The injuries 6-year-old Zainabou Drame received in a pit-bull attack last month are heartrending and unacceptable.
Disturbingly, there’s little in either Ohio or Cincinnati law to punish dog owners in such situations, let alone prevent something similar from happening again.
Police shot and killed the two pit bulls, and the owner is facing possible prison time — but not because of the attack. Zontae Irby has been indicted on drug charges that could put him in prison for up to 8½years.
The only law Irby broke in his dogs’ attack was one requiring dogs to be leashed or confined, according to Cincinnati Prosecutor Charlie Rubenstein. It’s a minor misdemeanor under Ohio and city law, carrying a $150 fine since the dogs hadn’t been previously designated “dangerous,” he said.
The pit-bull attack in Westwood, which follows a similarly serious one in December, has some questioning whether the city of Cincinnati should reinstate its pit-bull ban. …
Another option … is to put the onus on owners to control their pets’ behavior. This could include penalties up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine for a dog attack that causes harm, and up to 6 months and $1,000 for an attack that causes serious harm or kills another animal.
We say no more free bites.
An attack that kills a person can already be prosecuted as involuntary manslaughter, and that would remain the case.
— The Cincinnati Enquirer