A Cincinnati Council committee could vote in two weeks on a plan to punish people who do not control their dangerous or vicious dogs.
The debate centers on whether the plan includes criminal penalties in addition to fines.
Council Member Yvette Simpson and others said the target needs to be drug dealers who train dogs to be vicious to protect their operations.
"They will not pay the fine, they will have warrants, and they will not care, and then someone's child will be mulled," Simpson said. "So I don't want us to put in all this effort and then we're back here two years from now and we've got the same situation because we're not last focused on the type of individual that we need to be focused on who will only respond to criminal penalties."
The discussion follows an attack last summer that left a small child with severe injuries after being attacked by a dog that was running loose in the neighborhood.
Council Member Kevin Flynn said criminals will likely ignore additional misdemeanor penalties.
"They're doing activities that go far beyond what we as a city can penalize criminally," Flynn said. "About the only thing we can do, and it's a lot easier to get recovery, is go after them civilly."
All three proposals before Council would include setting up an animal task force to advise city officials on such issues.
Council's Law and Public Safety committee will discuss the various proposal again in two weeks.