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On May 3, 2012 Governor Deal signed the "Responsible Dog Ownership Law", OCGA 4-8-1 through 4-8-33, legislation sponsored by Rep. Gene Maddox to protect the general public and their pets from injuries and death caused by dog attacks. The law was meant to provide “minimal” standards across the state but does not prevent counties or cities from adding more restrictive requirements & stringent penalties. This law clarifies classifications of dogs subsequent to the event and outlines the responsibilities of owners and the consequences of non-compliance with the requirements. The effective date is July 1, 2012.