In Wooster, Ohio, no person may possess, harbor or keep a vicious animal, which includes any Pit Bull dog. A violation is a misdemeanor of the first degree. The dog or other vicious animal may be removed from the City or be humanely destroyed.
505.14 DANGEROUS AND VICIOUS ANIMALS.
(a) As used in this section:
(1) "Animal Control Officer" means the person employed by or under contract with the City for animal control services.
(2) "Dangerous animal" means an animal that, without provocation, has chased or approached in either a menacing fashion or an apparent attitude of attack, or has bitten or attempted to bite or otherwise endanger any person, or has bitten another animal, while the former animal 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. Further, a "dangerous animal" means an animal that without provocation has bitten any person while on the premises of its owner, keeper or harborer. "Dangerous animal" does not include a police canine unit.
(3) "Menacing fashion" means that an animal would cause any person being chased or approached to reasonably believe that the animal will cause physical injury to that person.
(4) "Police canine unit" means a dog that has been trained for law enforcement work and is used to assist one or more law enforcement officers or Animal Control Officers in the performance of their official duties for the City.
(5) "Vicious animal" means an animal that, without provocation, meets any of the following
A. Has killed or caused serious injury to any person;
B. Has caused injury, other than killing or serious injury, to any person, or has killed another animal;
C. 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. As used herein, “Pit Bull dog” shall include, but not be limited to, any of the following: American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier or American Staffordshire Terrier, or any mixed breed of dog which includes as an element of its breeding any of the aforementioned breeds as to be identifiable as partially of any of the aforementioned breed.
(6) "Vicious animal" does not include either of the following:
A. A police canine unit.
B. An animal that has killed or caused serious injury to any person while a person was committing or attempting to commit a criminal offense on the property of the owner, keeper or harborer of the animal
(7) "Without provocation" means that the animal was not teased, tormented or abused by a person, or that the animal was not coming to the aid or the defense of a member of its owner's household who was not engaged in illegal or criminal activity and who was not using the animal as a means of carrying out such activity.
(b) No owner, keeper or harborer of a dangerous animal shall fail to do the following:
(1) While that animal is on the premises of the owner, keeper or harborer, or on the premises of another, securely confine it at all times in a building, in a locked pen, which has a top, locked fenced yard or other locked enclosure which has a top, or other humane restraint sufficient to prevent it from escaping or from attacking or biting any person with privilege to enter upon the property.
(2) While the animal is being led on any sidewalk, street or public place, keep it restrained by a choker collar on a leash or tether that is not more than six feet in length and of sufficient strength to restrain the animal, which is controlled by a person who is of suitable age, strength and discretion, and keep a muzzle on the animal.
(c) No person shall sell, permanently transfer or change the location of a dangerous animal without first notifying in writing any person who will become the owner, keeper or harborer of such animal that the animal is dangerous, and also notifying the Humane Society in writing of the pending sale, transfer or change of location of that animal. Such notification to the Humane Society shall include the name, address and phone number of the person who will be the owner, keeper or harborer of that animal and the location where it will be kept.
(d) No owner, keeper or harborer of a dangerous animal shall allow it to run at large.
(e) No person shall possess, harbor or keep a vicious animal within the City.
(f) No person shall possess, harbor or keep an animal for the purpose of animal fighting or train, torment, badger, bait or use any animal for the purpose of causing or encouraging the animal to attack human beings or domestic animals.
(g) Whoever violates subsection (b) or (c) hereof is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree on a first offense and of a misdemeanor of the third degree on each subsequent offense. Additionally, the Court may order the dangerous animal to be removed from the City or be humanely destroyed by a licensed veterinarian.
(h) Whoever violates subsection (e) hereof, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree. Additionally, the Court shall order the vicious animal to be removed from the City or to be humanely destroyed by a licensed veterinarian.
(i) Whoever violates subsections (d) or (f) hereof is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree. Additionally, the Court may order the animal to be removed from the City or be humanely destroyed by a licensed veterinarian.
(Ord. 2000-23. Passed 6-19-00.)