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Cincinnati Pit Crew promotes responsible dog ownership

OVER-THE-RHINE, Ohio (Rich Jaffe) -- A group of animal lovers who own primarily pit bulls organized a pet march across downtown Cincinnati.
The Cincinnati Pit Crew hoped to offer some perspective on the breed.  The event was designed to shed some light on responsible pit bull owners.  Participants were not the folks who get in the news so frequently because of the bad behavior of the dogs, like the attack a couple of weeks ago on six-year-old Zainabou Drame.  The people who walked on Tuesday say the problem with pits isn't a dog issue, it's an owner issue.

Max Webster has owned his pit mix named Sascha for nine months.  She was rescued from a drug house.  He and many other responsible pit bull owners said they're tired of the dogs getting a bad rap.

"It's the misconception that they are bad animals.  They're a dog.  No different than any other dog.  Any dog's capable of harming a human.  Not just these guys but any larger dog is gonna be more capable of doing more damage than a small dog," said Webster.
The latest bad publicity for the breed was when Cincinnati police shot and killed two pit bulls that viciously attacked six-year-old Zainabou Drame in Westwood.  The critically injured child remains at Children's Hospital and will never be the same.

If you can imagine anyone who might have an issue with pit bulls as a breed it would be the family of Zainabou Drame but even her family holds no ill will towards the breed.  Two days after the attack, Zaina's grandfather was getting kisses from a neighbor's pit bull.  Tuesday as Webster walked Sascha around Colerain Park, Joe Molter stopped mowing grass to watch.
His neighbors own pit bulls and he said, "The owners across the street seem to raise them correctly.  They're friendly, run outside, play jump up and down.  I got a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old and I'm not afraid to have them around those dogs."

Pit bulls are big and muscular but at the same time some locals said they can be the most loving, loyal creature you'll ever meet. 

Zontae Irby, the owner of the dogs that attacked Zainabou Drame, has not been charged with anything in relation to the attack.  He's due in court Friday on drug and weapons charges stemming from what police later found in his house.
Many people believe new laws are needed that would allow the prosecutor to charge the owners of dogs in situations like Zainabou Drame's with felonies.

All during Tuesday's dog walk members accepted donations to help the family of Zainabou Drame with medical bills.  Donations can also be made at any Fifth Third Bank.
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