Monthly Archives: October 2014

There is a grim, human cost to the failure of our bills

What will be lost to Ohio communities if our seven, companion animal bills “time out” and die in the Statehouse in December?  While these bills intend to protect our beloved cats and dogs, they also aim to defend other vulnerable, human victims.   The failure of each of the seven bills has a grim, human cost, as well.  So, when the committee chairs do not call for hearings, or when the Senate leadership does not call our bills to the floor for a vote,  they are also turning their backs on some of Ohio’s most vulnerable populations. These unprotected victims will continue to pay a severe, human cost if these bills fail.

With the failure of HB 274, “Goddard’s Law”, Felony for Animal Cruelty, widespread violence, hidden in the shadows of our towns and cities, will remain there unchecked. Animal cruelty has well-established connections to interpersonal violence and some mental illness. The animal cruelty is a warning, a ‘red flag’ that others in the area may also be in danger. Animal abuse is powerfully tied to child abuse, elder abuse, maltreatment of handicapped, and spousal abuse. Why should children, elders, handicapped, and spouses in Ohio have to endure unbridled violence?

The FBI just changed its Uniform Crime Reporting information. Animal cruelty now holds a separate category. That reflects an enormous shift in the understanding of the scope and importance of animal crime. If community violence is to be effectively combated, then the animal abuse should be proactively rooted out and prosecuted with the same vigor that crimes against people are.

With the failure of HB 57, Humane Officer Training, Ohio counties will continue to be understaffed and under served. Our humane agents, animal crime scene investigators, often work in dangerous conditions with little pay. While examining animal abuse, they may be confronted by a violent spouse, a mentally ill individual, gangs, drug traffickers, or organized blood sports. Moreover, state law requires the county to pay its humane officer a minimum of $25 each month.

Why should Ohio families be left, to fend for themselves, year after year, without sufficient, paid professionals to combat simmering crises and unexposed violence in their midst?

With the failure of HB 243, Psychological Evaluation of Youngsters Convicted of Animal Cruelty, some children that have seen or experienced violence themselves will remain unseen and unknown, defenseless against brutality in their own homes.

Additionally, these same youngsters may be using the animal cruelty as a “practice” act before they move on to human victims. Violence can pass in families from one generation to the next, unless there is outside intervention. Why should Ohio’s youngsters have to continue to witness violence and bear unjust punishments alone and in silence?

Most of the school shooters practiced on animals before they entered their schools, armed with guns, intent on widespread killing. Why aren’t adjudicated youngsters with known histories of torturing and killing animals, who have demonstrated a propensity to violence, not evaluated and treated?

The families, neighbors, and classmates of these same youngsters are living, unprotected, with a thinly veiled danger in the midst.

With the failure of HB 251, Flexible Sentencing for Judges, Ohio judges will continue to seek community sanctions, instead of prison time, for some F-4 and F-5 convicted offenders, as is required by current law.   Why should Ohio families sustain convicted offenders, who know how to game the system to avoid incarceration, simply paying a fine, then quickly returning to their criminal vices within their neighborhoods? 

With the failure of HB 310, PTSD Merits Service Animals, individuals suffering from PTSD, often our honored veterans of Middle East wars, will remain unrecognized, struggling for their own independence.  Why can’t an Ohio PTSD sufferer be awarded a service animal to get his mobility and his life back?  

With the failure of  SB 177, Domestic Violence and Pet Protection Orders,  women, children, and pets in homes of domestic violence will be denied a safe, early exit from the home.  Twenty-nine other states (plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico) already have enacted this law.  Why should a woman in Ohio have to choose between her own safety and the safety of her dog?

With the failure of SB 217, Veterinary Hospital Inspections, pet owners remain unprotected consumers.  Right now in Ohio veterinarians are basically “on the honor system”.   Neither the Board of Health nor the Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board is making “surprise inspections” to check on the hygiene,  to see if the equipment is working, to monitor the protocols, or to verify correct record-keeping.  Why do Ohio pet owners not have the same quality control checks of their animal hospitals as other states offer to their pet owners?

