Ohio law requires dog owners to keep their pets under control, including using leashes when in public.
Most Ohioans can own dogs, but there are exceptions. The state prohibits anyone who is convicted of or pleads guilty to a felony of violence from owning certain dogs for up to three years after release from prison or until the person’s final release from other sanctions. Prohibited dogs include unspayed and unneutered dogs 12 weeks of age or older, or a dog that is considered dangerous.
Beyond state statutes, municipalities also have their own pet-related laws. Here are some of those regulations in Ohio’s four largest cities.
Columbus, Ohio Pet Laws
Franklin County, which includes Columbus, requires owners to license dogs 3 months and older. You must also have your dogs vaccinated against rabies before you can purchase a license. Violators can be fined and could be jailed for up to 30 days.
Dog owners in Columbus must keep their pets on a leash or under “direct control.” Direct control means your pet will come, sit and stay on command. An owner may not loose his pet on other people’s property.
Columbus also limits the time a dog can be tied up outside. Dogs should not be leashed outside alone between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am or if the National Weather Service or government authority issues a heat or cold advisory. The regulation also limits the types of collars and chains pet owners can use to tether their dog.
The county has dangerous, vicious and nuisance dog regulations that go into effect based on the incident. Dangerous and vicious dogs must also be confined to the owner’s property and the person must obtain a dangerous dog tag from the county auditor’s office. Failure to obtain a dangerous identification tag is considered a fourth degree misdemeanor on the first offense with a maximum fine of $250 and 30 days in jail.
Dog owners deemed “ferocious” must have at least $100,000 of liability insurance coverage. Owners of dogs deemed “dangerous” may be required to carry at least $100,000 of liability insurance.
Cleveland Pet Laws
Cleveland regulations limit households to no more than two dogs (excluding puppies 3 months or younger).
Dog owners must be licensed for dogs older than 3 months. Owners must keep their pets on a leash on public property and in parks. Your dog must be under control at all times.
Cleveland also limits when and how long a person can leave a dog on a leash alone outside. For example, you may not leash a dog outside for more than six hours in a 24-hour period and no more than two consecutive hours with no less than one hour between leashes. You also may not leash a dog outside between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. or if a state or local authority or the National Weather Service implements a heat or cold advisory or severe weather warning.
The city also has regulations for specific dog breeds, including American Pit Bulls, Pit Bull Terriers, and Staffordshire Terriers. If you have one of those dogs, you must register it with the city and show proof of at least $50,000 in liability insurance.
Cincinnati Pet Laws
Cincinnati dog owners must register dogs 3 months of age or older. Hamilton County offers annual, three-year, and permanent dog licenses.
Dog owners must clean up their dog’s waste when it is on public property or someone else’s property.
Cincinnati prohibits pets from being tied up outside between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am, if the owner is not home, or for no more than six hours in a 24-hour period. Dogs may not stay outside for more than an hour when the temperature is above 90 or below 20 degrees, during severe weather warnings, and without adequate shelter, food, and water.
Toledo Ohio pet laws
Toledo residents must register dogs 3 months and older. You can get a one-year, three-year, or permanent dog license.
Toledo regulations say that a public nuisance can include a dog that barks continuously for at least 15 minutes or barks repeatedly for 30 minutes. A dog left unattended for 24 hours can also be considered a nuisance.
Dog owners in Toledo may not leash their dog unattended for more than 30 minutes and must do so separately. Dogs may remain on a leash for more than 30 minutes if the dog’s owner or handler is present in the yard where the dog is on a leash.
Leashes must prevent dogs from being at least 10 feet from the edge of any public street, alley, sidewalk, or right of way. You may not leash your dog within 500 feet of a school within one hour before school begins or within one hour of the end of the school day (or any time children reasonably travel to and from school ).
The county or municipal court having jurisdiction over the residence conducts any hearing on the designation of a nuisance, dangerous, or vicious dog. This could happen after a dog bites a person or another animal.