Known as the “Pre-Bite” Ordinance, it deals with the control of dogs to prevent an attack before it happens. It is designed to identify dogs showing signs of aggression, and outlines a process to take corrective action. Below is a summary of this ordinance. For the full PDF text of this ordinance.
Process for Classifying a Potential Nuisance Dog
- A resident calls the Avon Lake Police Department to report a dog showing signs of aggression (growling, charging, snarling, etc.)
- The person making the complaint, must:
- Be present when investigators arrive
- Sign a statement under the penalty of perjury
- Appear at any hearing related to this matter
- An investigation will take place and will include:
- Obtaining testimony from witnesses
- Gathering evidence (video, photos, damage, etc.)
- Determining the dog’s history (upbringing, where it came from, etc.)
- Interviewing both the person making the complaint and the dog’s owner
- A determination will be made — either:
- There is no current cause for alarm - behavior is not aggressive or is typical dog behavior; OR
- The dog is showing signs of aggression - the dog will be classified as a Potential Nuisance Dog
- The determination can be appealed.
- Appeals of this classification will go to the City’s Safety Director.
Owner Responsibilities for a Classified POTENTIAL NUISANCE DOG
- Post a sign that reads “Threat Dog”
- While the dog is ON the owner’s property, the classified dog must:
- Be securely confined indoors
- If outdoors, be under the direct supervision of a person of sufficient size and strength to control the dog, AND
- Be securely confined in a locked pen with a secured top; OR
- Be securely confined in a locked fenced yard at least six feet in height; OR
- Be kept restrained by a non-retractable leash or tether no longer than six feet in length securely attached to the ground or a fixed or stationary object.
- While the dog is OFF the owner’s property, the classified dog must:
- Be restrained by a non-retractable leash no longer than six feet in length; AND
- Be controlled by a person of sufficient size and strength to control the dog; AND
- Be muzzled; AND
- Wear a neon yellow leash, collar, harness, vest, or other garment that is visible from at least 15 feet away.
Process for Declassifying a Potential Nuisance Dog
Potential Nuisance Dogs may be declassified if:
- For one year, following classification, there have been no aggressive or “nuisance” dog behaviors; AND
- No violations of this ordinance; AND
- Obedience training has been satisfactorily completed; AND
- The owner applies in writing to the Avon Lake Police Department.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding a dog’s behavior, please call the Avon Lake Police Department at 440-933-4567.
This is only a summary, for the full PDF text of this ordinance.