Vicious Dog Registration

The vicious dog must be registered with the City of Cleveland Heights within 10 days of the date the dog is first brought into the city and thereafter on an annual basis on or before January 31 of each calendar year.

To register, go to the Treasury Window; you must show proof of $100,000 liability insurance that insures you against any claim, loss damage, or injury to persons, domestic animals or property resulting from the acts of your dog. Such insurance must be maintained and proof of it may be requested by a law enforcement officer. You must bring a photo of the animal and pay $20 to register.

Vicious Dog Ordinance   

The owner of a vicious dog has a great responsibility to neighbors and the public. In order to meet that responsibility, regulations have been established that must be followed. It is believed that dog owners who follow these requirements will reduce the likelihood that their dog will be involved in a bite. In addition, neighbors and people who pass by the dogs when the dogs are in the yard or are being walked will be less likely to feel threatened by the dog.

"Vicious dog" means a dog that has attacked any person with such severity or has caused such physical harm so as to cause a reasonable person to conclude that the dog presents a substantial risk to the safety of any person, or has killed another domestic animal.

If you have a vicious dog, the following is necessary to comply with the law:

Registration:  The vicious dog must be registered with the City of Cleveland Heights within 10 days of the date the dog is first brought into the city and thereafter on an ANNUAL BASIS ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 31 OF EACH CALENDAR YEAR. To register, you must show proof of $100,000.00 liability insurance that insures you against any claim, loss damage, or injury to persons, domestic animals or property resulting from the acts of your dog. Such insurance must be maintained and proof of it may be requested by a law enforcement officer. You must bring a photo of the animal and pay $20 to register.

Confinement:  When your dog is at home, it must be securely confined indoors or, if outside, confined in a securely enclosed and locked pen or dog run area. The pen or dog run must have secure sides and a secure top.

Walking:  When you take your dog off of your property, you must have it muzzled and it must be securely leashed on a chain no more than three (3) feet long, with at least 300 lbs. of tensile strength.

Notice: You must post a sign conspicuously on your property visible to any person approaching the property from the street that states that a vicious dog is present on the premises.

If you do not comply:

  • If it is believed that a vicious dog is being kept in violation of Cleveland Heights law, the City will petition the court to seize and impound the dog.
  • Those who violate this section are guilty of a second degree misdemeanor (subject to 90 days in jail and $750 in fines). A subsequent violation will be a first degree misdemeanor (subject to six (6) months in jail and $1,000.00 in fines).
  • Any vicious dog which attacks a human being or another domestic animal may be ordered destroyed if the court feels the dog represents a continuing threat.
  • Section 505.092 (Dangerous and Vicious Dogs) of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Cleveland Heights will be strictly enforced. Strict criminal liability is contemplated.