House panel approves dog attack bill

Posted at 4:00 PM, Feb 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-24 19:19:10-05

A house panel has unanimously approved a bill that would give judges clarity on how to weigh in on cases where a dog attacks a human.

"One of the things we found is sometimes when a dog injures someone they give it to someone else and that new person with the new dog doesn't realize there's an issue. The dog then hurts somebody else. We want to try to prevent that from happening as we track these dogs and make sure whether or not they're bad offenders," Rep. Mike Moyle said.

In addition to tracking dangerous dogs, the bill would give victims the chance to sue for any medical costs following an attack. The bill also outlines protections should be for working dogs including police K-9 units.

During public testimony, several people recounted their own experience with dog attacks. Representative Janet Trujillo told of an attack she suffered as a young girl.

"I am among the many who have survived a vicious attack by a dog and it's taken me many years to get over some of the things that have happened to me," she said.

A representative fire the Idaho Trail Lawyers Association raised concerns about specific language of the bill. The committee sent the measure to the amending order to get worked on. However Majority Leader Moyle said the bill will be heard before the full House on Friday.