by Belinda Cai
at 02:25 PM | Permalink
SPCA Cincinnati Humane Agents can seize pets left outside in extreme weather conditions
been a heightened concern over pet neglect as the weather has reached below-freezing temperatures in the past few days. The extreme weather poses health
risks to animals, from slipping and falling to hypothermia.
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) of Cincinnati, household pets must be brought
inside to be sheltered from the cold.
a shelter that protects the pet from cold and snow must be provided, as stated
by the Ohio Revised Code Section 959.131 Paragraph (c) Point 2. An SPCA
Cincinnati Humane Agent may “seize” a companion animal if an owner fails to
provide this shelter (something determined by a qualified Humane Agent).
penalty for conviction of an Animal Cruelty violation, a First Degree
Misdemeanor, is 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
encourages people to review this
for “Cold Weather Pet Safety” and to call 513-541-6100 if they witness a pet
by Hannah McCartney
Posted In: City Council
at 02:33 PM | Permalink
Breed-specific legislation repealed after nine years
Pit bulls can legally put their paws on Cincinnati ground today for the first time in nine years. After a long, arduous battle for dog lovers and Cincinnati animal welfare advocates, success has arrived. Today, Cincinnati City Council 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. Read CityBeat's coverage about the old ban here. "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 and one of the main forces lobbying for the removal of the breed-specific language. The amendments to Section 701-1-V of the Cincinnati Municipal code completely remove breed-specific terminology, meaning today marks the first day since 2003 in which ownership of pit bulls within Cincinnati city limits is officially legal. Today, City Council also assigned the following members to the Task Force for the Humane Treatment of Animals, which will recommend future amendments and strategies to further promote responsible animal care and humane animal treatment in city limits: • Veterinarian - Dr. Tamara Goforth, Veterinarian for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)• Representative from SPCA Cincinnati - Jim Tomaszewski, SPCA Cincinnati Trustee• Representative from the animal rescue community - Elizabeth Johnson, Executive Director, Ohio Alleycat Resource & Spay/Neuter Clinic• Representative fro the City Prosecutor's Office - to be chosen by John Curp, City Solicitor• Representative from the Cincinnati Police Department - to be chosen by Chief James Craig
by Hannah McCartney
at 10:11 AM | Permalink
Remaining five of 56 exotic animals released by suicidal owner go "home"
Fifty-six. That's how many exotic animals Terry Thompson of Zanesville, Ohio set free last October from his home, just before he committed suicide. Today, only five of the animals from Terry's menagerie survive: a spotted leopard, a black leopard, a brown bear and two Celebes macaques (primates). Today, those five will return to the care of Marian Thompson, Terry's widow, to the same farm where 48 of the creatures were massacred by zealous Muskingum County deputy sheriffs in an attempt to protect public safety. They'll be transferred from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium back into what was once their "home." The state ruled on Monday to lift the state-issued quarantine order that mandated the survivors be housed at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium after the October tragedy, based on the suspicion that the animals could house infectious diseases and were residing in unsanitary conditions. Those slaughtered included rare Bengal tigers, mountain lions and wolves. Photo: The Associated Press A vet has since cleared the remaining five animals for any infectious diseases. The Thompsons reportedly kept the dozens of exotic animals as "pets." At the time of his death, officials found Terry owed nearly $70,000 in unpaid taxes to the IRS and Muskingum County and other legal maladies, including animal abuse charges and prison time. Since October, Marian has allegedly made improvements to the living conditions, including cleaning the cages and adding a perimeter fence around the enclosures. There's no language in Ohio law that allows state officials to check on the welfare of the animals or monitor living conditions. In fact, the Thompson's ownership of the dozens of exotic animals was, and still is, completely legal — a gaping legislative hole that, since October, has caused uproar among concerned neighbors and animal welfare activists from across the country. The Ohio state Senate recently passed a bill that would ban the private ownership of lions, tigers, bears, monkeys and other exotic animals, but would allow current owners to obtain a permit documenting legal ownership, pending strict considerations, by 2014. The bill is now in the House pending review.
by Hannah McCartney
Posted In: City Council
at 01:11 PM | Permalink
Seelbach says he has support of four colleagues for repealing pit bull ban
Repealing discriminatory breed-specific legislation could come sooner than expected for Cincinnati. Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbach is working to draft a motion that he says could be ready for council signatures as early as today. Yesterday, Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbach tweeted this: Last week, CityBeat's April 4 cover story, "Losing Fight," discussed Cincinnati's legislation that's outlawed ownership of pit bulls within city limits since 2003. Seelbach reveals to CityBeat that he made a pledge to work to repeal the city's ban on pit bulls when he was first elected to office in December 2011, and has met in with stakeholders in the past to discuss reform strategies. "I've always believed that entire breeds should not be punished — we need to punish bad owners," he says. Seelbach's motion reportedly will seek to increase punishments for negligent owners, removing all breed-specific language and re-allowing the possession of pit bulls within Cincinnati city limits, similar to Ohio Gov. John Kasich's Substitute House Bill 14, which was signed into effect in February. Once the motion is drafted, Seelbach says he'll need to obtain a minimum of five signatures from his eight council colleagues before the motion can be voted on in a committee. He counts off the names of four council members he's already heard are in support of creating new legislation, before the motion has even been discussed. If the committee — most likely city council's public safety committee, according to Seelbach — chooses to pass the motion, it would then proceed to a formal vote before city council.