Amarillo, TX- Dog owners in Texas may soon face prison time if their animal attacks and kills someone.
House Bill 1389 would slightly change current law, and make the death of a child or a senior citizen caused by a dog a first-degree felony charge for the owners, carrying a penalty up to life in prison.
This law would not be breed specific but instead would focus on a dog that has committed unprovoked attacks outside of the owner's property.
"If it's just a quote on quote vicious dog or dangerous dog or one that's prone to bite in the past again that's going to go back to the owners, making sure that the properly confine that animal and then take all of the measures they can to protect, you know the kids, or the elderly or who ever may be visiting their home, that is their responsibility," says Shannon Barlow, the assistant director at Amarillo's Animal Control Division.
Supporters of the bill say it does not punish responsible owners.
Opposition says the law would be punitive and not preventative.
The bill passed the state house Tuesday and will now be handed over to the senate.
If it does become law it would take effect September 1st.