CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Ohio Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that an owner of a dog that has a history of being dangerous can be criminally charged.
The court’s decision now allows prosecution to pursue a charge for failing to contain and control a dangerous dog, a fourth-degree misdemeanor, if it’s believed the dog has a threatening history.
The decision stems from a First District Court of Appeals case involving a dog attack at a Cincinnati-area apartment complex.
Watch the May 2019 Ohio Supreme Court’s oral argument of the case:
An official designation of a “dangerous dog” is no longer required before charges are presented, according to the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision.
A 2012 state law required a dog warden to designate a dog as “dangerous” before an owner can be accused of crimes related to handling their pets. Dogs deemed dangerous are required to be leashed or muzzled when not on the owner’s property.