Department of Animal Care and Control
"BREEDS OF DOGS COMMONLY KNOWN AS PIT BULLS"
What is a Pit Bull?
Ohio Revised Code Section 955.11 (A)(4)(a)(iii) defines a "breed of dog commonly known as
a pit bull" as a vicious dog. For enforcement purposes, the term "a breed of dog commonly
known as a pit bull" refers to any of the following:
- An American Pit Bull Terrier
- A Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- An American Staffordshire Terrier
- An American Bulldog
Any other pure bred or mixed breed dog whose appearance and physical
characteristics is predominately those of any of the dogs listed above, or is a
combination of any of the dogs listed above.
Confining Pit Bull Dogs
(Ohio Revised Code Section 955.22D)
Dogs that are a "breed of dog commonly known as a Pit Bull" must be confined on the owner's
property by means of a locked fenced yard, a locked dog pen that has a top, or some other
locked enclosure that has a top (such as a house). This law applies not only to pure bred
American Pit Bull dogs, but also to other pure bred and mixed breed dogs that have similar
physical and/or behavioral characteristics. Animal Control Officers make the determination
as to whether or not a dog is a "breed of dog commonly known as a Pit Bull." The maximum
penalty for a violation of this section on a first offense is a $1,000 fine and up to six
months imprisonment. If the dog seriously injures a person, or this is a second offense of
this section, the charge may be filed as a felony.
Insuring Pit Bull Dogs
(Ohio Revised Code Section 955.22E)
Owners of dogs that are a "breed of dog commonly known as a Pit Bull" must maintain at least
$100,000 of liability insurance coverage on these animals. The maximum penalty for a violation
of this section is a $1,000 fine and up to six months imprisonment.
If you have any questions regarding these laws, please contact a Field Supervisor at the
Department of Animal Control's Enforcement Division at (614)462-3400.