TOP SECRET ANIMAL ATTACK FILES
Special Report filed by AAF
from Channel Cincinnati
Vicious Dog Could Put Owner In Jail
October 31, 2000 Updated 9:28 p.m. EST
DEER PARK, Ohio, -- A 6-year-old boy was attacked by a pit bull two weeks ago, and now the owner faces felony charges instead of what normally would have been misdemeanor charges.
WLWT Eyewitness News 5's John London reports that this is the second time one of Bennett's pets has attacked. The first time was two years ago, when police had to shoot one of Bennett's dogs when she attacked a police officer.
Under Ohio law, the charge is upgraded to a fourth-degree felony if the owner has had a previous vicious dog conviction. Deer Park Police Chief Michael Berens said that the family has been talked to in the past about their animals.
"They've been warned," Berens said. "They've been cited on numerous occasions: Three to my knowledge for that family."
Neighbors have complained about pit bulls running loose over the neighborhood in past years.
London reports that PJ, the dog who bit the little boy, was restrained and on his owner's property. But that was not enough precaution, according to Hamilton County prosecutor Mike Allen.
"The lot was not fenced," Allen said. "A small child wandered into that area. You have the responsibility as the owner of a vicious dog to make sure that that doesn't happen."
Though his animal was on his own property, Bennett now faces jail time for the felony, instead of a fine for a misdemeanor. PJ is being held at the Society for the Protection of Animals as evidence.
Copyright 2000 by Channel Cincinnati.
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