Do you have 5 minutes to prevent dog attacks in Cleveland?

Submitted by tchaves on Fri, 06/05/2009 - 10:50.

As you might have read, our family pet Titus died last weekend following an attack by our neighbor's pit bull.  This came 24 hours after I was on the phone with Councilman Kevin Kelley's office following up on my unaswered, repeated complaints to animal control (that started while there was still snow on the ground).  Laura reported another attack on a 62-year old postal worker near a Cleveland public library (this dog was removed but the residents who owned it still have 13 pit puppies and their mother)

After speaking with John Baird, chief of the city's animal control Monday, I am disheartened to say the least.  Here are some of the things I learned from John that might concern you:

  1. Currently, the vicious breed ordinance is one of the toughest around and is being enforced to the best of the department's ability and to the fullest extent of the law per state statutes (the current procedure for following up on a "non-attack" vicious breed complaint is to visit the home and leave a door hanger notice unless the dog owner is caught making the offense during the time of the visit)
  2. There is an organization lobbying (John says with potential success) to completely remove pit bulls from the list of vicious breeds; which means the ordinance would no longer apply to them
  3. The department has lost 7 employees with no plans to replace them and according to John, "I can only do the best with who shows up for work every day." <---note to self, City of Cleveland=low employee standards
  4. The current ordinance does not indicate that a fence confining a dog deemed a 'vicious breed' must contain the dog from reaching its head out from underneath

All of these points make it evident that action is necessary from a community level.  I have created a .ning group that is for volunteers to communicate in a safe (harassment free) setting about what we can do collectively to make a change.  Even if you aren't a city of Cleveland resident, you can help if you are interested.

Here's what you can do to help.  If you have:

1 minute:  tell your friends about the Titus Amendment by Twitter, facebook, myspace, or email

2 minutes:  read and sign the Titus Amendment petition

5 minutes:  post this sign on the telephone poles on your street (and beyond if you can)

1 hour:  help create tri-fold brochure we can distribute door-to-door

A few hours:  Volunteer to join the cause

I have no time, but I have $1 or more...we need your help--please donate if you can.


Thank you for your support in all ways big and small.