Overview of Akron, Ohio Dog Ordinances

January 28, 2013

Dog Bites

Akron Ohio dog ordinancesThe city of Akron, Ohio addresses many topics in its local dog ordinances.

Some of the laws applying to every dog owner in Akron include licensing laws and rabies vaccination regulations.  All dogs who reach three months of age or dogs that have been acquired in the last 30 days must be licensed, and then re-licensed annually.  Akron residents can obtain licenses at the Summit County Services Department, 1030 E. Tallmadge Ave. from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.  In addition, all dogs must be vaccinated for rabies by a licensed veterinarian within 30 days of reaching three months of age.

Akron also has a leash law which requires all dogs to be restrained by a leash and under control at all times that the dog is off the owner’s property.

Owners of barking dogs, reported as a nuisance, may be subject to violations and possible criminal prosecution if complaints are repetitive.

A dog that bites a person or a domestic animal, on or off the dog owner’s property, may be seized by the Animal Warden.  Any dog inflicting a bite on a mail carrier, meter reader, delivery person, utility company or city employee or any dog that inflicts serious bodily harm to any person, on or off the dog owner’s property, can be deemed vicious and the owner subject to penalties including having the dog banned from the city.

Under the new Ohio law, passed in May 2012, a vicious dog is any dog that, without provocation, kills or seriously injures a person.  This definition does not include dogs who kill or cause injury to a trespasser or someone attempting to commit serious offenses on the owner’s property.  Pit bulls used to be included in the vicious classification, but are no longer singled out unless they meet the vicious definition.

A dangerous dog is any dog that, without provocation, injures a person, kills another dog, or is caught running loose three or more times. A dog that chases or tries to bite a person without provocation is considered a nuisance.

Owners of all three of these classifications of dogs—vicious, dangerous and nuisance–must adhere to certain requirements under the revised statute.  They cannot debark dangerous or vicious dogs and dangerous, vicious, and nuisance dogs must all be micro-chipped.  Dangerous and vicious dogs must be kept in locked pens with a roof or in a locked fenced yard even if they are on the owner’s property.

When not on the owner’s property, dangerous and vicious dogs must be on chain tethers no longer than six feet and must be muzzled.  Owners of dangerous and vicious dogs must post warning signs on their property about their animals and must carry a minimum of $100,000 in liability insurance.

Akron has several regulated breeds whose owners must meet certain requirements.  These are defined in the pamphlet.  The penalties for not following the Akron ordinances on regulated breeds are also provided.  The regulated breeds are Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, Canary Dog, Perra de Presa Canario, American Bull Dog, Old Country Bull Dog or any mixed breed which contains elements of one or more of the latter breeds.

For more on this topic, the city of Akron publishes a very informative brochure titled Your Dog, Your Responsibility.

If you or a loved one has become the victim of a dog bite anywhere in Ohio, please contact the Ohio law firm of Slater & Zurz LLP for a free consultation.  Call 1-888-321-0274 or send a message from the firm’s web site, www.slaterzurz.comto schedule a time to talk that is convenient for you.

Slater & Zurz LLP has offices in Akron, Canton, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. To learn more about Ohio dog bite laws and actions you can take as a dog-bite victim, visit dogbitesohio.com.

A dog bite can be a very serious injury and on some occasions can even be disfiguring or life-threatening.  It is important to try to find out if the dog has been vaccinated for rabies and if it has a history of biting people.  The experienced Ohio dog bite lawyers at Slater & Zurz LLP are here to help you discover the answers to these questions and to determine if you should seek compensation for the negligence of dog owners who may not have safeguarded their animal(s).

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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