Go to Top

Dangerous Dog

It is the Dog Warden’s responsibility to investigate dog bite incidents and determine if provocation did or did not exist in the incident. If the Dog Warden determines that provocation for the bite did not exist, then a dangerous designation will be made. If a dangerous designation has been made by the Dog Warden, the dog owner has 10 days from the time the dog was designated dangerous to appeal the Dog Warden’s designation by writing a letter to the Holmes County Municipal Court requesting a hearing on the matter and paying a filing fee of $87.00. If this is completed, the owner will be notified of a dangerous dog hearing date. If the letter and filing fee are not turned in to the court within 10 days of the designation, the Dog Warden’s designation stands and the owner will be required by law to follow all laws and restrictions regarding dangerous dogs.

Nuisance Dog Definition: Nuisance dog” means a dog that without provocation and while off the premises of its owner, keeper, or harborer has chased or approached a person in either a menacing fashion or an apparent attitude of attack or has attempted to bite or otherwise endanger any person.

Dangerous Dog Definition: “Dangerous dog” means a dog that, without provocation, has done any of the following:

  • Caused injury, other than killing or serious injury, to any person;
  • Killed another dog;
  • Been the subject of a third or subsequent violation of division (C) of section 955.22 of the Revised Code
  • Dangerous dogs does NOT include a police dog that has caused injury, other than killing or serious injury, to any person or has killed another dog while the police dog is being used to assist one or more law enforcement officers in the performance of their official duties.

Vicious Dog Definition: “Vicious dog” means a dog that, without provocation has killed or caused serious injury to any person.

Laws Pertaining to Dangerous Dogs

Confinement: O.R.C 955.22 (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.

Penalties:

Dangerous Dog At Large Violation: Misdemeanor of the fourth degree on a first offense and a misdemeanor of the third degree on any subsequent offense.

Improperly Confining and Restraining a Dangerous Dog: Misdemeanor of the fourth degree on a first offense and a misdemeanor of the third degree on any subsequent offense

On both offenses the court may Additionally, order the offender to personally supervise the dangerous dog that the offender owns, keeps, or harbors, to cause that dog to complete dog obedience training, or to do both, and the court may order the offender to obtain liability insurance pursuant to division (E) of section 955.22 of the Revised Code. The court, in the alternative, may order the dangerous dog to be humanely destroyed by a licensed veterinarian, the county dog warden, or the county humane society at the owner’s expense.

Registration and Failure to Notify: O.R.C 955.22 (E)

  1. 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.

Penalties:

  • Whoever violates division (E)(1), (3), or (4) of section 955.22 of the Revised Code is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.
  • Whoever violates division (E)(2) of section 955.22 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.