Ohio’s revised dog statute took effect on May 22, 2012. The statue defines what is a “vicious,” “dangerous,” and “nuisance,” dog. It also sets out the requirements for owners of dangerous and vicious dogs.
Under the new law, a “vicious” dog is any dog that, without provocation, kills or seriously injures a person. The vicious dog definition does not include police dogs that have killed or seriously injured a person while being used for official duties or dogs that kill or cause serious injury to a person who is trespassing or attempting to commit other criminal offenses on the property of the dog’s owner. Also, pit bulls as a breed are no longer included in the definition of a “vicious” dog in Ohio.
A “dangerous” dog is any dog that, without provocation, injures a person, kills another dog, or is caught running loose three times. Again, this definition does not apply to police dogs in the performance of official duties.
A dog that chases or tries to bite a person without provocation will be considered a “nuisance” dog. Again, police dogs in the performance of official duties are exempt from this classification.
Owners of “vicious” or “dangerous” dogs must adhere to several specific requirements under the revised statute. First, dangerous and vicious dogs cannot be debarked. Secondly, dangerous and vicious dogs must be neutered and microchipped. Third, dangerous and vicious dogs must be kept in locked pens with a roof or locked fenced yard. While off their property, they must be on chain tethers no longer than six feet and they must be muzzled. Lastly, owners of dangerous and vicious dogs must post warning signs on their property and they must carry at least $100,000 in liability insurance.
If you or a loved one has become the victim of a dog bite anywhere in Ohio, please contact the Ohio law firm of Slater & Zurz LLP for a free consultation by calling 1-800-297-9191 or send a blog message to schedule a time to talk that is convenient for you.
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