505.011 VICIOUS DOGS, DANGEROUS DOGS, NUISANCE DOGS - DEFINITIONS.
   As used in this chapter unless otherwise specifically provided herein:
   (a)    (1)    “Vicious dog" means a dog that, without provocation and subject to subsection (a)(2) hereof has killed or caused serious injury to any person.
      (2)    "Vicious dog" does not include either of the following:
         A.    A police dog that has killed or caused serious injury to any person while the police dog is being used to assist one or more law enforcement officers in the performance of their official duties;
         B.    A dog that has killed or caused serious injury to any person while a person was committing or attempting to commit a trespass or other criminal offense on the property of the owner, keeper or harborer of the dog.
      (3)    "Dangerous dog" means a dog that, without provocation, and subject to subsection (a)(2) hereof has done any of the following:
         A.    Caused injury, other than killing or serious injury, to any person;
         B.    Killed another dog;
         C.    Been the subject of a third or subsequent violation of Section 505.01(c).
      (4)    "Dangerous dog" 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.
      (5)    "Nuisance dog" means a dog that, without provocation and subject to subsection (a)(2) 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 bit or otherwise endanger any person.
      (6)   "Menacing fashion" means that a dog would cause any person being chased or approached to reasonably believe that the dog will cause physical injury to that person.
      (7)    "Nuisance dog" does not include a police dog that while being used to assist one or more law enforcement officers in the performance of official duties 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.
      (8)    "Police dog" means a dog that has been trained, and may be used, to assist one or more law enforcement officers in the performance of their official duties.
      (9)    "Serious injury" means any of the following:
         A.    Any physical harm that carries a substantial risk of death;
         B.    Any physical harm that involves a permanent incapacity, whether partial or total, or a temporary, substantial incapacity;
         C.    Any physical harm that involves a permanent disfigurement or a temporary, serious disfigurement;
         D.    Any physical harm that involves acute pain of a duration that results in substantial suffering or any degree of prolonged or intractable pain.
      (10)    "Without provocation" means that a dog was not teased, tormented or abused by a person, or that the dog was not coming to the aid or the defense of a person who was not engaged in illegal or criminal activity and who was not using the dog as a means of carrying out such activity. (ORC 955.11)
   (b)   Designation of Dog as “Vicious”; Appeal.
      (1)   A dog may be determined to be “vicious”, as defined in Section 505.011(a)(1); and thus subject to the requirements of Section 505.011, in one of the two following ways:
         A.   A court of competent jurisdiction may declare the dog to be vicious in an independent or related civil or criminal proceeding; or
         B.   The Chief of Police or his designee may provide written notice to the owner or other person harboring or having care or control of the dog that the Chief of Police or his designee has determined the dog to be vicious.  Such notice shall be given by personal service, ordinary mail, or by posting on the property at which the person resides.  Any person aggrieved by the order of the Chief of Police or his designee hereunder may appeal such order in writing to the Highland Heights Zoning Board of Appeals, which decision shall be the final decision of the City.  Such appeal shall be filed within five (5) working days of the date of notice, and heard within twenty (20) working days of the date the appeal is filed.  The filing of a notice of appeal hereunder shall stay the requirements of Section 505.011, but shall not preclude the Chief of Police or his designee or the Cuyahoga County Board of Health from impounding the dog if otherwise permitted by this chapter or other provision of law and shall not in any way relieve the owner or other person harboring or having care or control of the dog from civil or criminal liability for injury or damage caused by the dog or for violations of provision of this chapter other than Section 505.011.
   (c)   No person owning or harboring or having the care or custody of a vicious dog shall permit such dog to go unconfined on the premises of such person.
   (d)   No person owning or harboring or having the care of a vicious dog shall permit such dog to go beyond the premises of such person unless such dog is securely muzzled and restrained with a chain having a minimum tensile strength of 300 pounds and not exceeding three feet in length.
   (e)   No person shall own or harbor any dog for the purpose of dog fighting, or train, torment, badger, bait or use any dog for the purpose of causing or encouraging such dog to unprovoked attacks upon humans or domestic animals.
   (f)   No person shall possess with intent to sell, or offer for sale, breed, or buy or attempt to buy within the City any vicious dog.
   (g)   Any person owning or harboring or having the care or control of any vicious dog shall maintain a policy of insurance in an amount not less than two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000) for each occurrence and insuring such person against any claim, loss, damage or injury to persons, domestic animals, or property resulting from the acts, whether intentional or unintentional, of the vicious dog.  Such person(s) shall produce evidence of such insurance upon the request of a law enforcement officer.
   (h)   In the event that a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a vicious dog is being harbored or cared for in violation of subsections (b), (d), (e) or (f) hereof, the law enforcement officer may petition a court of competent jurisdiction to order the seizure and impoundment of the vicious dog pending trial.  In the event that a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a vicious dog has gone beyond the premises of a person owning, harboring, or having the care or control of the dog, in violation of subsection (c) hereof, the law enforcement officer may seize and impound the vicious dog pending trial.
   (i)   No person shall own, harbor, care for, or control a vicious dog within the City until such dog has been registered at the Division of Police on such form(s) as prescribed by the Chief of Police.  Persons owning, harboring, caring for or controlling a vicious dog upon the effective date of this section, shall register such dog with the Division of Police within sixty days of the effective date of this provision.
   (j)   Penalty.
      (1)   Whoever violates any provision of this section, other than subsection (h) herein, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.  Whoever violates subsection (h) herein shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree and shall be required to comply with the requirements of subsection (h).
      (2)   Whoever is found guilty of any subsequent offense of violating this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree and shall be fined one thousand dollars ($1,000), which fine shall be mandatory and shall not be suspended or remitted.
      (3)   Any vicious dog which attacks a human or domestic animal may be ordered destroyed when, in the court’s judgment, such vicious dog represents a continuing threat of serious harm to humans and domestic animals.
      (4)   Any person found guilty of violating this section shall pay all expenses, including shelter, food, veterinary expenses for identification or certification of the breed of the animal or boarding and veterinary expenses necessitated by the seizure of any dog for the protection of the public, and such other expense as may be required for the destruction of any such dog. 
(Ord. 35-2005.  Passed 11-9-05.)