With the failure of these seven bills, each aiming to protect cats and dogs, there is a obvious grave, human loss, as well.  Ohio’s most vulnerable populations are left, unprotected by law, from violence.  Ohio’s pet owners remain without consumer protections.  Ohio’s families continue to endure savvy offenders continuing their vices within their neighborhoods.  

Ohio, write to your state senator and to your state representative today in support of these important bills.  There are just eighteen sessions left in this General Assembly.  Without diligent, legislative attention, these bills will continue to linger and die, as has happened in General Assemblies before.

Each Ohio voter has one state senator and one state representative.  You can locate your two, state legislators by typing in your zip code plus your four-digit extension in the bottom, left-hand corner of each linked, home page below.

FINAL NOTE:  Only one of these bills, SB 177, passed.  All the rest languished and died.

http://www.ohiohouse.gov/ (Locate your state rep.)

http://www.ohiosenate.gov/senate/index (Locate your state senator.)

The failure of each companion animal bill has a grim, human cost, as well

What will be lost to Ohio communities if our seven, companion animal bills “time out” and die in the Statehouse in December?  While these bills intend to protect our beloved cats and dogs, they also aim to defend other vulnerable, human victims.   The failure of each of the seven bills has a grim, human cost, as well.  So, when the committee chairs do not call for hearings, or when the Senate leadership does not call our bills to the floor for a vote,  they are also turning their backs on some of Ohio’s most vulnerable populations. These unprotected victims will continue to pay a severe, human cost if these bills fail.

With the failure of HB 274, “Goddard’s Law”, Felony for Animal Cruelty, widespread violence, hidden in the shadows of our towns and cities, will remain there unchecked. Animal cruelty has well-established connections to interpersonal violence and some mental illness. The animal cruelty is a warning, a ‘red flag’ that others in the area may also be in danger. Animal abuse is powerfully tied to child abuse, elder abuse, maltreatment of handicapped, and spousal abuse. Why should children, elders, handicapped, and spouses in Ohio have to endure unbridled violence?

The FBI just changed its Uniform Crime Reporting information. Animal cruelty now holds a separate category. That reflects an enormous shift in the understanding of the scope and importance of animal crime. If community violence is to be effectively combated, then the animal abuse should be proactively rooted out and prosecuted with the same vigor that crimes against people are.

With the failure of HB 57, Humane Officer Training, Ohio counties will continue to be understaffed and under served. Our humane agents, animal crime scene investigators, often work in dangerous conditions with little pay. While examining animal abuse, they may be confronted by a violent spouse, a mentally ill individual, gangs, drug traffickers, or organized blood sports. Moreover, state law requires the county to pay its humane officer a minimum of $25 each month.

Why should Ohio families be left, to fend for themselves, year after year, without sufficient, paid professionals to combat simmering crises and unexposed violence in their midst?

With the failure of HB 243, Psychological Evaluation of Youngsters Convicted of Animal Cruelty, some children that have seen or experienced violence themselves will remain unseen and unknown, defenseless against brutality in their own homes.

Additionally, these same youngsters may be using the animal cruelty as a “practice” act before they move on to human victims. Violence can pass in families from one generation to the next, unless there is outside intervention. Why should Ohio’s youngsters have to continue to witness violence and bear unjust punishments alone and in silence?

Most of the school shooters practiced on animals before they entered their schools, armed with guns, intent on widespread killing. Why aren’t adjudicated youngsters with known histories of torturing and killing animals, who have demonstrated a propensity to violence, not evaluated and treated?

The families, neighbors, and classmates of these same youngsters are living, unprotected, with a thinly veiled danger in the midst.

With the failure of HB 251, Flexible Sentencing for Judges, Ohio judges will continue to seek community sanctions, instead of prison time, for some F-4 and F-5 convicted offenders, as is required by current law.   Why should Ohio families sustain convicted offenders, who know how to game the system to avoid incarceration, simply paying a fine, then quickly returning to their criminal vices within their neighborhoods? 

With the failure of HB 310, PTSD Merits Service Animals, individuals suffering from PTSD, often our honored veterans of Middle East wars, will remain unrecognized, struggling for their own independence.  Why can’t an Ohio PTSD sufferer be awarded a service animal to get his mobility and his life back?  

