618.01  DOGS AND OTHER ANIMALS RUNNING AT LARGE.
   (a)   No person, who is the owner or keeper of horses, mules, cattle, bison, sheep, goats, swine, llamas, alpacas, or poultry, shall permit them to run at large in the public road, highway, street, lane, or alley, or upon unenclosed land, or cause the animals to be herded, kept, or detained for the purpose of grazing on premises other than those owned or lawfully occupied by the owner or keeper of the animals.
(ORC 951.02)
   (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)   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 (h) 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.
   (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 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 (e) of this section that the person’s dog is not a dangerous dog or otherwise provide false information on that written waiver form.
   (f)   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 Ohio R.C. 955.22 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 Ohio R.C. 955.22 that the person’s dog is not a dangerous 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 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 (f) of this section and that attests that the dog is not a vicious dog.
   (h)   (1)   The County Auditor shall issue a dangerous dog registration certificate to a person who is the owner of a dog, who is 18 years of age or older, and who provides the following to the County Auditor:
         A.   A fee of fifty dollars ($50.00);
         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:
            1.   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;
            2.   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;
            3.   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;
            4.   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 (h)(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:
            1.   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;
            2.   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.
(ORC 955.22)
   (i)   Hearing.
      (1)   The municipal court or county court that has territorial jurisdiction over the residence of the owner, keeper, or harborer of a dog shall conduct any hearing concerning the designation of the dog as a nuisance dog, dangerous dog, or vicious dog.
      (2)   If a person who is authorized to enforce this chapter has reasonable cause to believe that a dog in the person’s jurisdiction is a nuisance dog, dangerous dog, or vicious dog, the person shall notify the owner, keeper, or harborer of that dog, by certified mail or in person, of both of the following:
         A.   That the person has designated the dog a nuisance dog, dangerous dog, or vicious dog, as applicable;
         B.   That the owner, keeper, or harborer of the dog may request a hearing regarding the designation in accordance with this division (i). The notice shall include instructions for filing a request for a hearing in the county in which the dog’s owner, keeper, or harborer resides.
      (3)   If the owner, keeper, or harborer of the dog disagrees with the designation of the dog as a nuisance dog, dangerous dog, or vicious dog, as applicable, the owner, keeper, or harborer, not later than ten days after receiving notification of the designation, may request a hearing regarding the determination. The request for a hearing shall be in writing and shall be filed with the municipal court or county court that has territorial jurisdiction over the residence of the dog’s owner, keeper, or harborer. At the hearing, the person who designated the dog as a nuisance dog, dangerous dog, or vicious dog has the burden of proving, by clear and convincing evidence, that the dog is a nuisance dog, dangerous dog, or vicious dog. The owner, keeper, or harborer of the dog or the person who designated the dog as a nuisance dog, dangerous dog, or vicious dog may appeal the court’s final determination as in any other case filed in that court.
      (4)   A court, upon motion of an owner, keeper, or harborer or an attorney representing the owner, keeper, or harborer, may order that the dog designated as a nuisance dog, dangerous dog, or vicious dog be held in the possession of the owner, keeper, or harborer until the court makes a final determination under this section or during the pendency of an appeal, as applicable. Until the court makes a final determination and during the pendency of any appeal, the dog shall be confined or restrained in accordance with the provisions of division (d) that apply to dangerous dogs regardless of whether the dog has been designated as a vicious dog or a nuisance dog rather than a dangerous dog. The owner, keeper, or harborer of the dog shall not be required to comply with any other requirements established in this Code or the Ohio Revised Code that concern a nuisance dog, dangerous dog, or vicious dog, as applicable, until the court makes a final determination and during the pendency of any appeal.
      (5)   If a dog is finally determined under this division (i), or on appeal as described in this division (i), to be a vicious dog, Ohio R.C 955.11(D) and divisions (d) to (h) of this section apply with respect to the dog and the owner, keeper, or harborer of the dog as if the dog were a dangerous dog, and Section 618.18 applies with respect to the dog as if it were a dangerous dog, and the court shall issue an order that specifies that those provisions apply with respect to the dog and the owner, keeper, or harborer in that manner. As part of the order, the court shall require the owner, keeper, or harborer to obtain the liability insurance required under division (d)(1) in an amount described in division (l)(5)B. of this section.
      (6)   As used in this division (i), “nuisance dog”, “dangerous dog”, and “vicious dog” have the same meanings as in Ohio R.C. 955.11.
(ORC 955.222)
   (j)   Penalty.
      (1)   Whoever recklessly violates divisions (a) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.
(ORC 951.99)
      (2)   A.   Whoever violates division (b) of this section or commits a violation of division (c) of this section that involves a dog that is not a nuisance dog, dangerous dog, or vicious dog shall be fined not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) or more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) on a first offense, and on each subsequent offense shall be fined not less than seventy- five dollars ($75.00) or more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) and may be imprisoned for not more than 30 days.
         B.   In addition to the penalties prescribed in division (j)(2)A. of this section, if the offender is guilty of a violation of division (c) of this section or a violation of division (c) of this section that involves a dog that is not a nuisance dog, dangerous dog, or vicious dog, the court may order the offender to personally supervise the dog that the offender owns, keeps, or harbors, to cause that dog to complete dog obedience training, or to do both.
