Cincinnati City Council is taking new measures to harshen punishment for violent dog owners in the city after a six-year-old girl was severely attacked by two dogs last week.
The Law and Public Safety Committee discussed possible new legislation Monday that could be created to increase charges against owners of violent dogs.
Zainabou Drame, the young girl who was attacked by two pit bulls in Westwood last week, is still recovering at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
"The accountability of owner and their animals is at heart here," said Christopher Smitherman, chair of the committee.
The committee wants to make sure they can hold owners of violent dogs responsible for these crimes without toughening laws for all owners of specific breeds.
Council Member Charlie Winburn proposed that a code be written to strengthen the laws against drug dealers and gang members who use their dogs for violence.
Vice-Chair of the Committee Kevin Flynn said he was on board with the idea, adding that having a dog for criminal purposes should have the same penalty as having a gun.
"When you're using a pit bull in the commission of another crime, it is using deadly force," he said.
Lt. Colonel Whalen of the Cincinnati Police Department was a special guest at the meeting, answering questions about the possible legislation.
There will be a vigil at Western Hills Brethren in Christ Church at 7 p.m. Monday for Zainabou Drame.
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