618.051   CRUELTY TO COMPANION ANIMALS.
   (a)   As used in this section:
      (1)   “Companion animal” is any dog, cat, or other domesticated animal that is cared for or maintained by any person.
      (2)   “Cruelty”, “torment”, and “torture” as defined in Ohio R.C. 1717.01.
      (3)   “Residential dwelling” is a structure or any part of a structure that is used for human habitation.
      (4)   “Practice of veterinary medicine” as defined in Ohio R.C. 4741.01.
      (5)   “Wild animal” as defined in Ohio R.C. 1531.01.
      (6)   “Federal Animal Welfare Act” as defined in Ohio R.C. 959.131.
      (7)   “Dog kennel” means an animal rescue for dogs that is registered under Ohio R.C. 956.06, a boarding kennel or a training kennel.
   (b)   No person shall knowingly torture, torment, needlessly mutilate or maim, cruelly beat, poison, needlessly kill, or commit an act of cruelty against a companion animal; including confining an animal in a motor vehicle under any conditions that endanger the safety or well being of the animal.
   (c)   No person who owns or keeps a companion animal shall fail to provide the animal all of the following needs:
      (1)   Clean, potable drinking water at all times, and suitable food of sufficient quality and quantity as to ensure normal growth and the maintenance of normal body weight;
      (2)   Food and water receptacles that are kept clean and disinfected, and located so as to avoid contamination by feces or other wastes;
      (3)   Regular exercise sufficient to maintain the animal’s good health;
      (4)   Necessary veterinary care;
      (5)   Shelter from the elements, including heat, cold, wind, rain, snow or excessive direct sunlight. If the animal is housed outside, a structure for shelter and protection must be provided that is suitable for the species age, condition, size, and type of that animal. The structure must be completely enclosed, having a single entrance/exit secured with a flap or door or similar device. The structure shall be moisture-resistant, wind-resistant, and of suitable size and type to allow the animal to stand, turn about freely, lie in a normal position, and regulate proper body temperature. The structure shall be made of a durable material with a solid, moisture-proof floor and a floor raised at least two inches from the ground. Suitable drainage shall be provided so that water cannot be reasonably expected to gather and stand within ten feet of the structure, and so the animal has access to a dry area at all times. Proper bedding of straw or similar material, that remains dry, must be utilized inside the structure. All structures required by this section shall be subject to all building and zoning regulations.
   (d)   No owner, manager, or employee of a dog kennel who confines or is the custodian or caretaker of a companion animal shall negligently do any of the following:
      (1)   Commit any act or failure to act against the companion animal, which would reasonably cause unnecessary or unjustifiable pain or suffering when there is a reasonable remedy or relief;
      (2)   Needlessly kill the companion animal;
      (3)   Deprive the companion animal of necessary sustenance, confine the companion animal without supplying it during the confinement with sufficient quantities of good, wholesome food and water, or impound or confine the companion animal without affording it, during the impoundment or confinement, with access to shelter from heat, cold, wind, rain, snow or excessive direct sunlight if it can reasonably be expected that the companion animal would become sick or suffer in any other way as a result of or due to the deprivation, confinement, or impoundment or confinement in any of those specified manners.
   (e)   Divisions (b), (c), and (d) of this section do not apply to any of the following:
      (1)   A companion animal used in scientific research conducted by an institution in accordance with the Federal Animal Welfare Act and related regulations;
      (2)   The lawful practice of veterinary medicine by a person who has been issued a license, temporary permit, or registration certificate to do so under Ohio R.C. Chapter 4741;
      (3)   Dogs being used or intended for use for hunting or field trial purposes, provided that the dogs are being treated in accordance with usual and commonly accepted practices for the care of hunting dogs;
      (4)   The use of common training devices, if the companion animal is being treated in accordance with usual and commonly accepted practices for the training of animals;
      (5)   The administering of medicine to a companion animal that was properly prescribed by a person who has been issued a license, temporary permit, or registration certificate under Ohio R.C. Chapter 4741.
   (f)   (1)   Whoever violates subsection (b) hereof is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree on a first offense.  On each subsequent offense such person is guilty of a felony and shall be prosecuted under appropriate State law.
      (2)   Whoever violates subsection (c) hereof is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree on a first offense and a misdemeanor of the first degree on each subsequent offense.
      (3)   Whoever violates subsection (d) hereof is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.
      (4)   A.   A court may order a person who is convicted of or pleads guilty to a violation of this section to forfeit to an impounding agency, as defined in Ohio R.C. 959.132, any or all of the companion animals in that person’s ownership or care. The court also may prohibit or place limitations on the person’s ability to own or care for any companion animals for a specified or indefinite period of time.
         B.   A court may order a person who is convicted of or pleads guilty to a violation of this section to reimburse an impounding agency for the reasonably necessary costs incurred by the agency for the care of a companion animal that the agency impounded as a result of the investigation or prosecution of the violation, provided that the costs were not otherwise paid under Ohio R.C. 959.132.
      (5)   If a court has reason to believe that a person who is convicted of or pleads guilty to a violation of this section suffers from a mental or emotional disorder that contributed to the violation, the court may impose as a community control sanction or as a condition of probation a requirement that the offender undergo psychological evaluation or counseling. The court shall order the offender to pay the costs of the evaluation or counseling.
(Ord. 2015-O-25.  Passed 11-24-15.)
Statutory reference:
   Prohibitions concerning companion animals, see Ohio R.C. 959.131
   Related penalties, see Ohio R.C. 959.99