Cleveland's Pitt Bull Ordinance

Submitted by tchaves on Sat, 05/30/2009 - 13:53.

Only Enforced Once it's Too Late

It'stime the city implement a proactive approach to control what's becoming an epidemic, rather than standing idly by waiting for the next Pitt Bull attack to be reported.  Full Article.

This is a really big problem in my opinion as you can see.  Any suggestions from anyone with experience making change happen with our city government?



Frightening experiences - poor owners

I have always had larger dogs than Pitts and you need to know how to raise, treat and handle large dogs well or they are dangerous. Pitts seem to be popular in some neighborhoods of Cleveland and are used for protection so are seen a lot in urban neighborhoods - they are beautiful dogs. They are also very fast and powerful with strong jaws... I can't think of a breed of dog more frightening... especially in pairs or more.

I also think lots of urban dogs are lead poisoned, which would make them especially crazy and violent. 20-40% of urban kids are lead poisoned... same percentage probably applies to dogs and cats... perhaps higher, like 90%, if they roam outdoors at all.

Good article - where do you live that you are so surrounded by Pitts? The owners should certainly be held responsible... although I do let my dogs loose in our yard and my parents yard and they patrol but don't attack... I like that they can run free and work to train them to behave well like that.

It's Cane Corsos in my neighborhood, including at my house.

I'm not sure how my Cane Corso would do against a Pitt and don't want to find out. I know she can kick my Weimaraner's ass!

Disrupt IT

Ward 16

  Tricia lives in Ward 16.  Not far from me--all the more reason for us to form a girl gang :)
I have been around the block with the City of Cleveland on pit bulls, too.  It's a terrible abuse of a good dog breed.  All dogs should be treated as family, not as a cheap security system. 

Loud noise, mistreated/abused dogs, and kids with nothing to do--the three banes of any urban and, even suburban/exurban, community.

Tricia says:

So, what happens when you break the rules? Well, pretty much nothing—unless of course your dog mauls a child or kills another dog. As a victim, you'll have to hope the dog owner has that $100,000 insurance policy, which is pretty unlikely, when you consider they haven't sprung $50 for a pair of collars and leashes.

Following up on my earlier phone calls from more than a month ago regarding the unfenced yard, the operator at animal control informed me that the issue appeared to have, "fallen through the cracks." It seems the city employee who responded to the complaint took the word of the downstairs residents that they were moving and the dogs would be gone by the end of the month. The only problem is that the upstairs residents of my neighbor's multi-family home own the dogs. Wait—doesn't the city require Pit Bulls to be licensed? Wouldn't the city employee know he was speaking to the wrong "owner"? 

All of your suggestions are worthwhile--Tricia-- (and common sense--and, therein lies the problem in the City of Cleveland).  You would think that the City of Cleveland could turn some of these enforcement issues into revenue generation, but it doesn't happen.  The guys who drive around with their loud sound systems blaring are a similar nuisance, basketball hoops in the street, curfew violators etc. 

I am curious to know whether Parma stepped up their vicious dog code enforcement?  The City of Parma dealt with the Brown's player's dog who mauled and killed an elderly man in 2005.

Check this out, dogs do not


Check this out, dogs do not only look different they actually all behave differently, breed for attributes that are more than physical. The silver fox breed to domestication actually changed in appearance.  

Some dogs (breeds) can have a gentic predispostion to attack and not many owners can control that.  It would take much more training than the average person can offer. Its Mendelian genetics absolutely with canines, aggressive with aggressive will produce aggressive offspring.   People still are breeding those dogs for higher and higher levels of aggression and idiots in the city seek them out. 

I met a guy that had an Australian Herding Dog, he could never let it loose in the park it tried to heard people. It would run around them and nip at their legs.




Unfortunately, my dog was killed by a Pit Bull 12 hours after

I posted this article.  Please, help me spread the word about the Titus Amendment.

Go to to learn more.


Tricia Chaves Weekly giveaways every Friday!

I'm very sorry for your loss

This is a terrible tragedy. I'm sure you will find great community support - my thoughts are with you and I'll do what I may to raise awareness of your cause... and you are certainly more than welcome to share your experiences at your home on REALNEO.

Perhaps we should start by mapping where there are dangerous dogs - citizens are best able to determine and report that. I hate to say this, but the world needs to know where and who are dangerous dog owners and their dogs... if citizens make this personal we can stop the violence... few people with Pitt Bulls want to be exposed as bad dog owners... the ones that do should expect serious consequences.

I wonder what percentage of dog owners even register their dogs with the county, as is the law?

Disrupt IT

(No subject)

Not really Mendalian is it,

Not really Mendalian is it, more about a complex biochemical pathway that influence the genetic makeup.

