Wed | Jan 23, 2019

New Cincinnati law on dog bites allows big fines for owners

Published:Friday | March 6, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Malia Ebel, left, walks her dogs, Seymour, left, and Sanders, both Cavalier King Charles spaniel mixes, alongside Wendy Olcott and her golden retriever, Sunny.


A new Cincinnati law meant to hold pet owners accountable for dog bites allows for fines of up to $15,000.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the law adopted Wednesday stops short of criminalising dog bites. Councilman Kevin Flynn said the target is bad owners, not specific dogs or breeds.

The law allows police to cite owners civilly with fines of up to $5,000 the first time, and up to $15,000 for repeat offences. Owners also can be fined if dogs run unattended, aren't kept on leashes or attempt to bite someone.

Flynn said the law doesn't cover organised dogfighting, which can be criminally prosecuted in Ohio.

Mayor John Cranley had proposed more breed-specific legislation targeting dogs considered to be pit bulls, but he supported the compromise approved by council.