Although any dog can bite, pit bulls seem to represent a disproportionate number of recorded dog bites in Ohio. Because of this, pit bulls have been classified under Ohio law as “vicious.” As such, pit bull owners must adhere to a specific set of rules concerning their dogs:
- When on the owner’s property, pit bulls must be securely confined at all times either in a locked pen with an enclosed top, behind a locked fence, or tied to a leash so that the dog is adequately restrained.
- When off the owner’s property, pit bulls must be kept on a chain-linked leash and either controlled by a suitable person or muzzled.
- Pit bull owners must carry special liability insurance to ensure that victims of a bite will be adequately compensated.
While pit bulls are the only dog breed to be specifically classified as vicious, any dog may be deemed vicious. Under Ohio law, a vicious dog is any dog that has killed or caused injury to any person or any dog that has killed another dog. Owners of dogs that fall under this category of vicious dogs must adhere to the same rules governing owners of pit bulls.
Recently, there has been speculation that Ohio legislators may change state law to classify “vicious” dogs based solely on their behavior. Simply put, the change would remove the “vicious” classification on pit bulls as a breed. The cities of Cleveland and Toledo have already passed local ordinances to this effect. For now, however, all pit bulls remain “vicious” dogs under Ohio state law regardless of their individual behavior. As such, pit bull owners are legally bound to follow the rules governing vicious dogs in Ohio.
If you or someone you know has become the victim of a dog bite, please contact us by calling 1-800-297-9191 for a FREE consultation with an experienced Ohio dog bite attorney or send us a messageto schedule a time to talk.
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