Pit bulls can legally put their paws on Cincinnati ground for the first time in nine years. After a long, arduous battle for dog lovers and Cincinnati animal welfare advocates, Cincinnati City Council on May 16 voted 8-1 to officially repeal the breed-specific language in Cincinnati’s vicious dog ordinance, which previously made ownership of pit bulls within city limits illegal. CityBeat reported on April 4 that the city’s breed-specific legislation was at odds with a February law signed by Gov. John Kasich removing the state’s breed-discriminatory clause, among other issues related to identifying the breed, enforcing punishment for illegal ownership and the misperception that the breed is overly aggressive.
“It’s fantastic. It’s been a long effort, but we’ve had some great supporters from all across the country. ... That’s had an overwhelming affect on Council. Dog owners, of pit bulls or not, have flooded Council with requests to change the law,” said Jim Tomaszewski, SPCA Cincinnati trustee.
The amendments to Section 701-1-V of the Cincinnati Municipal code completely remove breed-specific terminology, meaning ownership of pit bulls within Cincinnati city limits is officially legal for the first time since 2003.
City Council also assigned members to the Task Force for the Humane Treatment of Animals, which will recommend future strategies to promote responsible animal care and humane animal treatment in city limits: Dr. Tamara Goforth, veterinarian for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA); Jim Tomaszewski, SPCA Cincinnati Trustee; Elizabeth Johnson, executive director, Ohio Alleycat Resource & Spay/Neuter Clinic. Representatives from the city’s Prosecutor’s Office and Cincinnati Police Department will also be chosen.