Bay Village revises city dog ordinances

The Bay Village City Council has completed a revision of the Chapter 505 "Animal and Fowl" ordinances, which includes the ordinances governing dogs in Bay Village. To establish a more effective remedy to prevent serious dog attacks, the Bay Village City Council has added the category of “nuisance dog” to the existing categories of “vicious dog” and “dangerous dog.”

A “vicious dog” is a dog which, without provocation, has killed or caused serious injury to any person. A “dangerous dog” is a dog which, without provocation, caused injury, other than killing or serious injury, to any person, or killed another dog, cat or other domestic animal while off the premises of the owner. 

The current revision adds a “nuisance dog” – one which, without provocation, and while off the premises of its owner: (1) chased or approached a person in either a menacing fashion or an apparent attitude of attack; (2) attempted to bite or otherwise endanger any person; or (3) aggressively bites any domestic animal.

If a dog is classified as a nuisance dog, the owner is required to meet additional requirements to keep the dog as with both the vicious dog and dangerous dog. These requirements include: (1) registering the dog with the police department; (2) posting a sign at the residence, which states a Nuisance Dog resides on the premises; (3) maintain liability insurance for bodily injury the dog could cause; and (4) special enclosure requirements when the dog is in the owner’s yard, including a heightened dog run.

In conjunction with enacting the category of nuisance dog, the revision expands the definition of “without provocation.” Under the prior ordinance, “provocation” was limited to an action involving a person, such as (1) a person teasing or abusing a dog or (2) coming to the aid or defense of a person not engaged in illegal activity and whose person or property was in imminent danger of physical harm.  Under the revised ordinance, “without provocation” shall mean that the dog was not: (1) being abused, teased, tormented or physically threatened or injured by a person; (2) abused or physically threatened or injured by an animal; (3) aggressively teased or tormented by an animal; (4) directing its behavior to a trespasser on the owner’s property; (5) coming to the defense of a person or domestic animal within the immediate vicinity of the dog; and (6) directing its behavior at a domestic animal running at large and unattended by a person.

Another section added to the revised ordinances is to address the growing use of electronic fences to retain a dog on the premises.  An “electronic pet containment system” is an electronic fence or collar that limits the movement of a dog. Such fencing must allow the dog to be no nearer than 10 feet away from any public sidewalk or property line to neighboring property. The owner of the property must clearly post a sign on their property to indicate that a dog is confined to the property by an electronic fence or electronic collar.

The complete revision of Chapter 505, and the entire code of ordinances, can be found at

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Volume 10, Issue 13, Posted 9:27 AM, 07.03.2018