(ORC 955.99(E))
      (3)   A.   Whoever commits a violation of division (c) of this section that involves a nuisance dog is guilty of a minor misdemeanor on the first offense and of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree on each subsequent offense involving the same dog. Upon a person being convicted of or pleading guilty to a third violation of division (c) of this section involving the same dog, the court shall require the offender to register the involved dog as a dangerous dog.
         B.   In addition to the penalties prescribed in division (j)(2)A. of this section, if a violation of division (c) of this section involves a nuisance dog, the court may order the offender to personally supervise the nuisance dog that the offender owns, keeps, or harbors, to cause that dog to complete dog obedience training, or to do both.
(ORC 955.99(F))
      (4)   Whoever commits a violation of division (c) of this section that involves a dangerous dog is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree on a 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, 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 (d) of this section. 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. With respect to a violation of division (c) of this section that involves a dangerous dog, until the court makes a final determination and during the pendency of any appeal of a violation of that division and at the discretion of the dog warden, the dog shall be confined or restrained in accordance with Ohio R.C. 955.22(D) or at the county dog pound at the owner’s expense.
(ORC 955.99(G))
      (5)   A.   Whoever commits a violation of division (c) of this section that involves a vicious dog is guilty of one of the following:
            1.   A felony to be prosecuted under appropriate state law if the dog kills or seriously injures a person. 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 at the owner’s expense.
            2.   A misdemeanor of the first degree if the dog causes serious injury to a person. Additionally, the court may order the vicious dog to be humanely destroyed by a licensed veterinarian, the county dog warden, or the county humane society at the owner’s expense.
         B.   If the court does not order the vicious dog to be destroyed under division (j)(5)A.2. of this section, the court shall issue an order that specifies that Ohio R.C. 955.11(D) and divisions (d) to (h) of this section apply with respect to the dog and the owner, keeper, or harborer of the dog as if the dog were a dangerous dog and that Section 618.18 applies with respect to the dog as if it were a dangerous dog. As part of the order, the court shall order the offender to obtain the liability insurance required under division (d)(1) of this section in an amount, exclusive of interest and costs, that equals or exceeds one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000). Until the court makes a final determination and during the pendency of any appeal of a violation of division (c) of this section and at the discretion of the dog warden, the dog shall be confined or restrained in accordance with the provisions described in Ohio R.C. 955.22(D) or at the county dog pound at the owner’s expense.
(ORC 955.99(H))
      (6)   Whoever violates division (d)(2) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.
(ORC 955.99(J))
      (7)   Whoever violates division (e)(1), (e)(2), or (e)(3) of this section is guilty of a felony to be prosecuted under appropriate state law. Additionally, the court shall order that the dog involved in the violation be humanely destroyed by a licensed veterinarian, the county dog warden, or the county humane society. Until the court makes a final determination and during the pendency of any appeal of a violation of division (e)(1), (e)(2), or (e)(3) of this section and at the discretion of the dog warden, the dog shall be confined or restrained in accordance with the provisions of Ohio R.C. 955.22(D) or at the county dog pound at the owner’s expense.
(ORC 955.99(L))
      (8)   Whoever violates division (d)(1), (d)(3), or (d)(4) of this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.
(ORC 955.99(M))
      (9)   Whoever violates division (h)(4) of this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.
(ORC 955.99(N))
      (10)   A.   If a dog is confined at the county dog pound pursuant to division (j)(4), (j)(5), or (j)(7) of this section, the county dog warden shall give written notice of the confinement to the owner of the dog. If the county dog warden is unable to give the notice to the owner of the dog, the county dog warden shall post the notice on the door of the residence of the owner of the dog or in another conspicuous place on the premises at which the dog was seized. The notice shall include a statement that a security in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100.00) is due to the county dog warden within ten days to secure payment of all reasonable expenses, including medical care and boarding of the dog for 60 days, expected to be incurred by the county dog pound in caring for the dog pending the determination. The county dog warden may draw from the security any actual costs incurred in caring for the dog.
         B.   If the person ordered to post security under division (j)(10)A. of this section does not do so within ten days of the confinement of the animal, the dog is forfeited, and the county dog warden may determine the disposition of the dog unless the court issues an order that specifies otherwise.
         C.   Not more than ten days after the court makes a final determination under division (j)(4), (j)(5), or (j)(7) of this section, the county dog warden shall provide the owner of the dog with the actual cost of the confinement of the dog. If the county dog warden finds that the security provided under division (j)(10)A. of this section is less than the actual cost of confinement of the dog, the owner shall remit the difference between the security provided and the actual cost to the county dog warden within 30 days after the court’s determination. If the county dog warden finds that the security provided under division (j)(10)A. of this section is greater than that actual cost, the county dog warden shall remit the difference between the security provided and the actual cost to the owner within 30 days after the court’s determination.
(ORC 955.99(P))
      (11)   As used in this division (j), “nuisance dog”, “dangerous dog”, and “vicious dog” have the same meanings as in Ohio R.C. 955.11.
(ORC 955.99(Q))