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Cincinnati's Animal Task Force Updates Its Progress

Cincinnati residents could soon find the answers to animal issues on the city's website.  

Animal task force chairman Jim Tomaszewski spoke to city council's Law and Public Safety Committee Monday.
He described it as a "frequently asked questions" section about animal resources.

"This is for citizens, who to call for what type of issue," Tomaszewski said. "There's a stray dog, there's a rabid raccoon in my front yard, who do I call for this, who do I call for that."

The task force is also working with the police department to train officers as animal specialists in each of the city's police districts.
"That will involve training the officers on animal handling, who to call for what, that sort of thing," Tomaszewski said. "We're putting that program together, so we hope to have that probably in the next month. SCPA will provide the training."

The task force is also discussing ways of controlling the deer population in the city and the number of stray cats in some neighborhoods.

The task force was created as part of an ordinance city council approved in March 2015.

The measure targets people who let their dangerous or vicious dogs run loose in the city.  The proposal includes tougher fines for owners, but it does not have any criminal sanctions such as jail time.  The only criminal penalty in the law is for dog fighting.  

Law and Public Safety Committee chairman Christopher Smitherman is asking the animal task force and the police department to provide an update at an upcoming meeting on the impact of the March 2015 ordinance.