Chapter 1717: HUMANE SOCIETIES

1717.01 Humane society definitions.

As used in sections 1717.01 to 1717.14 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, and in every law relating to animals:

(A) "Animal" includes every living dumb creature;

(B) "Cruelty," "torment," and "torture" include every act, omission, or neglect by which unnecessary or unjustifiable pain or suffering is caused, permitted, or allowed to continue, when there is a reasonable remedy or relief;

(C) "Owner" and "person" include corporations. For the purpose of this section the knowledge and acts of the agents and employees of a corporation, in regard to animals transported, owned, or employed by, or in the custody of, such agents and employees, are the knowledge and acts of the corporation.

Cite as R.C. § 1717.01

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

1717.02 Objects and powers of humane societies.

The objects of the Ohio humane society, and all societies organized under section 1717.05 of the Revised Code, shall be the inculcation of humane principles and the enforcement of laws for the prevention of cruelty, especially to children and animals. To promote those objects such societies may acquire property, real or personal, by purchase or gift. All property acquired by such a society, by gift, devise, or bequest, for special purposes, shall be vested in its board of trustees, which shall consist of three members elected by the society. The board shall manage such property and apply it in accordance with the terms of the gift, devise, or bequest, and may sell it and reinvest the proceeds.

Cite as R.C. § 1717.02

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

1717.03 Ohio humane society.

The state society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shall remain a body corporate, under the name of "the Ohio humane society," with the powers, privileges, immunities, and duties possessed before March 21, 1887, by the state society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, specified by sections 1717.01 to 1717.14 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, as to county humane societies.

Branches of the Ohio humane society consisting of not less than ten members each may be organized in any part of the state to prosecute the work of the societies in their several localities, under rules and regulations prescribed by the Ohio humane society. Humane societies organized in any county under section 1717.05 of the Revised Code may become branches of the Ohio humane society by resolution adopted at a meeting called for that purpose, a copy of which resolution shall be forwarded to the secretary of state.

The Ohio humane society may elect such officers, and make such rules, regulations, and bylaws, as are deemed expedient by its members for their own government and the proper management of its affairs.

Cite as R.C. § 1717.03

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

1717.04 Agents of Ohio humane society.

The Ohio humane society may appoint agents, in any county where no active county humane society exists under section 1717.05 of the Revised Code, to represent it and to receive and account for all funds coming to it from fines or otherwise, and may also appoint agents at large to prosecute its work throughout the state. Such agents may arrest any person found violating any law for the protection of persons or animals, or the prevention of cruelty thereto. Upon making such arrest the agent forthwith shall convey the person arrested before some court or magistrate having jurisdiction of the offense, and there make complaint against him.

Such agents shall not make such arrests within a municipal corporation unless their appointment has been approved by the mayor of the municipal corporation, or within a county beyond the limits of a municipal corporation unless their appointment has been approved by the probate judge of the county. Such mayor or probate judge shall keep a record of such appointments.

Cite as R.C. § 1717.04

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

1717.05 County humane societies.

A society for the prevention of acts of cruelty to animals may be organized in any county by the association of not less than seven persons.

The members of such society, at a meeting called for the purpose, shall elect not less than three of their members as its board of directors, and such directors shall continue in office until their successors are duly chosen.

The secretary or clerk of such meeting shall make a true record of the proceedings thereat and certify and forward such record to the secretary of state, who shall record it. Such record shall contain the name by which the association is to be known, and from and after its filing with the secretary of state the board of directors and the associates, and their successors, shall have the powers, privileges, and immunities incident to incorporated companies. A copy of such record, certified by the secretary of state, shall be taken in all courts and places in this state as evidence that such society is a duly organized and incorporated body.

Such society may elect such officers, and make such rules, regulations, and bylaws, as are deemed expedient by its members for its own government and the proper management of its affairs.

Cite as R.C. § 1717.05

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

1717.06 Agents of county humane society.

A county humane society organized under section 1717.05 of the Revised Code may appoint agents, who are residents of the county or municipal corporation for which the appointment is made, for the purpose of prosecuting any person guilty of an act of cruelty to persons or animals. Such agents may arrest any person found violating this chapter or any other law for protecting persons or animals or preventing acts of cruelty thereto. Upon making an arrest the agent forthwith shall convey the person arrested before some court or magistrate having jurisdiction of the offense, and there make complaint against the person on oath or affirmation of the offense.

All appointments of agents under this section shall be approved by the mayor of the municipal corporation for which they are made. If the society exists outside a municipal corporation, such appointments shall be approved by the probate judge of the county for which they are made. The mayor or probate judge shall keep a record of such appointments.

