No bull: "Vicious dog" label redefined under Ohio's new law
As of the end of May 2012, pit bull dogs are no longer deemed "vicious," according to a new bill that was passed into law in Ohio. Under the previous 25-year-old law, pit bulls were automatically classified as "vicious," regardless of an individual dog's temperament.
Going forward, no breed of dog in Ohio will be classified as vicious without reason. Under the new law, previous labels—including "vicious" and "dangerous"—will be redefined, and a new category of "nuisance" will be added. The law now defines a "vicious dog" as one that, without provocation, has killed or caused serious injury to any person. A "dangerous dog" is a dog that, without provocation, has caused injury (other than killing or serious injury) to any person or has killed another dog. A "nuisance dog" is defined as a dog that, without provocation and while off its caregiver's premises, has chased or approached a person in a menacing manner or attempted to bite a person.
Additionally, owners of dangerous dogs will now face stiffer penalties for violating the law and may in some cases be required to obtain liability insurance.