With the failure of  SB 177, Domestic Violence and Pet Protection Orders,  women, children, and pets in homes of domestic violence will be denied a safe, early exit from the home.  Twenty-nine other states (plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico) already have enacted this law.  Why should a woman in Ohio have to choose between her own safety and the safety of her dog?

With the failure of SB 217, Veterinary Hospital Inspections, pet owners remain unprotected consumers.  Right now in Ohio veterinarians are basically “on the honor system”.   Neither the Board of Health nor the Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board is making “surprise inspections” to check on the hygiene,  to see if the equipment is working, to monitor the protocols, or to verify correct record-keeping.  Why do Ohio pet owners not have the same quality control checks of their animal hospitals as other states offer to their pet owners?

With the failure of these seven bills, each aiming to protect cats and dogs, there is a obvious grave, human loss, as well.  Ohio’s most vulnerable populations are left, unprotected by law, from violence.  Ohio’s pet owners remain without consumer protections.  Ohio’s families continue to endure savvy offenders continuing their vices within their neighborhoods.  

Ohio, write to your state senator and to your state representative today in support of these important bills.  There are just eighteen sessions left in this General Assembly.  Without diligent, legislative attention, these bills will continue to linger and die, as has happened in General Assemblies before.

Each Ohio voter has one state senator and one state representative.  You can locate your two, state legislators by typing in your zip code plus your four-digit extension in the bottom, left-hand corner of each linked, home page below.

FINAL NOTE: Only one of these bills, SB 177, passed.  The other bills languished and died.

http://www.ohiohouse.gov/ (Locate your state rep.)

http://www.ohiosenate.gov/senate/index (Locate your state senator.)

Ohio House Humane Report Card

 

 Representatives

   

Counties

 

Districts

 

