Dog owners responsible when their dogs attack

Between the end of 2011 and this February, government agencies in the Dayton area received about 60 complaints about a home in that city, according to a published report. Many involved dogs kept at the home.

On Feb. 7, two dogs owned by the man and woman who reside there attacked and killed Klonda Richey, 57, who lived nearby. The mauling occurred in front of her home.

How could it be that even after so many complaints, nothing was done about the irresponsible dog owners until after a woman was killed?

Several state legislators are looking into that, with an eye to beefing up Ohio laws intended to safeguard people from vicious dogs.

Harsher penalties against dog owners who do not control their pets are part of the plan – and that is appropriate. But the Dayton tragedy shows more attention needs to be paid to enforcement of existing rules.

Too many government entities focus their vicious dog regulations on specific breeds. Most serious attacks can be traced to irresponsible dog owners, however. Any new legislation and enforcement plans should focus on them.