618.15  DANGEROUS AND VICIOUS DOGS.
   (a)   For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
      (1)   “Dangerous dog” means a dog that, without provocation, has committed any of the following:
         A.   Caused injury, other than killing or serious injury, to any person;
         B.   Seriously injured another dog;
         C.   Been the subject of a third or subsequent violation of division (C) of Ohio R.C. 955.22 or corresponding local ordinance essentially equivalent thereto.
      (2)   “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.
      (3)   “Menacing fashion” means a dog that would cause any person being chased or approached to reasonably believe that the dog will cause physical injury to that person.
      (4)   “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.
      (5)   “Nuisance dog” does not include a police dog while being used to assist one or more law enforcement officers in the performance of their 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.
      (6)   “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.
      (7)   “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.
      (8)   “Vicious dog” means a dog that, without provocation has killed or caused serious injury to any person.
      (9)   “Vicious dog” means a dog that, without provocation has killed or caused serious injury to any person or killed another dog.
      (10)   “Without provocation” means the dog was not teased, tormented, or abused by a person, or it 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.
(Ord. 04-43. Passed 11-15-04.)
   (b)   No owner, keeper, or harborer of a dangerous or vicious dog shall fail to do the following:
      (1)   While the dog is on the premises of the owner, keeper, or harborer, securely confine it at all times in an approved locked pen or approved locked fenced yard or other approved locked enclosure that has a top while the dog is on the premises of the owner, keeper, or harborer, except that a dangerous dog may, in the alternative, be tied with a chain linked leash no longer than six feet so that the dog is adequately restrained.
      (2)   While a dangerous 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.
      (3)   While the vicious dog is off the premises of the owner, keeper or harborer, muzzle the vicious dog, keep the vicious dog in an approved locked pen or other approved locked enclosure or in the alternative have the vicious dog restrained by a chain linked leash no longer than six feet which is controlled by a competent adult.
   (c)   The owner, keeper or harborer shall be required to microchip a dog deemed vicious under this section.  No owner, keeper or harborer of any vicious dog shall fail to keep such vicious dog's microchipping information current with the City of Newark's Animal Control Officer.
   (d)   No owner, keeper, or harborer of a vicious dog shall fail to obtain liability insurance with an insurer authorized to write liability insurance in this state providing coverage in each occurrence, subject to a limit, exclusive of interest and costs, of not less than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) for damage or bodily injury to or death of a person caused by the vicious dog.
   (e)   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 vicious dog;
      (2)   Possess a vicious 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 (f) of this section that the person’s dog is not a vicious dog or otherwise provide false information on that written waiver form.
   (f)   Before a veterinarian debarks or surgically silences any dog, the veterinarian may give the owner, keeper or harborer of the dog a written waiver form that attests that the dog is not a vicious 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 vicious dog;
      (5)   A statement referring to Ohio R.C. 955.22(F)'s prohibition against 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 vicious dog;
         B.   Possessing a vicious 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 Ohio R.C. 955.22 that the person’s dog is not a vicious dog or otherwise provide false information on that written waiver form.
   (g)   It is an affirmative defense to a charge of a violation of division (e) of this section for any veterinarian who is charged with the violation if said veterinarian obtained, prior to debarking or surgically silencing the dog, a written waiver form that complies with division (f) of this section and that attests that the dog is not a vicious dog.
   (h)   If a violation of subsection (b) of this section involves a dangerous dog, whoever violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree on the first offense and of a misdemeanor of the third degree on each subsequent offense.  Additionally, the court may order the offender to personally supervise the dangerous dog that the offender owns, keeps, or harbors or to cause the dog to complete dog obedience training or both.
   (i)   If a violation of subsection (b) involves a vicious dog, whoever violates this subsection is guilty of one of the following:
      (1)   A felony of the fourth degree on a first or subsequent offense if the dog kills or seriously injures a person. Such offense shall be prosecuted under State law.
   Additionally, the court shall order that the vicious dog be humanely destroyed by a licensed veterinarian, the county dog warden or the county humane society; otherwise,
      (2)   A misdemeanor of the first degree on a first offense and a felony of the fourth degree on each subsequent offense.  In the event an offender is charged with a felony of the fourth degree, such offender shall be prosecuted under State law.  Additionally, the court may order that the vicious dog be humanely destroyed by a licensed veterinarian, the county dog warden or the county humane society.
   (j)   Whoever violates subsection (c) is guilty of a minor misdemeanor on the first offense and a misdemeanor of the fourth degree on each subsequent offense.
   (k)   Whoever violates subsection (d) is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.
   (l)   Whoever violates subsection (e) is guilty of a felony of the fourth degree and shall be prosecuted under State law.  Additionally, the court may order that the vicious dog be humanely destroyed by a licensed veterinarian, the county dog warden or the county humane society.
(Ord. 88-31.  Passed 7-5-88; Ord. 04-43. Passed 11-15-04; Ord.06-54.  Passed 10-16-06; Ord. 07-30.  Passed 7-16-07; Ord. 13-41 A.  Passed 12-16-13; Ord. 16-07-A.  Passed 4-4-16; Ord. 16-16.  Passed 6- 20-16.)
Statutory reference:
   Confining, restraining, debarking dogs, see Ohio R.C. 955.22
   Transfer of ownership certificate, see Ohio R.C. 955.11
   Violations, see Ohio R.C. 959.99