Last week the Cincinnati City Council voted to further toughen the city's' pit bull ordinance. In one month it will be illegal to breed, sell or give away a pit bull, except to an animal shelter, and violators will face twice as much time in jail.
The ordinance also increases the liability insurance to 100,000.00 double from the previous requirement. The facts are that few, if any, insurance companies that write homeowners or renters insurance will write policies for people with these dogs and that is a good thing in my opinion.
Those convicted of keeping, breeding, selling or transferring ownership in any way of a pit bull will now face up to six months in jail, double the previous 90 days. The changes apply to any dog owner not grandfathered in when the pit bull ban went into effect in November 2003.
Cincinnati Municipal Code, Section 701-6, defines a "Pit bull terrier" as "any Staffordshire Bull Terrier or American Staffordshire Terrier breed of dog, or any mixed breed of dog that contains as an element of its breeding the breed of Staffordshire Bull Terrier or American Staffordshire Terrier, as to be identifiable as partially of the breed of Staffordshire Bull Terrier or American Staffordshire Terrier."
This move is positive step forward in taking back neighborhoods from criminal elements who favor these dogs not only for protection but as an intimidation factor to other in the neighborhood.
Now let me say I am an animal lover. However some breeds of animals have been bred in such a way that by their design they inflict great harm on others when they attack. Just as I would not keep a Mountain Lion or Jaguar because common sense tells me these area dangerous wild animals, I have no sympathy for those who choose to own a pit bill in the city of Cincinnati.
The ordinance is there, it has been there and you would have to be living under a rock to not know about it, just as you would also have to "know' the danger these dogs represent to the health and public safety of the community. I don't care how responsible a dog owner you "think" you are or how well trained you "think" your pit bull is. Ownership of a pitbull is illegal in the city of Cincinnati and its like owning a gun without a safety on it.
In talking to some neighborhood leaders and some people in the city, it would seem that there is a reluctance on the part of the local SPCA to support this ordinance and do the job. I understand that. There appears to be a conflict of interest. The SPCA rely on donations to do the very good work they do. Many animal lovers refuse to donate to organization that euthanize pit bulls. Also the SPCA finds itself in a lawsuit over the death of a dog as a result of its' enforcement of a city ban on pitbulls. The SPCA received over a thousand of these illegal animals at its shelter and has little choice in the matter as they are not adoptable.
If the SPCA has what it views as a fundamental "conflict of interest" over this ordinance, then they should say so, plain and simple, otherwise do your job and get these dangerous animals off the street.
If they do feel they have conflict of interest and do not want to participate in the enforcement of this ordinance for liability reasons then it is up to the City of Cincinnati, city council, to appropriate the monies to set up and maintain a separate Animal Control Division, perhaps a division with the Cincinnati Police Department to enforce this ban.
Regardless of who does the job, I want these dangerous animals out of my neighborhood and I am tired of excuses as to why they are still there. The people who own them and breed them know they can't own them, and by their actions put both adults and children in our community in danger on a daily basis.
It is time for someone to do their job!