Dangerous and Vicious Dog Law Changes Affect
County Dog Owners
May 18, 2012 -- Revised dangerous and vicious dog laws in
Ohio become effective on May 22, creating new requirements and standards for dog
owners in Ohio. The Wood County Dog Warden, Andrew Snyder, provides the
following information to advise county residents of the changes.
Under this revised law if reasonable cause exists and a
dog meets the applicable definition, the dog warden or law enforcement officer
is required to designate a dog as a nuisance, dangerous, and/or vicious. All
unprovoked dog bites will also result in the dog?s automatic designation as a
dangerous or vicious dog.
Dog owners whose dogs have been deemed nuisance,
dangerous, or vicious will receive notice from the designating officer of such
designation. The owner may request a hearing to contest the designation but must
file the request in writing within 10 days of the designation to the municipal
or county court that has territorial jurisdiction over the residence of the
dog?s owner, keeper, or harborer.
The owner, keeper, or harborer of a dangerous or vicious
dog must comply with the following requirements:
post signs indicating the presence of a dangerous or vicious dog,
spay or neuter the dog,
microchip the dog,
obtain and maintain current rabies vaccinations,
may have to obtain specific liability insurance coverage, and
must register the dangerous or vicious dog annually.
The required registration of a dangerous or vicious dog
with the Wood County Auditor costs $50 annually. This is in addition to the
regular annual dog registration and license fee of $14, or $28 if purchased
after the required timeframe.
Confinement of the dangerous or vicious dog must also be
in accordance with new, stricter requirements. Persons who are convicted of or
plead guilty to certain felony offenses may not own, possess, have custody of or
reside in a residence with a dangerous dog or an unspayed or unneutered dog
older than twelve weeks of age.
Section 955.11 of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) creates and
defines three new classifications of dogs as follows:
NUISANCE DOG: 955.11(A)(3)(a) ORC
Subject to 955.11(a)(3)(b), nuisance dog means 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.
DANGEROUS DOG: 955.11(A)(1)(a) ORC
Subject to 955.11(a)(1)(b), dangerous dog means a dog that, without provocation,
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 ORC Section
955.22(c) (i.e., failure to maintain reasonable control of the dog or failure to
keep the dog physically confined at all times.)
VICIOUS DOG: 955.11(A)(6)(a) ORC
Subject to 955.11(a)(6)(b), vicious dog means a dog that, without provocation,
has killed or caused serious injury to any person.
The Wood County Dog Shelter encourages dog owners in Wood
County to become familiar with the new laws and to contact the shelter for more
information, 419.354.9242 or visit www.co.wood.oh.us.