Cincinnati To Review Pit Bull Regulations
"They're loyal dogs, like any other dogs, as long as you don't teach them to attack, they won't attack nobody."
But now the breed itself, already illegal in the City of Cincinnati, is under fire again. Over the last few years, the City of Cincinnati has passed legislation on numerous occasions saying it's illegal to own pit bulls within the city limits. But today, the issue is again in front of City Council with a request to give Cincinnati Police Officers more training on how to identify the dogs.
Local 12's Rich Jaffe says some people believe the city doesn't need more pit bull legislation, it needs a more enforceable law.
While it's illegal to own a pit bull in Cincinnati, unless it's already registered with police, it's not hard to find one. This pup was in Walnut Hills.
"You say he's a pit? Yeah...you know there's a ban on pit bulls in the City of Cincinnati, did you know that? No..."
Terry Kidd says the problem is bad dog owners, not his favorite breed.
Terry Kidd, Pit Bull Owner: "I feel it matters, if they fight their dogs. I don't fight my dogs, I love dogs. I love pit bulls."
We found this pit in Price Hill...and at SPCA Cincinnati you can find dozens of them. In Cincinnati, it's illegal to own pit bulls or other vicious dogs, and enforcement officials have struggled for years to clarify the issue.
Harold Dates, SPCA Cincinnati: "In the way the ordinance is written, the constitutionality of defining one breed as specifically vicious makes it difficult to enforce."
Opponents of the breed ban say, aside from being virtually unenforceable, there's another problem. It's going to get expensive for taxpayers, if indeed the ban is enforced in the City of Cincinnati. That's because it costs people 20 dollars per day, per dog for the SPCA Cincinnati to house those animals when they're evidence in a court case and when nobody else pays for it, the taxpayers do.
Council Member Jeff Berding is calling for a comprehensive review of the city's pit bull and vicious dog laws.
"The response time where you have to wait fifteen, twenty minutes for an SPCA officer to arrive, how many people could have been bitten, how many children may have been mauled by that point, you have an officer trying to keep a vicious dog at bay while someone comes out and identifies it, again to me seems pretty inadequate."
While city council members now want police officers to be better trained at identifying these dogs, there's no talk about what they'll do differently when they find one.
Rich Jaffe, Local 12.
Cincinnati's current dog ordinance says it's illegal to own vicious dogs or pit bulls, unless they were registered with the Cincinnati Police Department prior to the pit bull ban of 2003. SPCA officials tell us their average response time on a pit bull call is about 16 minutes.