In order to qualify for appointment as a humane agent under this section, a person first shall successfully complete a minimum of twenty hours of training on issues relating to the investigation and prosecution of cruelty to and neglect of animals. The training shall comply with rules recommended by the peace officer training commission under section 109.73 of the Revised Code and shall include, without limitation, instruction regarding animal husbandry practices as described in division (A)(12) of that section. A person who has been appointed as a humane agent under this section prior to the effective date of this amendment may continue to act as a humane agent for a period of time on and after the effective date of this amendment without completing the training. However, on or before December 31, 2004, a person who has been appointed as a humane agent under this section prior to the effective date of this amendment shall successfully complete the training described in this paragraph and submit proof of its successful completion to the appropriate appointing mayor or probate judge in order to continue to act as a humane agent after December 31, 2004.

An agent of a county humane society only has the specific authority granted to the agent under this section and section 1717.08 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 1717.06

Effective Date: 04-09-2003

1717.07 Salary of agents.

Upon the approval by the mayor of a municipal corporation of the appointment of an agent under section 1717.06 of the Revised Code, the legislative authority of such municipal corporation shall pay monthly to such agent, from the general revenue fund of the municipal corporation, such salary as the legislative authority deems just and reasonable. Upon the approval by the probate judge of a county of such an appointment, the board of county commissioners of such county shall pay monthly to such agent, from the general revenue fund of the county, such salary as the board deems just and reasonable. Such board and such legislative authority may agree upon the amount each is to pay such agent monthly. The salary to be paid monthly to such agent by the legislative authority of a village shall be not less than five dollars; the legislative authority of a city, not less than twenty dollars; and by the board of county commissioners of a county, not less than twenty-five dollars. Not more than one such agent in each county shall receive remuneration from the board under this section.

Cite as R.C. § 1717.07

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

1717.08 Police powers of officers, agents, and members.

An officer, agent, or member of the Ohio humane society or of a county humane society may interfere to prevent the perpetration of any act of cruelty to animals in his presence, may use such force as is necessary to prevent it, and to that end may summon to his aid any bystanders.

Cite as R.C. § 1717.08

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

1717.09 Member may require police to act.

A member of the Ohio humane society or of a county humane society may require the sheriff of any county, the constable of any township, the marshal or a policeman of any municipal corporation, or any agent of such a society, to arrest any person found violating the laws in relation to cruelty to persons or animals, and to take possession of any animal cruelly treated in their respective counties or municipal corporations, and deliver such animals to the proper officers of the society.

Cite as R.C. § 1717.09

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

1717.10 Fees.

For all services rendered in carrying out sections 1717.01 to 1717.14 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, a sheriff, constable, marshal, or policeman shall be paid such fees as he is allowed for like services in other cases. Such fees must be charged as costs, and reimbursed to the humane society by the person convicted.

Cite as R.C. § 1717.10

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

1717.11 Liability to owner in damages.

A person guilty of cruelty to an animal which is the property of another shall be liable to the owner of the animal in damages, in addition to the penalties prescribed by law.

Cite as R.C. § 1717.11

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

1717.12 Conviction of agent no bar to action against employer.

The conviction of an agent or employee of cruelty to animals does not bar an action for cruelty to animals against his employer for allowing a state of facts to exist which will induce cruelty to animals on the part of such agent or employee.

Cite as R.C. § 1717.12

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

1717.13 Any person may protect animal.

When, in order to protect any animal from neglect, it is necessary to take possession of it, any person may do so. When an animal is impounded or confined, and continues without necessary food, water, or proper attention for more than fifteen successive hours, any person may, as often as is necessary, enter any place in which the animal is impounded or confined and supply it with necessary food, water, and attention, so long as it remains there, or, if necessary, or convenient, he may remove such animal; and he shall not be liable to an action for such entry. In all cases the owner or custodian of such animal, if known to such person, immediately shall be notified by him of such action. If the owner or custodian is unknown to such person, and cannot with reasonable effort be ascertained by him, such animal shall be considered an estray and dealt with as such.

The necessary expenses for food and attention given to an animal under this section may be collected from the owner of such animal, and the animal shall not be exempt from levy and sale upon execution issued upon a judgment for such expenses.

Cite as R.C. § 1717.13

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

1717.14 Protection of children.

When an officer or agent of the Ohio humane society or of a county humane society deems it for the best interest of a child, because of cruelty inflicted upon the child or because of the child's surroundings, that the child be removed from the possession and control of the parents or persons having charge of the child, the officer or agent shall comply with section 2151.421 of the Revised Code.

As used in this section "child" means any person under eighteen years of age.

Cite as R.C. § 1717.14

Effective Date: 01-01-1974; 09-21-2006

1717.15 Board of county commissioners may make yearly appropriation.

The board of county commissioners may, at the end of each year, make a yearly appropriation to the county humane society from the general fund of the county of such funds as the board deems reasonable. Such funds are to supplement any gifts, funds received from the dog and kennel fund, and any other funds received by the society and are to be used to carry out the activities of the society.

Cite as R.C. § 1717.15

Effective Date: 10-14-1963