Changes To Swanton’s Dog Ordinance

The state of Ohio has changed their dog laws and has moved away from breed-specific, but the village of Swanton has decided to not follow the lead.

“The Village of Swanton has conducted a legal review of our existing dog regulations, and this research has indicated these ordinances are legal and constitutional in the state of Ohio,” said Swanton Administrator Jon Gochenour. The village of Swanton will keep their existing regulations in regards to breed-specific dogs, considering all “pit bull” –type dogs to be dangerous.

One Swanton family has a dog caught in the middle of the dog controversy. Their mixed-breed dog, Bailey, has to be registered with the police department and be held to other requirements such as muzzling in public. But the dog’s family has decided to not register the dog because they do not believe that their dog is dangerous, and they have also had DNA testing done to conclude that Bailey is less than 50-percent “pit bull,” which is the standard set up by the state.

It is thought that the village’s law puts a burden on its dog-owning residents. A petition has been signed by 775 individuals challenging the law.

While this is a hot topic for dog owners everywhere, our office is simply concerned with safety and the prevention of dog bites. We have highlighted the dangerous breeds of dogs within our blog, and pit bulls are the top breed for injuries and fatalities.

As the village of Swanton will continue to assess their dog ordinance with residents, we would like to simply share safety tips to readers if the come in contact with a vicious dog:

  • A dog’s instinct is to chase someone who is running. Walk calmly past a dog so you do not draw attention to yourself.
  • If threatened by a dangerous dog, remain motionless. Back away slowly without screaming or yelling.
  • If near a strange dog, do not approach them.
  • If you choose to pet a dog, allow them to sniff you before. Do not pet a strange dog.
  • If you think you will be attacked by a dog, try to put an object between you and the dog (i.e. a backpack, bicycle, or other object).

We remind readers to prevent dog bite attacks any way that they can. To read more safety tips and statistics, visit If you or a loved one has been attacked by a dog, call our Ohio dog bite attorneys at 800.637.8170.



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