SPCA CEO: We Don't Enforce City Laws
Harold Dates, CEO of SPCA Cincinnati, talked today about the proposed changes to Cincinnati's pit bull ordinance.
He doesn't mind the part about training 10 officers (five in each district) in how to identify a pit bull. The SPCA, he said, is happy to do that training.
But what he can't do, he said, is "be compelled to remove pit bulls." The private, non-profit agency enforces only the Ohio Revised Code, he said, not city ordinances. State law does not ban pit bulls, while Cincinnati does.
And he doesn't like the idea that the SPCA would be stuck in the middle between pit bull owners and the police/prosecutors who might encourage the owners to give up the dogs in order to have charges dismissed.
"I don't think that's fair to us," Dates said. "We get enough animals as it is." (More than 16,000 dogs and cats in 2006)
He also disagrees with the ordinance's proposal that owners be able to voluntarily forfeit dogs to the SPCA. "It seems to me that they should be forfeiting custody to the city of Cincinnati because that's the law that they violated."
The SPCA would, then, house the dog under its contract with the city police department, which agrees to pay up to $100,000 a year to house pit bulls confiscated as part of court cases. It costs about $20 a day to house a dog.
Council discussed the ordinance, put forth by Cecil Thomas, for more than 30 minutes Wednesday before Mayor Mark Mallory decided to hold it a week.