FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. (WAAY) -- Two little boys are lucky to be alive after two brutal dog attacks in recent months. Now Lincoln County commissioners want to put some bite in Tennessee's vicious dog laws.
Keylan Doherty, 6, was literally torn apart by two Rottweillers. After watching her son undergo nine surgeries and almost die in the hospital, Tina Doherty decided to take on Tennessee lawmakers, and now they're starting to listen.
By a vote of 23-1, Lincoln County Commissioners passed a resolution Tuesday night that calls for changes in state law governing vicious dogs. The resolution comes two months after Keylan was attacked, and just three weeks after 10 year-old Billy Ogle was mauled by a pit bull.
"I want to see it passed. I think its very important," said County Commissioner Anne Bankston.
The commission doesn't have any authority to implement new measures itself because it lacks the power of home rule. Commissioners are asking state legislators to pass a law forcing vicious dog owners to carry a minimum of $300,000 of liability insurance, and requiring those dogs to wear a microchip that will store information about the animal and its owner.
"I think this is a law that a lot of thought has been put into," Bankston said.
Petitions in support of this law are set up around south Tennessee. Tina Doherty says so far the support has been phenomenal.
"I think its great," said resident Jennifer Powers. "I think dangerous dogs should be tamed or killed. They shouldn't be allowed to roam without a way to track where they are."
"I knew I had to do something, and who else was going to do it?" said Tina Doherty.
What breeds will actually be classified as vicious dogs under this proposal aren't known yet, but commissioners say that list will certainly include pit bulls. The resolution has been sent to the office of state Sen. Bill Ketron.
Contact Information for Senator Bill Ketron
12 Jefferson Square
805 South Church Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37130
311 War Memorial Building
Nashville, TN 37243-0213
Phone (615) 741-6853
Fax (615) 253-0282
Staff Contact: Shirley Jacobs
Internet E-Mail Address
Campaign Address: [email protected]
Legislative Address: [email protected]