Legal-Ease: Ohio’s dog laws have real bite

Lee R. Schroeder is an Ohio licensed attorney with Schroeder Law LLC in Ottawa. He limits his practice to business, real estate, estate planning and agriculture issues in northwest Ohio. He can be reached at or at (419) 523-5523. This article is not intended to serve as legal advice, and specific advice should be sought from the licensed attorney of your choice based upon the specific facts and circumstances that you face.

Dogs are ubiquitous in northwest Ohio, and every dog needs a license. Dog kennels must also be licensed. These fees are collected not to be a moneymaker for the state, but rather for the administration of the dog registration and protection process.

Ohio law requires that every dog is supervised and controlled by its owner or the person who is responsible for the dog’s conduct. Additional duties are placed on the owner if the dog falls into the category of nuisance dog, dangerous dog or vicious dog based upon its past behavior.

An important role model and friend of mine owns a successful, family-operated dog kennel outside Ottawa. My friend knows that health professionals regularly extol the virtues of dogs as pets in helping people’s mental health. Personally, I could not imagine our family farm without our family dog. Dogs remain a big part of hunting and property protection in Ohio.

In Ohio, every dog needs a license, and dog kennels must also be licensed. Ohio law limits the license fees to amounts sufficient to administer the dog registration/licensing process and pay for one or more county dog wardens. The fees are not supposed to be used for anything other than administration of the dog registration and protection process. In other words, dog and kennel license fees cannot be a money-maker for other government programs.

Read more about Ohio laws regarding dogs in Lee’s article in the Lima News here: Legal-Ease: Ohio’s dog laws have real bite

Source:, “Legal-Ease: Ohio’s dog laws have real bite,” by Lee R. Schroeder, September 3, 2016

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