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Posted on March 26, 2009 by stopbslcom
Cincinnati's pit bull ban apparently isn't working very well.

City toughens pit bull rules | Cincinnati Enquirer | Cincinnati.Com

City toughens pit bull rules
By Jane Prendergast
[email protected]
March 25, 2009

Cincinnatians still can't harbor pit bulls or other vicious dogs, but it'll also be illegal soon to breed, sell or give a pit bull away - except to an animal shelter - and violators face twice as much time in jail.

Cincinnati City Council changed the rules Wednesday. When the ordinance becomes effective in a month, people convicted of keeping, breeding, selling or transferring ownership in any way of a pit bull will 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.

Council members also added an increase in liability insurance required to be kept by owners whose pit bulls have been registered since before the ban. That insurance is now $100,000, double what it had been. That amount matches the amount in state dog laws, council members said.

Jim McNulty, president of the Westwood Civic Association, pleaded with council to pass the increased penalties. It's common, he said, to see pit bulls in his neighborhood. He was also a member of the city's Vicious Dog Task Force, created in 2007 to suggest changes in the law.

With summer coming and more people getting outside, he said he's afraid someone could be attacked. He came to council repeatedly to ask for stiffer penalties and more enforcement of the city's pit bull ban.

"Please," he said Wednesday. "We need it."

Despite the city's ban on pit bulls, officials of Cincinnati's SPCA animal shelter say more than 1,000 of the dogs show up at the shelter every year. Many of them must be kept for months during pending criminal cases. Most must be euthanized.

Additional Facts

Cincinnati's pit bull rules

The 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."

Only pit bulls registered before Nov.1, 2003, are permitted to live in Cincinnati, and only as long as their owners keep them properly confined. Violation of the ban was a second-degree misdemeanor, meaning it carried a possible penalty of 90 days in jail. Council doubled that penalty Wednesday.
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