 Humane       Voting         Scores

Adams, John R Champaign, Logan, Shelby 85   not on 2014 ballot
Adams, Richard R Darke, Miami 80   not on 2014 ballot
Amstutz, Ron R Wayne 1 62% U
Anielski, Marlene R Cuyahoga 6 93% A
Antonio, Nickie D Cuyahoga 13 100% A+
Ashford, Mike D Lucas 44 100% A+
Baker, Nan A. R Cuyahoga 16 94% A
Barborak, Nick D Columbiana 5 100% A+
Barnes, John Jr. D Cuyahoga 12 100% A+
Batchelder, Wm R Medina 69   retiring
Beck, Peter R Butler, Warren 54   not on 2014 ballot
Becker, John R Clermont 65 75% C
Bishoff, Heather D Franklin 20 100% A+
Blair, Terry R Montgomery     deceased
Blessing, Louis R Hamilton 29 95% A
Boose, Terry R Huron, Lorain 57 76% C
Boyce, Kevin D Franklin 25 100% A+
Boyd, Barbara D Cuyahoga 9   not on 2014 ballot
Brenner, Andrew R Delaware 67 100% A+
Brown, Tim W. R Wood 3 100% A+
Buchy, Jim R Auglaize, Darke, Mercer, Shelby 84 67% U
Budish, Armond D Cuyahoga 8   not on 2014 ballot
Burkley, Tony R Auglaize, Defiance, Paulding, Van Wert 82 100% A+
Butler, Jim R Montgomery 41 100% A+
Carney, John P D Franklin 22 93% A
Celebrezze, Nicholas D Cuyahoga 15 93% A
Cera, Jack D Belmont, Jefferson, Monroe 96 100% A+
Clyde, Kathleen D Portage 75 93% A
Conditt, Margaret R Butler 52 100% A+
Curtin, Michael D Franklin 17 100% A+
Damschroder, Rex R Sandusky, Seneca 88   not on 2014 ballot
DeVitis, Anthony R Summit 36 71% C-
Derickson, Timothy R Butler 53 94% A
Dovilla, Mike R Cuyahoga 7 100% A+
Driehaus, Denise D Hamilton 31 100% A+
Duffey, Mike R Franklin 21 100% A+
Fedor, Teresa D Lucas 45 100% A+
Foley, Mike D Cuyahoga 14   not on 2014 ballot
Gerberry, Ron D Mahoning 59 100% A+
Gonzales, Anne R Franklin 19 100% A+
Green, Doug R Brown, Clermont 66 100% A+
Grossman, Cheryl R Franklin 23 95% A
Hackett, Bob D. R Clark, Madison 74 100% A+
Hagan, Christina R Stark 50 100% A+
Hagan, Robert D Greene, Mahoning 58   not on 2014 ballot
Hall, David R Ashland, Holmes, Medina 70 75% C
Hayes, Bill R Coshocton, Licking, Perry 72 100% A+
Heard, Tracy M D Franklin 26   not on 2014 ballot
Henne, Michael R Montgomery 40 85% B
Hill, Brian R Guernsey, Muskingum 97 80% B-
Hood, Ron R Athens, Fairfield, Morgan, Muskingum, Pickaway 78 80% B-
Hottinger, Jay R Licking 71   not on 2014 ballot
Huffman, Matt R Allen 4   not on 2014 ballot
Johnson, Terry R Adams, Lawrence, Scioto 90 100% A+
Kunze, Stephanie R Franklin 24 100% A+
Landis, Al R Holmes, Tuscarawas 98 100% A+
Letson, Tom D Ashtabula, Trumbull 64 100% A+
Lundy, Matt D Lorain 55   not on 2014 ballot
Lynch, Matt R Geauga, Portage 76   not on 2014 ballot
Maag, Ron R Warren 62 79% C
Mallory, Dale D Hamilton 32   not on 2014 ballot
McClain, Jeff R Crawford, Marion, Monroe, Seneca, Wyandot 87 88% B
McGregor, Ross R Clark 79   not on 2014 ballot
Milkovich, Zach D Summit 35   not on 2014 ballot
O’Brien, Sean D Trumbull 63 100% A+
Patmon, Bill D Cuyahoga 10 100% A+
Patterson, John D Ashtabula, Geauga 99 100% A+
Pelanda, Dorothy R Marion, Union 86 90% A-
Perales, Rick R Greene 73 100% A+
Phillips, Debbie D Athens, Meigs, Vinton, Washington 94 100% A+
Pillich, Connie D Hamilton 28 100% A+
Ramos, Dan D Lorain 56 94% A
Redfern, Chris D Erie, Ottawa 89 100% A+
Reece, Alicia D Hamilton 33 80% B-
Retherford, Wes R Butler 51 100% A+
Roegner, Kristina R Summit 37 56% U
Rogers, John M. D Lake 60 100% RepresentativesA+
Romanchuk, Mark R Richland 2 100% A+
Rosenberger, Cliff R Clinton, Highland, Pike, Ross 91 100% A+
Ruhl, Margaret Ann R Delaware, Knox 68 95% A
Scherer, Gary R Fayette, Pickaway, Ross 92 100% A+
Schuring, Kirk R Stark 48 100% A+
Sears, Barbara R Fulton, Lucas 47 94% A
Sheehy, Michael D Lucas 46 100% A+
Slaby, Marilyn R Stark, Summit 38 100% A+
Slesnick, Stephan D Stark 49 93% A
Smith, Ryan R Gallia, Jackson, Lawrence, Vinton 93 100% A+
Sprague, Robert R Hancock, Hardin, Logan 83 100% A+
Stautberg, Peter R Hamilton 27   not on 2014 ballot
Stebelton, Gerald R Fairfield 77   not on 2014 ballot
Stinziano, Michael D Franklin 18 100% A+
Strahorn, Fred D Montgomery 39 100% A+
Sykes, Vernon D Summit 34   not on 2014 ballot
Terhar, Louis R Hamilton 30 100% A+
Thompson, Andy R Belmont, Carroll, Noble, Washington 95 73% C
Uecker, Joe R Adams, Brown, Clermont, Lawrence, Scioto     is running in the Senate (67% – U when he was in House)
Wachtmann, Lynn R Fulton, Henry, Putnam, Williams 81   not on 2014 ballot
Williams, Sandra D Cuyahoga 11   not on 2014 ballot
Winburn, Roland D Montgomery, Preble 43 100% A+
Young, Ron R Lake 61 100% A+