I don't know why the city fails

 to enforce its laws when it comes to dangerous dogs.

we had a situation last summer that lasted 9 months. Two meth addict "security guards" who were homeless were staying with the next-door neighbor. They were keeping two enormous and aggressive pit bulls chained inside their car - 98' weather or zero degree weather. They had no food and no water. the "security guards" worked the night shift and would get "home" around 11am. The dogs remained locked in the car until 10pm when they would leave to go to work again. When it was 98' the "security guards" were comfortably sleeping in the airconditioning. 0' - in the heated apartment.

the rest of the neighborhood got to deal with the two vicious pit bulls during the day light hours. when school children walked by (this was directly across from a public school) the entire car would shake and rumble with the dogs throwing themselves against the windows. I don't think i have to fill in more dots here...

we called the police, we called the dog warden, we called the APL, we called the fire department (and they were the only ones who actually responded, twice - but then they yelled at us not to call anymore because we were taking up response time - legitimate response). This went on for 9 N-I-N-E months. Might i mention we live in the lovely second district. Finally the landlords evicted the tenant who was allowing them to stay there.

so much for the city handling an extremely dangerous situation - great job, Frank.

I'm sorry for your loss, tricia. i know my dogs are my babies and I'm sure you love yours. unfortunately, for some people this is the standard - even with their children, let alone their dogs.

After some horrifyingly

After some horrifyingly cruel comments from the Craigslist community, I amended my suggestions for the Titus Amendment to include penalties for ALL dog owners who do not leash their dogs.  (Hindsight is 20/20 and I can see the error in my assumption that because my dogs are small and friendly, they do not need a leash. Regrettably, I can't turn back the clock and remove Titus from that specific situation, that ultimately cost him and another dog its life.  But, leashed or not, the dog who attacked Titus could easily escape or pull my dog through the fence that wasn't built according to the city ordinance.  (See Photos)  I was cited and admit I was wrong for not leashing my dogs, however, accidents happen and responsible pet owners have dogs who get loose all the time.  The Titus Amendment will help enforce the ordinance designed to protect all citizens and animals all the time--even when their owners make a human error).

Brave discussion

  Tricia--you are brave to put your raw pain out there for criticism, if to only make people think for an extra moment about how their own behaviors affect others.  I posted the food image today for you with the hope that a beautiful day, good food and the love of your family will help you to cope with your loss.

I was also glad to see that the Plain Dealer put out their annual summer reading list today.  Another reason to look beyond a bad experience and to have hope.

I heart you. Can't wait to meet you someday soon.

Tricia Chaves Weekly giveaways every Friday!

pit bull attack

I began my morning have my worst fears about the pit bull next door come true. Hearing the screams of a cat and snarls of dogs, I found the pit bull in the alley behind my house, along with a companion mutt, mauling the cat. I yelled loudly, and got between the pit and the cat. The pit repeatedly rushed me, as finally the owner heard my screams and called the dogs who took off around the corner and back home. Otherwise, I would not be able to type this as I would be in the hospital. I took the cat to Gateway, where his injuries were too severe and he was put down.

The fence around the back yard is broken,has been for years,  and the flimsy chain link gate was not a barrier. These dogs have gotten into my yard, and on the street. Efforts to get the owners to have a safer environment for the pit bulls and the neighborhood have been fruitless.

The police came, and the dog warden came, and the owners did not answer the door. They will return, and if she doesn't answer the door, I will ask them to talk to her as work as she is a lead abatement/health inspector for the city of Cleveland. I will not let this go, as I have tried to work with this family, and they just don't care. During the afternoon, another person came to me to tell me that this pit had bitten his dog last fall. This cost him several hundreds of dollars in vet bills.

We live across the street from a large city playground. This dog has bitten another dog, and now killed a cat. This is a disaster unfolding, and this family thinks that they are above the law.


Pitt Bull

running loose in the neighborhood, more than likely with no required insurance?

I am sorry that you, Deb, of all people had to witness this attack on a helpless cat.   Deb, an animal lover that takes stray animals to the vet on a regular basis, also was kind enough to attempt to save this cat's life.

 I witnessed the same thing - twice- when a former neighbor's dog killed both of my cats.  It is a horrible thing to see.

I forgot to call you back yesterday, but the answer is yes.  Call me later for the number.


RE:Pitbulls-Your pain

DWebb--I am so sorry for what you witnessed and the continued abuse of animals in our city, county and region.   

Will it take another child, adult and animal mauled to death for changes to occur? There is no reason why police officers can not charge offending animal abusers to the full extent of the law.  This is a public health and safety nuisance.  This cruelty has to stop-now.

pitt bull code enforcement

We can have laws on the books but if we do not have animal control officers to enforce them, what is the point? I would be willing to pay a monthly tax, like  the garbage tax, that would be used to hire animal control officers for the City.

People buy these animals, treat them like garbage, do not register them, or buy the insurance, then cry when the warden shows up after the pitt bull has killed another animal or savaged a child.


pitt bull

 Thanks, lmcshane and lmiller, this is a nightmare, and will be until the judge gives the punishment. I will see this through, and the officials thus far have been very good. We will see how prosecution goes. I may need court watch volunteers so if anyone is interested let me know via the contact options.

