A closer look at the Ohio law regarding allegedly aggressive dogs


TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – An off-duty Toledo police officer shot and killed a dog on Sunday. The officer called the TPD dispatcher to report that the dog allegedly charged him on his property.

According to police records, the officer said it was a medium-sized dog. The officer said he was on the side of his house with his own dog, when the other dog assaulted them. He discharged his city-issued gun at the dog, killing it.

Now on to the question of the law in Ohio when it comes to shooting a dog you believe to be aggressive. We went to an expert to get answers.

Stephen Heaven is the head of the Toledo Humane Society.

“As an animal welfare agency, we prefer that animals are not injured or killed, but we realize that under certain circumstances this will happen.” And when it does. “Ohio law is pretty clear.”

Heaven says there are specific guidelines in the revised Ohio code when it comes to who or what a dog is threatening or attacking.

“If an animal attacks or pursues livestock or aggressively threatens you, you can kill it. You are prohibited from killing it if it pursues or attacks a domestic cat or a domestic dog.

Heaven says the good news is that random dog attacks are a relatively rare situation in our area.

“It is unusual for a running dog to approach someone and attack them.”

When that happens, Heaven says it’s important to remember that these situations often boil down to a split-second decision.

“It’s easy for people to guess what happened or what would have happened, but if you feel unsafe at the time, you are probably justified in doing so. “

There are some simple things you can do to try and prevent an attack in the first place.

“If there’s a place you can take it easy or go somewhere safe, do it. Do not approach the animal and do not make sudden movements or noises. Stay still and step back.

Heaven adds that if you can, get in a car or house and call the police or your local dog sitter for help.

“I hope that if a situation like this arises, you will have time to take a deep breath, consider the situation, assess your options and take the appropriate action.”

Heaven emphasizes that any dog ​​can bite, so don’t be judgmental about a certain breed of dog.

Again, call your local police department or dog guard if you come across an aggressive dog.

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