Pit bull owners take to downtown to spread responsible ownership - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Pit bull owners march in support of breed, responsible ownership

Gabriel was found injured in a Nativity Scene around Christmas time. He walked Tuesday along side his new owner Tara. Gabriel was found injured in a Nativity Scene around Christmas time. He walked Tuesday along side his new owner Tara.
The marched ended at Washington Park. The marched ended at Washington Park.

Dozens of pit bulls and their owners took to the city streets Tuesday evening armed with a message of responsible ownership, and dispelling a stigma surrounding the animals.
That walk was put on by the Cincinnati Pit Crew.
Other than raising awareness, the group was out to raise money for Zainabou Drame, the six-year-old girl who was attacked by two pit bulls outside her Westwood home. Relatives tell FOX19 that she had two surgeries last week and is progressing each day. 
The march started at Washington Park, but it had a message traveling from there to city hall calling for leaders to crack down on irresponsible owners.
"We are marching in appreciation to city council and to Mayor Cranley that we live in a city where there is not a restriction on a particular type of dog," said Katy Blanton with the Cincinnati Pit Crew.
But, in 2003 the city did have restrictions against these dogs in particular. In 2012, it was repealed. Ban or no ban, pit bulls have gained a less-than-stellar reputation.
"A particular type of dog should never get a bad rap.  The same way we stereotype a group of dogs, we've done that, historically, against a group of people," Blanton said.
That's why dozens showed up, including Tarah Berning and her dog Gabriel, who was found in a nativity scene in Glendale in December with injuries to his leg and eye.
"He was kind of skiddish of people, but now he's just like, 'oh, I'm going to wag my tail!  I love everybody!  Oh, wait is there a treat?!' He's just happy as can be," said Berning.
She believes, along with the other owners, that these dogs are loving and undeserving of their aggressive label.
"If you breed it for the wrong purpose, you're going to get the wrong result.  Holding owners accountable, and holding people accountable. You can't punish the breed for something somebody else is doing to it," Berning tells FOX19.
That's why part of the march is dedicated to cracking down on those dog owners leading the animals down a road of violence and aggressive behavior.
"People are going to be bad dog owners. Those are the people who need to be held responsible," said Blanton.
As far as reenacting a ban on pit bulls in the city limits of Cincinnati, Mayor John Cranley's office issued FOX19 this statement:
"Mayor Cranley voted for (supported) the ban on pit bull terriers when he was on City Council in August 2003. He was not on council when it was repealed in 2012, but said he would've voted against repealing it. Also, the Mayor would like to have the ban revived but said there are not five votes on City Council to support it at this time. Additionally, the Mayor wants owners to face stiffer penalties when a pit bull attacks someone."

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