PDT Staff Writer
In a legal opinion requested by the Scioto County Commissioners, the prosecutor’s office has said the Scioto County Dog Warden cannot issue a citation based upon dated photographs of a dog running at large.
“There was a question as to weather the dog warden could use pictures. For example, a neighbor takes a picture of some other neighbors dog, off their property. The question was, could that be used in issuing a citation, to the person whose dog was off the property,” said Skip Riffe, Chairman of the Scioto County Commissioners. “Danielle (Parker, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney) does not seem to believe that would be sufficient evidence for a citation.”
In her opinion, Parker cites section 955.12 of the Ohio Revised Code, “the dog warden and deputies shall patrol their respective counties and seize and impound on sight all dogs found running a large.”
Parker states, a court has defined the term “running at large,” when it (a dog) runs at will, when it is absolutely beyond control or call and is acting on its own initiative and under such circumstance where there is no connection, physical or sympathetic, between the dog and the master.
“I am of the opinion that photographs would be insufficient evidence to support the issuance of a citation for a dog running at large. The photographs would not provide evidence regarding the surrounding facts and circumstances as to why the dog was where it was,” Parker said.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or email@example.com.