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The St. Clairsville (Ohio) City Council, will be voting on March 20 on proposed breed restrictions in order to address vicious dog concerns in the city. 

All who reside or participate in events in St. Clairsville are strongly encouraged to contact the mayor and council and ask them to not support the breed-specific portion of this proposal (click on the link for contact information).  It is recommended that letters also be mailed to the mayor and council members at: 100 N. Market Street, St. Clairsville, Ohio 43950.


Proposed Ordinance 2017-7 stated purpose is to regulate “vicious” dogs “by ensuring responsible handling by their owners through confinement and control.” 

A “vicious” dog is defined as any dog that meets any of the following criteria:

  • “Has a propensity, tendency, or disposition” to attack, injure, or otherwise endanger the safety of humans or domestic animals without provocation;
  • Attacks, kills, injures, or seriously injures a person or domestic animal without provocation (an exception is made for these two criteria if the person was trespassing or committing a criminal offense on the owner’s property or the person was teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog, or if the dog was coming to a person’s aid); or
  • Is considered a “pit bull dog”, defined as any Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American pit bull terrier, or any mixed breed that contains “as an element of its breeding” any of these breeds.  If there is a question on the breed, the determination will be whether a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association would identify the dog as such.

All dogs determined under these criteria to be vicious must be kept on the owner’s premises by a secure fence or other secure enclosure and cannot be put on a leash more than 3 feet in length when off the owner’s property.  Owners must also have at least $300,000 of liability insurance.

Talking Points:

The AKC does not support the breed-specific portion of this proposal.  Strong, effective dangerous dog laws should be based on a dog’s stated, measurable actions, rather than simply its appearance.  This ensures public safety by holding all dog owners responsible for their pets, regardless of breed.  Visit the Breed-Specific/Dangerous Dog Laws page in the AKC Legislative Action Center for more talking points on this issue.

For questions or more information, contact AKC Government Relations at