Lawmakers considering stricter penalties for dangerous dogs - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Lawmakers considering stricter penalties for owners of dogs deemed dangerous

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The Tennessee State Legislature is considering a series of stricter dog ownership laws after two pit bulls mauled five people, leading to the death of an elderly Memphis man earlier this year.

Tennessee State Legislator GA Hardaway said he wants to beef up dog ownership law after the death of 71-yearold William Parker.  He said four bills he is working to push through the Legislature address irresponsible behavior by dog owners.

"It's our responsibility in Article 1, Section 1 of our rights, that we have to address the safety issues," said Hardaway.

Hardaway spent time with the Parkers in July after two loose dogs mauled the family patriarch, his daughter, responders and another neighbor.

Investigators soon learned dog owner Bernard Humphrey was locked up for failing to update his sex offender registry.  His brother's girlfriend, Sherry Wooten, had a stranger let the dogs out so a plumber could get in.

Since the attack, Parker's daughter, Gardenia Parker, has racked up enormous bills.  One of Hardaway's bills would require owners of loose dogs deemed dangerous under current guidelines to carry at least $15,000 of liability insurance.  Another bill would prohibit violent felons from owning a dog deemed dangerous.

"Those who've proven they have a propensity of violence and irresponsibility," said Hardaway.  "Why is it they can't have a gun, but they can have a vicious animal?  That's wrong, that's just not rational."

The third bill said if a felon wants a dog, the courts would have to pre-approve it.

"That's something that's going to be in the hands of the parole boards or probation," said Hardaway.  "They'll be able to address the courts to get the OK to get the exception."

The last bill would increase the $50 leash law fine.  Fines would start at $100 and increase if the dog injures someone.  The highest fine would be $1,000 if the dog causes someone to die.

If a dog was previously deemed dangerous, the penalties would be even higher, ranging between $500 and $25,000.

"It's more than just the leash," said Hardaway.  "It's about the ability to secure and confine that animal for the safety of the community."

None of the bills specified dog breed.  The bills are currently under review in a state committee.

Copyright 2010 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

  • News on WMCTV.comNewsMore>>

  • BREAKDOWN: Can you have thunder without lightning?

    BREAKDOWN: Can you have thunder without lightning?

    Sunday, May 27 2018 12:06 PM EDT2018-05-27 16:06:38 GMT

    In an earlier Breakdown video, we told you about the process that causes lightning and how powerful a bolt is when it strikes the ground. In this episode of the Breakdown, we will discuss thunder and answer the question of, can you have thunder without lightning? First, a quick recap on lightning: a bolt of lightning is as hot as 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit--that is more than five times hotter than the surface of the sun! The air around the bolt heats up rapidly and it...

    More >>

    In an earlier Breakdown video, we told you about the process that causes lightning and how powerful a bolt is when it strikes the ground. In this episode of the Breakdown, we will discuss thunder and answer the question of, can you have thunder without lightning? First, a quick recap on lightning: a bolt of lightning is as hot as 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit--that is more than five times hotter than the surface of the sun! The air around the bolt heats up rapidly and it...

    More >>
  • The one year anniversary of Memphis in May-hem

    The one year anniversary of Memphis in May-hem

    Sunday, May 27 2018 10:16 AM EDT2018-05-27 14:16:11 GMT
    The toppled Tom Lee MemorialThe toppled Tom Lee Memorial
    The toppled Tom Lee MemorialThe toppled Tom Lee Memorial

    May 27 marks the one year anniversary of a devastating wind storm that struck Memphis and the Mid-South and was later dubbed Memphis in May-hem.  On the evening of Saturday May 27 a line of strong storms moved southeast out of southern Missouri and into northeastern Arkansas.  The day had been very warm and muggy and was ripe for fueling any storms that entered the area.  This was also the final day of festivities in Downtown Memphis at Tom Lee for Memphis In May a...

    More >>

    May 27 marks the one year anniversary of a devastating wind storm that struck Memphis and the Mid-South and was later dubbed Memphis in May-hem.  On the evening of Saturday May 27 a line of strong storms moved southeast out of southern Missouri and into northeastern Arkansas.  The day had been very warm and muggy and was ripe for fueling any storms that entered the area.  This was also the final day of festivities in Downtown Memphis at Tom Lee for Memphis In May a...

    More >>
  • 901Fest caps off the Memphis in May festivities

    901Fest caps off the Memphis in May festivities

    Saturday, May 26 2018 11:20 PM EDT2018-05-27 03:20:41 GMT
    (Source: WMC Action News 5)(Source: WMC Action News 5)
    (Source: WMC Action News 5)(Source: WMC Action News 5)

    Saturday afternoon Memphians filled Tom Lee Park by the river to celebrate everything 901. 

    More >>

    Saturday afternoon Memphians filled Tom Lee Park by the river to celebrate everything 901. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly