Cincinnati Council Wants To Create Database Of Animal Abusers

Oct 21, 2020

Cincinnati City Council approved a motion Wednesday asking city administrators to work with Hamilton County to create a searchable database of people convicted of animal abuse.

That information would be made available to animal shelters, adoption agencies and foster agencies.

"They (shelters/agencies) will be able to know if the person has been convicted of animal abuse," said Council Member Chris Seelbach, who introduced the motion.

City officials would be working with the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts and the Hamilton County Commissioners on the database.

"This does not mean that someone who has been convicted cannot rehabilitate and change and do better," Seelbach said. "It will just allow the agency to know if they've been convicted and then decide for themselves if the person has been rehabilitated and can be a pet owner."

Council Member Betsy Sundermann was opposed to the motion. She said she supports the idea, but is concerned about the cost of the program and whether it should be a priority when the city has a challenging budget.

City Manager Paula Boggs Muething said administrators will attempt to create the database. But she cautioned that in the past, there have been issues getting information from the Clerk of Courts office.

"I have some concerns about our ability to get this kind of information in any timely manner," Boggs Muething said. "And in a form which can be put into some sort of searchable database."