As Introduced

127th General Assembly
Regular Session
2007-2008
H. B. No. 366


Representative Webster 

Cosponsor: Representative Schindel 



A BILL
To amend sections 955.11 and 955.221 of the Revised Code to remove pit bulls from the definition of "vicious dog" in state law and to authorize the adoption of local ordinances or resolutions that define "dangerous dog" and "vicious dog" more broadly than state law defines those terms.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That sections 955.11 and 955.221 of the Revised Code be amended to read as follows:
Sec. 955.11.  (A) As used in this section:
(1)(a) "Dangerous dog" means a dog that, without provocation, and subject to division (A)(1)(b) of this section, has chased or approached in either a menacing fashion or an apparent attitude of attack, or has attempted to bite or otherwise endanger any person, while that dog is off the premises of its owner, keeper, or harborer and not under the reasonable control of its owner, keeper, harborer, or some other responsible person, or not physically restrained or confined in a locked pen which that has a top, locked fenced yard, or other locked enclosure which that has a top.
(b) "Dangerous dog" does not include a police dog that has chased or approached in either a menacing fashion or an apparent attitude of attack, or has attempted to bite or otherwise endanger any person while the police dog is being used to assist one or more law enforcement officers in the performance of their official duties.
(2) "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.
(3) "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.
(4)(a) "Vicious dog" means a dog that, without provocation and subject to division (A)(4)(b) of this section, meets any either of the following:
(i) Has killed or caused serious injury to any person;
(ii) Has caused injury, other than killing or serious injury, to any person, or has killed another dog.
(iii) Belongs to a breed that is commonly known as a pit bull dog. The ownership, keeping, or harboring of such a breed of dog shall be prima-facie evidence of the ownership, keeping, or harboring of a vicious dog.
(b) "Vicious dog" does not include either of the following:
(i) A police dog that has killed or caused serious injury to any person or that has caused injury, other than killing or 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;
(ii) 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.
(5) "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.
(B) Upon the transfer of ownership of any dog, the seller of the dog shall give the buyer a transfer of ownership certificate that shall be signed by the seller. The certificate shall contain the registration number of the dog, the name of the seller, and a brief description of the dog. Blank forms of the certificate may be obtained from the county auditor. A transfer of ownership shall be recorded by the auditor upon presentation of a transfer of ownership certificate that is signed by the former owner of a dog and that is accompanied by a fee of twenty-five cents.
(C) Prior to the transfer of ownership or possession of any dog, upon the buyer's or other transferee's request, the seller or other transferor of the dog shall give to the person a written notice relative to the behavior and propensities of the dog.
(D) Within ten days after the transfer of ownership or possession of any dog, if the seller or other transferor of the dog has knowledge that the dog is a dangerous or vicious dog, he the seller or other transferor shall give to the buyer or other transferee, the board of health for the district in which the buyer or other transferee resides, and the dog warden of the county in which the buyer or other transferee resides, a completed copy of a written form on which the seller shall furnish the following information:
(1) The name and address of the buyer or other transferee of the dog;
(2) The age, sex, color, breed, and current registration number of the dog.
In addition, the seller shall answer the following questions, which shall be specifically stated on the form as follows:
"Has the dog ever chased or attempted to attack or bite a person? If yes, describe the incident(s) in which the behavior occurred."
"Has the dog ever bitten a person? If yes, describe the incident(s) in which the behavior occurred."
"Has the dog ever seriously injured or killed a person? If yes, describe the incident(s) in which the behavior occurred."
The dog warden of the county in which the seller resides shall furnish the form to the seller at no cost.
(E) No seller or other transferor of a dog shall fail to comply with the applicable requirements of divisions (B) to (D) of this section.
Sec. 955.221.  (A) For the purposes of this section, ordinances or resolutions to control dogs include, but are not limited to, ordinances or resolutions concerned with the ownership, keeping, or harboring of dogs, the restraint of dogs, dogs as public nuisances, and dogs as a threat to public health, safety, and welfare, except that such ordinances or resolutions as permitted in division (B) of this section shall not prohibit the use of any dog which that is lawfully engaged in hunting or training for the purpose of hunting while accompanied by a licensed hunter. However, such dogs at all other times and in all other respects shall be subject to the ordinance or resolution permitted by this section, unless actually in the field and engaged in hunting or in legitimate training for such that purpose. Ordinances or resolutions to control dogs that are adopted pursuant to this section may define "dangerous dog" or "vicious dog" more broadly than those terms are defined in section 955.11 of the Revised Code, and such expanded definitions shall not be considered to be in conflict with the Revised Code.
(B)(1) A board of county commissioners may adopt and enforce resolutions to control dogs within the unincorporated areas of the county that are not otherwise in conflict with any other provision of the Revised Code.
(2) A board of township trustees may adopt and enforce resolutions to control dogs within the township that are not otherwise in conflict with any other provision of the Revised Code, if the township is located in a county where the board of county commissioners has not adopted resolutions to control dogs within the unincorporated areas of the county under this section. In the event that the board of county commissioners adopts resolutions to control dogs in the county after a board of township trustees has adopted resolutions to control dogs within the township, the resolutions adopted by the county board of county commissioners prevail over the resolutions adopted by the board of township trustees.
(3) A municipal corporation may adopt and enforce ordinances to control dogs within the municipal corporation that are not otherwise in conflict with any other provision of the Revised Code.
(C) No person shall violate any resolution or ordinance adopted under this section.
Section 2. That existing sections 955.11 and 955.221 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.