Dog Bite Victim's Testify For Stricter Laws - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Dog Bite Victim's Testify For Stricter Laws

Victims of dog attacks spoke on Capitol Hill Tuesday to push for new legislation that would strengthen dog laws in Tennessee.

Senator Doug Jackson said the laws are so outdated, they haven't been changed in 100 years. He said it's time for a change. He wants to get rid of Tennessee's First Bite Rule.

"[It] says that the first mauling is free. If a pit bull attacks you, you can't sue the owner unless you can show the dog has previously attacked someone else," Jackson said.

Tyler Throneberry spoke about the day in 1994 he was attacked by a pack of three dogs that ripped off his arm, and damaged his face. After more than 40 surgeries, Throneberry made a desperate plea to lawmakers to support a brand new bill.

Throneberry was angry because the dog's owners were not liable for the damage done to him.

We haven't heard a word from the owners from day one. No ‘I'm sorry, what can we do?" Tyler's father Joe Throneberry said. "I want to see the legislature put in some kind of laws on the books that we can enforce and make the owner liable for whatever your dog does."

Others also testified and called for tougher dog bite legislation, like Susan Drury who needed 80 stitches after a pack of dogs attacked her while she was jogging.

Currently, if a dog attacks a person, the owner is fined $50. In 2005, 7,000 people visited the ER in Tennessee because of dog bites. Nearly 200 of those were so serious they required a hospital stay.

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