Alabama dog owners will now have harsher penalties if their pet hurts or kills a person.
The House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday that will hold dog owners accountable if their animal attacks someone.
The bill comes after 24-year-old Emily Colvin was attacked and killed by dogs in her own front yard in Jackson County back in December.
Neighbors tell me they’re hopeful the bill that passed on Tuesday will keep attacks from happening again.
Four dogs were euthanized last month after attacking and killing Colvin.
But some people say the owners of the dogs didn’t receive proper punishment.
That’s why Senator Steve Livingston sponsored a bill that would allow owners of dangerous dogs to face harsh fines or jail time if their animal injures or kills another person.
Livingston named the bill “Emily’s Law” in Colvin’s honor, and neighbors WAAY 31 talked with on Wednesday say they’re glad to hear the bill passed.
“I think there ought to be some kind of stiff penalties for it," said one of Colvin's neighbors. "I mean that woman lost her life and her family lost their loved one over a pet. I mean people want to treat their pets like children, they need to be responsible for them.”
Under the legislation, if a dog kills a person the owner can be found guilty of a Class B felony. The legislation also provides a procedure for the court to determine if a dog is dangerous.