Ohio Service Dog Laws

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Definitions

“Assistance dog” means a guide dog, hearing dog, or service dog that has been trained by a nonprofit special agency.

“Guide dog” means a dog that has been trained or is in training to assist a blind person.
“Hearing dog” means a dog that has been trained or is in training to assist a deaf or hearing-impaired person.

“Service dog” means a dog that has been trained or is in training to assist a mobility impaired person.

RC § 955.011

Accommodation Law

When either a blind, deaf or hearing impaired, or mobility impaired person or a trainer of an assistance dog is accompanied by an assistance dog, the person or the trainer, as applicable, is entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of all public conveyances, hotels, lodging places, all places of public accommodation, amusement, or resort, all institutions of education, and other places to which the general public is invited.

R.C. § 955.43

Harassment of/Interference with Service Dogs

Assaulting an assistance dog:

No person shall knowinglycause, or attempt to cause, physical harm to an assistance dog if dog is engaged in assisting blind, deaf or hearing impaired, or mobility impaired person at the time or the person has actual knowledge that the dog is an assistance dog.

A misdemeanor of the second degree unless:

  • death of assistance animal – felony of the third degree if results
  • serious physical harm to the assistance dog other than its death – felony of the fourth degree
  • physical harm to the assistance dog other than death or serious physical harm – misdemeanor of the first degree

Harassing an assistance dog:

No person shall recklessly:

  • taunt, torment, or strike an assistance dog
  • throw an object or substance at an assistance dog
  • interfere with or obstruct an assistance dog
  • releases the dog from its area of control
  • enters the area of control of the dog without the consent of the assisted or served person, including placing food or any other object or substance into that area
  • inhibits or restricts the ability of the dog to assist the assisted or served person

Harassing an assistance dog is a misdemeanor of the second degree unless:

  • death of the assistance dog – felony of the third degree
  • serious physical harm to the assistance dog, but does not result in its death – felony of the fourth degree
  • physical harm to the assistance dog, but does not result in its death or in serious physical harm to it – misdemeanor of the first degree

RC § 2921.321

Driving Law

The driver of every vehicle shall yield the right of way to every blind pedestrian guided by a guide dog.

Violation is a minor misdemeanor.

R.C. § 4511.47

Licensing Law

When an application is made for registration of an assistance dog and the owner can show proof by certificate or other means that the dog is an assistance dog, the owner of the dog shall be exempt from any fee for the registration.

R.C. § 955.011