In Ohio, dogs that bite or attempt to bite a person are classified into one of three categories, a nuisance dog, dangerous dog, or vicious dog. Police dogs, however, are exempt from these classifications in certain instances. A police dog is defined as a dog that has been trained, and may be used, to assist law enforcement officers in the performance of their official duties.
Generally, a nuisance dog is one that chases or attempts to bite a person. Police dogs, however, are not considered nuisances when they chase or attempt to bite a person as long as they are being used to assist officers in the performance of their official duties. A dangerous dog is one that causes injury to a person. Again, a police dog is not considered to be dangerous if the dog attacks a person in the performance of police duties. Finally, a vicious dog is a dog that kills or causes serious injury to a person. Even if a police dog kills or serious injures a person, the dog will not be classified as vicious if it was assisting officers in the performance of their duties.
Because police dogs are exempt from the classifications described above when they are performing official duties, their owners are usually exempt from the strict rules and regulations that owners of dangerous and vicious dogs must adhere to. However, if a police dog bites a person while not performing official duties, then the above classifications will be applicable. In such a case, the owner, harbor, or keeper may also be liable for any damages caused by the attack.
If you or a loved one has become the victim of a dog attack or 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 sending a Blog Message to schedule a time to talk.
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