog owners who intentionally or negligently allow their dogs to escape from their home or yard and bite someone.
Under House Bill 80, introduced by Rep. Nick Bain (R), you could be fined as much as $5,000 or even jailed.
Here’s how the bill reads:
Any person who intentionally or with criminal negligence causes any dog to bite, wound, or inflict physical injury on a human being shall be guilty of a felony, fined not less than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or imprisoned in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not more than three (3) years, or both.
If Bain’s bill is approved, anyone who is convicted of a first and second offense within five years could be convicted of a felony with a $10,000 fine attached and or imprisoned for up to 10 years.
And, if the dog kills or disfigures someone the owner could face a penalty of 25 years for each count.
House Bill 80 also says a law enforcement officer or animal control officer may confine the dog until evidence is heard and a verdict is rendered, and the victim may also seek civil action against the owner.
WLBT will keep you posted on any progress this bill makes.