Council member Christopher Smitherman submitted legislation Friday targeting irresponsible pet owners of vicious dogs.
The legislation would modify an already existing city municipal code to hold owners responsible for any injury caused by a ‘vicious’ dog.
The legislation requires that dogs wear a leash or be somehow physically confined at all times. If a dog not on a leash causes a person severe injury, the legislation asks that the owner be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor.
The current law allows dogs to be off a leash as long as they are on a property with the permission of the property owner.
Smitherman also asks that all pit bulls be registered with the city under the legislation. All pit bull owners would have to provide the Cincinnati Police Department with photos of the dog; a name, address and phone number of the owner; a $50 registration fee; evidence of liability insurance; and evidence that the dog has a microchip.
Owners found not following these guidelines would be charged with a civil offense.
The ten-member Animal Task Force described by Smitherman focuses on establishing practices and policies concerning canine aggression. He says it provides an opportunity for pet owners to be educated on how to take care of their pets.
According to Smitherman, a hearing on the legislation will be held in September. These changes must be voted on by Council before they go into effect.
Smitherman is the chair for the law and public safety committee.