Ohio

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Titlesort descending Summary
Langford v. Emergency Pet Clinic


Plaintiff-appellant Edna L. Langford appeals from summary judgments granted in favor of defendants-appellees, Emergency Pet Clinic and Animal Kingdom Pet Cemetery, arising out of the death and interment of her dog, Bozie, who was buried in a mass grave contrary to her wishes.  Since plaintiff did not satisfy the requirements necessary to bring a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress (to wit, the extreme and outrageous element and proof of mental anguish beyond her capacity to endure it ), the appellate court held that the lower court did not err in finding no basis for the claim.  The court also disallowed her claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress as plaintiff was neither a bystander to an accident nor in fear of physical harm to her own person. 

Lay v. Chamberlain Chamberlain owned a dog breeding kennel with over one hundred fifty dogs. An investigation was conducted when the Sheriff's Office received complaints about the condition of the animals. Observations indicated the kennel was hot, overcrowded, and poorly ventilated. The dogs had severely matted fur, were sick or injured, and lived in cages covered in feces. Dog food was moldy and water bowls were dirty. Many cages were stacked on top of other cages, allowing urine and feces to fall on the dogs below. A court order was granted to remove the dogs. The humane society, rescue groups, and numerous volunteers assisted by providing food, shelter, grooming and necessary veterinary care while Chamberlain's criminal trial was pending. Chamberlain was convicted of animal cruelty. The organizations and volunteers sued Chamberlain for compensation for the care provided to the animals. The trial court granted the award and the appellate court affirmed. Ohio code authorized appellees' standing to sue for the expenses necessary to prevent neglect to the animals. The evidence was sufficient to support an award for damages for the humane society, the rescue groups, and the individual volunteers that protected and provided for the well-being of the dogs during the months of the trial.
Lewis v. Chovan


This Ohio case raises the issue of whether an employee of a pet grooming establishment is a "keeper" under state law, thereby preventing the application of strict liability for injury. The employee

was bitten by dog while attempting to assist the establishment's owner and another employee in giving the dog a bath. She then brought an action against dog's owners asserting, among other things, that the owners were strictly liable for her injuries. The court relied on its previous definition of the word "keeper" in the context of R.C. 955.28(B) as "one having physical charge or care of the dogs." Based upon this precedent, the court found that a person who is responsible for exercising physical control over a dog is a "keeper" even if that control is only temporary.

Long v. Noah's Lost Ark, Inc.


Owner of lion cub sued animal shelter for refusing to return the cub to him, alleging breach of contract, conversion, replevin, fraud, and intentional misrepresentation.  The Trial Court granted summary judgment for plaintiff and defendant appealed.  On appeal, the Court affirmed for plaintiff, as plaintiff had established that he was the legal owner of the lion and was entitled to possession.

McDonald v. Ohio State Univ. Veterinary Hospital


After defendant filed a stipulation admitting liability for a botched surgery on defendant's show dog that ultimately led to euthanization, a trial was held as to the issue of damages.  Evidence adduced at trial showed that "Nemo" had been trained by plaintiff as a Schutzhund or "sport dog" in Schutzhund schooling.  The court noted that while dogs are considered personal property in Ohio and market value is the standard award for such personal property, market value in this case was merely a "guideline."  In addition to the loss of the specially trained dog, the court also found significant the loss of stud fees for the dog and potential future gains in sustaining the trial court's award of $5,000 in damages.  

Oberschlake v. Veterinary Assoc. Animal Hosp.


This is the story of “Poopi,” a dog who tried to sue for emotional distress and failed. As the court observed, "Whether or not one agrees with the view that pets are more than personal property, it is clear that Ohio does not recognize noneconomic damages for injury to companion animals." While the court noted that one Ohio case has apparently left open the door for recover of distress damages, "the mental anguish in such situations must be ‘so serious and of a nature that no reasonable man could be expected to endure it.’ Even conceding the bond between many humans and their pets, the burden is one that would be very difficult to meet." Indeed, the court found that the burden was not met here.

OH - Assistance Animals - Consolidated Assistance Animal Laws


The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and guide dog laws.

OH - Bald Eagle - Chapter 4503. Licensing of Motor Vehicles. This Ohio statute provides that funds derived from bald eagle license plates sales are used exclusively to acquire, develop, and restore habitat for bald eagles in Ohio.
OH - Breeder - Chapter 956. Dog Breeding Kennels; Dog Retailers. This section represents Ohio's commercial dog breeding laws. Under the chapter, a "high volume breeder" is defined as an establishment that keeps, houses, and maintains six or more breeding dogs and: (1) In return for a fee or other consideration, sells five or more adult dogs or puppies in any calendar year to dog brokers or pet stores; (2) In return for a fee or other consideration, sells forty or more puppies in any calendar year to the public; or (3) Keeps, houses, and maintains, at any given time in a calendar year, more than forty puppies that are under four months of age, that have been bred on the premises of the establishment, and that have been primarily kept, housed, and maintained from birth on the premises of the establishment. High volume breeders have additional duties under the law related to well-being of the dogs kept. The chapter also details requirements for licenses and/or registrations for high volume breeders, rescues, and dog brokers. Inspections are also outlined in the chapter, with high volume breeders having a requirement of at least one inspection annually. Penalties for violation of provisions, availability of injunctions, and revocation of licenses is also covered.
OH - Cemeteries, Pet - Chapter 961. Pet Cemeteries This Ohio chapter concerns the establishment of "pet cemeteries." The owner of land used for a pet cemetery must file a declaration in the county recorder's office that the land is to be used only for such purposes. Unless the deed restriction is removed, no person shall use land restricted as provided in this section for any purpose other than for pet cemetery purposes. The pet cemetery must be at least three acres in size and the owner must comply with deposit requirements described under the "endowment care fund." Violation of the provisions relating to& the land use restriction (961.02), the size of the pet cemetery (961.03), or the endowment care fund requirement (961.04) results in a fine of up to $5,000 or imprisonment for up to one year, or both.

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