Nuisance/Dangerous/Vicious

Below you will find a break down of the definitions of a Nuisance Dog, Dangerous Dog, and Vicious Dog according to Section 955.11 of the Ohio Revised Code.

 

Nuisance Dog: Is a dog that without provocation and while off the premises of its owner, keeper, or harborer has chased or approached a person in either a menacing fashion or an apparent attitude of attack or has attempted to bite or otherwise endanger any person.

"Nuisance dog" does not include a police dog that while being used to assist one or more law enforcement officers in the performance of official duties has chased or approached a person in either a menacing fashion or an apparent attitude of attack or has attempted to bite or otherwise endanger any person.

 

Dangerous dog: Is a dog that, without provocation, and subject to division (A)(1)(b) of this section, has done any of the following:

(i) Caused injury, other than killing or serious injury, to any person;

(ii) Killed another dog;

(iii) Been the subject of a third or subsequent violation of division (C) of section 955.22 of the Revised Code.

 "Dangerous dog" does not include a police dog that has caused injury, other than killing or serious injury, to any person or has killed another dog while the police dog is being used to assist one or more law enforcement officers in the performance of their official duties.

 

Vicious dog: Is a dog that, without provocation and subject to division (A)(6)(b) of this section, has killed or caused serious injury to any person .

(b) "Vicious dog" does not include either of the following:

(i) A police dog that has killed or caused serious injury to any person while the police dog is being used to assist one or more law enforcement officers in the performance of their official duties;

(ii) A dog that has killed or caused serious injury to any person while a person was committing or attempting to commit a trespass or other criminal offense on the property of the owner, keeper, or harborer of the dog.

 

Other Definitions

"Menacing fashion" means that a dog would cause any person being chased or approached to reasonably believe that the dog will cause physical injury to that person.

"Police dog" means a dog that has been trained, and may be used, to assist one or more law enforcement officers in the performance of their official duties.

"Serious injury" means any of the following:

(a) Any physical harm that carries a substantial risk of death;

(b) Any physical harm that involves a permanent incapacity, whether partial or total, or a temporary, substantial incapacity;

(c) Any physical harm that involves a permanent disfigurement or a temporary, serious disfigurement;

(d) Any physical harm that involves acute pain of a duration that results in substantial suffering or any degree of prolonged or intractable pain.

"Without provocation" means that a dog was not teased, tormented, or abused by a person, or that the dog was not coming to the aid or the defense of a person who was not engaged in illegal or criminal activity and who was not using the dog as a means of carrying out such activity.

 

Requirements:

Dangerous Dogs and Vicious Dogs are required to be in a locked cage, pen, or other enclosure at all times while at home. While off the premises of the owner, the dog must be on a short chain link leash and additionally either:
(1) be confined in an locked enclosure with a top or locked, fenced yard;
(2) have the leash controlled by a person who is of suitable age and discretion;
(3) have the leash securely attached to the ground or a stationary object or fixture so that the dog is adequately restrained and a person stationed in close enough proximity to that dog so as to prevent it from causing injury to any person; or
(4) wear a muzzle.

• If sold or transferred to a new owner, a full description of the dog, account of all past aggressive acts, and notice of its Dangerous/Vicious designation must be given to the new owner, as well as to the Dog Warden and Board of Health in the new owner’s district of residence.

• Dangerous and Vicious Dogs must be microchipped and spayed/neutered at the owner’s expense.

• Owners of Dangerous or Vicious Dogs are sometimes required to purchase special liability insurance.

• Dangerous and Vicious Dogs cannot legally be owned by any person who has been convicted of a felony.

• The dog’s owner must get a special Dangerous/Vicious Dog registration certificate and tags each year, which the dog must wear at all times.

• The local Dog Warden must be notified immediately any time a Dangerous or Vicious Dog is loose.

• The local Dog Warden must be notified immediately if your Dangerous or Vicious Dog dies or is transferred to a new owner.

Other restrictions may be applied at the court’s discretion, and may vary by county or city.

Nuisance Dogs must be properly confined and controlled at all times, which may include by using leash, tether, adequate fence, supervision, or secure enclosure. Other restrictions may be applied at the court’s discretion, and may vary by county or city.

Ohio law grants you the right to a designation appeal hearing if you disagree with the designation. You must notify the appropriate court within 10 days of receiving a designation notice or you may waive your right to the appeal hearing.