955.22 Confining, restraining, debarking dogs; dangerous dog registration certificate.

(A) As used in this section, "dangerous dog" has the same meaning as in section 955.11 of the Revised Code.

(B) No owner, keeper, or harborer of any female dog shall permit it to go beyond the premises of the owner, keeper, or harborer at any time the dog is in heat unless the dog is properly in leash.

(C) Except when a dog is lawfully engaged in hunting and accompanied by the owner, keeper, harborer, or handler of the dog, no owner, keeper, or harborer of any dog shall fail at any time to do either of the following:

(1) Keep the dog physically confined or restrained upon the premises of the owner, keeper, or harborer by a leash, tether, adequate fence, supervision, or secure enclosure to prevent escape;

(2) Keep the dog under the reasonable control of some person.

(D) Except when a dangerous dog is lawfully engaged in hunting or training for the purpose of hunting and is accompanied by the owner, keeper, harborer, or handler of the dog, no owner, keeper, or harborer of a dangerous dog shall fail to do either of the following:

(1) While that dog is on the premises of the owner, keeper, or harborer, securely confine it at all times in a locked pen that has a top, locked fenced yard, or other locked enclosure that has a top;

(2) While that dog is off the premises of the owner, keeper, or harborer, keep that dog on a chain-link leash or tether that is not more than six feet in length and additionally do at least one of the following:

(a) Keep that dog in a locked pen that has a top, locked fenced yard, or other locked enclosure that has a top;

(b) Have the leash or tether controlled by a person who is of suitable age and discretion or securely attach, tie, or affix the leash or tether to the ground or a stationary object or fixture so that the dog is adequately restrained and station such a person in close enough proximity to that dog so as to prevent it from causing injury to any person;

(c) Muzzle that dog.

(E) No person who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to three or more violations of division (C) of this section involving the same dog and no owner, keeper, or harborer of a dangerous dog shall fail to do the following:

(1) Obtain liability insurance with an insurer authorized to write liability insurance in this state providing coverage in each occurrence because of damage or bodily injury to or death of a person caused by the dangerous dog if so ordered by a court and provide proof of that liability insurance upon request to any law enforcement officer, county dog warden, or public health official charged with enforcing this section;

(2) Obtain a dangerous dog registration certificate from the county auditor pursuant to division (I) of this section, affix a tag that identifies the dog as a dangerous dog to the dog's collar, and ensure that the dog wears the collar and tag at all times;

(3) Notify the local dog warden immediately if any of the following occurs:

(a) The dog is loose or unconfined.

(b) The dog bites a person, unless the dog is on the property of the owner of the dog, and the person who is bitten is unlawfully trespassing or committing a criminal act within the boundaries of that property.

(c) The dog attacks another animal while the dog is off the property of the owner of the dog.

(4) If the dog is sold, given to another person, or dies, notify the county auditor within ten days of the sale, transfer, or death.

(F) No person shall do any of the following:

(1) Debark or surgically silence a dog that the person knows or has reason to believe is a dangerous dog;

(2) Possess a dangerous dog if the person knows or has reason to believe that the dog has been debarked or surgically silenced;

(3) Falsely attest on a waiver form provided by the veterinarian under division (G) of this section that the person's dog is not a dangerous dog or otherwise provide false information on that written waiver form.

(G) Before a veterinarian debarks or surgically silences a dog, the veterinarian may give the owner of the dog a written waiver form that attests that the dog is not a dangerous dog. The written waiver form shall include all of the following:

(1) The veterinarian's license number and current business address;

(2) The number of the license of the dog if the dog is licensed;

(3) A reasonable description of the age, coloring, and gender of the dog as well as any notable markings on the dog;

(4) The signature of the owner of the dog attesting that the owner's dog is not a dangerous dog;

(5) A statement that division (F) of section 955.22 of the Revised Code prohibits any person from doing any of the following:

(a) Debarking or surgically silencing a dog that the person knows or has reason to believe is a dangerous dog;

(b) Possessing a dangerous dog if the person knows or has reason to believe that the dog has been debarked or surgically silenced;

(c) Falsely attesting on a waiver form provided by the veterinarian under division (G) of section 955.22 of the Revised Code that the person's dog is not a dangerous dog or otherwise provide false information on that written waiver form.

(H) It is an affirmative defense to a charge of a violation of division (F) of this section that the veterinarian who is charged with the violation obtained, prior to debarking or surgically silencing the dog, a written waiver form that complies with division (G) of this section and that attests that the dog is not a dangerous dog.

(I)

(1) The county auditor shall issue a dangerous dog registration certificate to a person who is the owner of a dog, who is eighteen years of age or older, and who provides the following to the county auditor:

(a) A fee of fifty dollars;

(b) The person's address, phone number, and other appropriate means for the local dog warden or county auditor to contact the person;

(c) With respect to the person and the dog for which the registration is sought, all of the following:

(i) Either satisfactory evidence of the dog's current rabies vaccination or a statement from a licensed veterinarian that a rabies vaccination is medically contraindicated for the dog;

(ii) Either satisfactory evidence of the fact that the dog has been neutered or spayed or a statement from a licensed veterinarian that neutering or spaying of the dog is medically contraindicated;

(iii) Satisfactory evidence of the fact that the person has posted and will continue to post clearly visible signs at the person's residence warning both minors and adults of the presence of a dangerous dog on the property;

(iv) Satisfactory evidence of the fact that the dog has been permanently identified by means of a microchip and the dog's microchip number.

(2) Upon the issuance of a dangerous dog registration certificate to the owner of a dog, the county auditor shall provide the owner with a uniformly designed tag that identifies the animal as a dangerous dog. The owner shall renew the certificate annually for the same fee and in the same manner as the initial certificate was obtained. If a certificate holder relocates to a new county, the certificate holder shall follow the procedure in division (I)(3)(b) of this section and, upon the expiration of the certificate issued in the original county, shall renew the certificate in the new county.

(3)

(a) If the owner of a dangerous dog for whom a registration certificate has previously been obtained relocates to a new address within the same county, the owner shall provide notice of the new address to the county auditor within ten days of relocating to the new address.

(b) If the owner of a dangerous dog for whom a registration certificate has previously been obtained relocates to a new address within another county, the owner shall do both of the following within ten days of relocating to the new address:

(i) Provide written notice of the new address and a copy of the original dangerous dog registration certificate to the county auditor of the new county;

(ii) Provide written notice of the new address to the county auditor of the county where the owner previously resided.

(4) The owner of a dangerous dog shall present the dangerous dog registration certificate upon being requested to do so by any law enforcement officer, dog warden, or public health official charged with enforcing this section.

(5) The fees collected pursuant to this division shall be deposited in the dog and kennel fund of the county.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.75, HB 14, §1, eff. 5/22/2012.

Effective Date: 10-10-2000