There just are not enough animal control officers to enforce the codes everywhere, and the police do  defer to animal control when there is a vicious animal involved. This is one reason some cities ban them.

I have met and petted pitt bulls that have been treated as companion animals, and not as some sick extension of aggression towards society. 


pitt bull attack

The woman at the dog wardens' office told me today that charges are being filed. Once a prosecutor had been designated, I will call them.


update on the pitt bull attack

Irene Fomby was a no show in court today. A warrant was issued. On Sunday, she had the pitt bull, unmuzzled and unleashed, free, in the side yard with a gate that doesn't really close, across the street from a very busy playground and pool. It seems that was has happened had not impacted any changes in Irene's behavior with this dog.

My secret wish is that a responsible human would take this pitt bull, and make her a part of their family, far away from other animals. Protect the dog and society from each other.

Back to reality, she will make it to court sooner or later. Fines will be given. Her pitt bull will attack another animal or person, and the dog will be removed and will die. This is like watching a train wreck.

We humans owe the dogs that we take in some basic rights, and when we fail them, the dogs suffer. Sometimes animals and people suffer before the pitt bull is put down. None of it has to happen.

my American "pit bull" Terrier "Sundown"

When I was pregnant with my first child, we lived in the Fla. Keys and my husband travelled a lot. We decided we needed a dog and our friends bred American "pit bull" Terriers to hunt wild hogs up in the Everglades. I looked in the Ladies Home Journal which had an article on the best dogs for families. American "pit bull" Terriers were ranked the highest for family pets. This was 1980, before their popularity as fighting dogs and massive scale breeding. However, our friends were responsible breeders and thoroughly warned us that before we even taught him "sit" "come" or "stay" we must teach him "release". He said the dog should drop a raw steak out of his mouth at that command. After a few months of steady training, he did.

HJ's Key Largo "Sundown" was the most adorable, loving family pet we could ever ask for. He loved his babies and fiercely protected them. One particular incident assured me he would never harm them. I was sitting on a couch reading, there were two couches at a right angle. He was sleeping soundly in the gap between them. My daughter, who was an aggressive crawler at the time came barrelling towards me and I watched as her knee landed square on Sundown's balls (testicles). His head snapped up with ferocity, I was mid-leaping off the couch. This happened in a split second. But in that split second, he saw it was my daughter. He literally winced (they are a very expressive dog) and sadly dropped his head back to the floor. There were several subsequent occasions where I know he kept them from harm.

Sundown was also a master Houdini. He was by my side all day, but at night he would always manage an escape - especially if a neighborhood dog was in heat. If there was he would go missing for up to 2 days, come home ragged, eat like a pig, sleep for 18 hours, then escape again. He snapped chains like straw sticks, slipped collars no matter how tight and found escape openings we would have never imagined. Sundown even chewed through 3 links of the chain fence to join his buddies for a romantic venture.

He was a very pleasant dog outside our yard, or when we invited company, but no one could enter our yard unasked. He was happy around other dogs, but tolerated absolutely no dominance from them. There were two Rottweilers down the street that were not accepting of his alpha dog status. If he wasn't off sniffing for a girl to have his way with, then he was down the street to show them who was boss. Unfortunately, he rarely came out on top, but that never stopped him from trying. When we walked him past their house, he always acted a fool.

Sundown also liked to visit the chickens up the road and would regularly bring one home for me. The poor things would run and hide in the hedge of Mother-in-Law Tongues we had growing in the front yard. I'd dig them out and carry them back to their home. They wouldn't have a feather missing, he knew how to soft mouth them and he was very delicate.

His gigilo behavior did result in a litter. The mother dog rejected the puppies after 4 or 5 weeks and her owner brought them to me. We set them up outside in a big plastic swimming pool with straw and Sundown was in his glory. He sat with them night and day and was very particular about who could come near them. My neighbor and I were able to find homes for them all, even though they weren't purebred.

HJ's Key Largo "Sundown"  was a most amazing dog, quite a character and loved by all our neighbors, despite his wild ways. Of course, this was back in another time - when hillbillies still lived in the Keys, in our own little neighborhoods. We could swim in the water then, one of Sundown's most favorite activities. He loved to dive into the canal at the end of the street and was an amazing swimmer. I was literally barefoot and pregnant for three years, a stay home mom, and they were some of the best years of my life.  Sundown was so much a part of that.

We brought him to Ohio with us. He did fine when we lived out in the country, but he never did take to the city. I finally had to have him put to sleep when he was diagnosed with prostrate cancer. He was nine. It kills me now when I see how many of these dogs are kept and how many of them there are. They are so extremely intelligent and highly sensitive. They love nothing better than to be obedient and follow their masters. But, they are also highly spirited and require an intelligent master and a great deal of attention. You have to earn that loyalty, consistently, constantly. Too many ignorant owners have made them a breed to fear.

sundown, the dog

Thanks, Debra, for sharing this. Just goes to show, once again, a dog is what the humans make of him or her.


that was another time, another place, Debbie

that was another time, another place, Debbie...

so not here and now...


but yes - thanks!