Wednesday, May 19, 2004

City may streamline pit bull procedures

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Hamilton County dog wardens and Cincinnati police said Tuesday they're working together to enforce the city's ban on vicious dogs.

Because the city law doesn't allow SPCA wardens to ticket dog owners, the wardens must call a police officer each time. And officers can't handle the calls themselves, because a SPCA warden must officially identify the dog as a pit bull.

Councilman David Pepper, chairman of the Law and Public Safety Committee said he would talk with city lawyers about changing that.

The ordinance says that only pit bulls registered before Nov. 1, 2003, can remain in the city. Anyone violating the law faces up to 90 days in jail and a $750 fine.

Twenty violations have been filed since November: 14 are pending, five other dogs were euthanized and one was returned to its owner.

The SPCA has billed the police more than $20,000 since December for boarding, care and euthanasia of pit bulls confiscated as part of city cases.

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