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Ohio Dog Law


Liability Statute

The owner or keeper of a dog is strictly liable in damages for any injury, death, or personal loss caused by the dog, unless, at the time of the injury, the victim was committing or attempting to commit a trespass or other criminal offense on the property of the owner or keeper, or unless the injured person was committing or attempting to commit a criminal offense against any person, or was teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog on the owner's or keeper's property.

Dangerous Dog Statute

Meaning of a “Dangerous Dog”

A dangerous dog is 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
  • a dog whose owner has previously been cited for failing to sufficiently restrain the dog from escape or failed to keep the dog under control

Meaning of a “Vicious Dog”

A “vicious dog” is a dog that, without provocation, has killed or caused serious injury to any person.

The owner of a dog who bites a person without being provoked may be subject to criminal prosecution.

Ordinances or resolutions to control dogs include the restraint of dogs, except that such ordinances or resolutions shall not prohibit the use of any dog which is lawfully engaged in hunting or training for the purpose of hunting while accompanied by a licensed hunter.

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