Potential Nuisance Dog

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

  1. 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
  1. 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
  1. 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
  1. 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
  1. Post a sign that reads “Threat Dog”
  2. 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.
  1. 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:

  1. For one year, following classification, there have been no aggressive or “nuisance” dog behaviors; AND
  2. No violations of this ordinance; AND
  3. Obedience training has been satisfactorily completed; AND
  4. The owner applies in writing to the Avon Lake Police Department.

If there are any questions about this ordinance, please contact Councilman David Kos by email: DKos@avonlake.org or call 440-930-7737.

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.