Monthly Archives: June 2015

Ohio needs laws with teeth to combat animal cruelty and interpersonal violence

What is felony animal cruelty in Ohio?

There are two, specific times in Ohio law when animal abuse is a felony.  In the first example, the animal abuser must be convicted of animal cruelty TWICE before he faces a felony conviction.  The first time that offender is convicted it is only a misdemeanor.  This felony for second abuse conviction has been seldom used.

Second, if an animal “in the care of a kennel” is intentionally harmed by the manager, the owner, or the employees, it is a felony.  This is “Nitro’s Law,” named after the beautiful Rottweiler that died in a Youngstown kennel of starvation and neglect.

MOST animal abuse is a misdemeanor in Ohio. That means that the maximum sentence for intentional animal cruelty, causing extreme suffering, possibly death to an animal is six months in jail and one thousand dollars in fine.

What happens to convicted animal abusers at sentencing?

At sentencing, the convicted animal abuser often pays a fine, gets probation, AND he gets his animal returned to him.

Here is a bizarre example of Ohio, animal cruelty.  In 2013, Elizabeth Lewis, 19, of Hamilton, Ohio faced animal cruelty charges with the same dog, Bruiser, for the second time in less than a year. Ms. Lewis appeared both times for her animal cruelty charges in the courtroom of the same judge, Hamilton Municipal Court Judge Daniel Gattermeyer.

Bruiser, her pit bull, was found nearly starved to death each time.  The first time the judge found Ms. Lewis not guilty of animal cruelty and returned Bruiser to Ms. Lewis.

The second time, a neighbor saw the emaciated, weakened Bruiser fall down some steps. She then called the police to intervene.

Lewis was charged with cruelty to a companion animal and failure to license a dog. These are both misdemeanors.

In his second ruling, the judge admitted “the dog did suffer”.  He sentenced Lewis to of 180 days in the Butler County Jail but suspended 90 days.

“Lewis was also placed on two years of community control, ordered to get her GED, not to have pets, and to pay a $500 fine. The judge reminded her if she did not show up for jail, she would serve the entire 180 days.”

Why don’t Ohio judges send convicted animal abusers to prison?

Ohio prisons are dangerously overcrowded and have been for quite a while.  Since the passage of HB 86 in 2011, Ohio judges are mandated to seek community sanctions (no prison) for certain nonviolent F-4 and F-5 offenders.  Animal abusers are considered by law to be nonviolent.

So, even if the current HB 60, ‘Goddard’s Law’ is enacted, animal abusers still will not be sent to prison.  The judges will continue to follow their mandate to look for community sanctions instead of prison.

HB 60, ‘Goddard’s Law’, felony for animal cruelty, has been severely damaged

HB 60, ‘Goddard’s Law’, as introduced, recognizes the complexity of animal cruelty and offers justice for animals that suffer or die from intentional acts of abuse.

However, the excellent intent of the bill has been recently, severely damaged with an amendment.  The amendment was added on June 9, 2015, just two weeks before the full House vote.

The amendment (“A humane society … shall not employ an attorney … to prosecute a felony”) does not allow humane societies to employ animal law attorneys for FELONY animal cruelty.  The humane societies must use the county prosecutors for FELONY animal cruelty cases.

I believe that one of the unintended consequences of the passage of HB 60 WITH THIS AMENDMENT is that in order to retain experienced animal law attorneys, the humane societies will choose to prosecute more FELONY animal crimes as misdemeanors.

This will have a chilling effect on the future felony prosecution of animal cruelty cases. This unintended effect alone for me is worth stopping the bill.

Why the county prosecutor may not be as good as the animal law attorney

What happens when the already overworked, county prosecutor gets an animal crime case with no potential, large settlement to accompany it?  That case quickly moves to the bottom of his stack.  It may never soon see the light of day.

In the meantime, the seized animals are on hold in the local humane society.  That humane society is providing the daily cost of care, veterinary care, behavior assessment, and rehabilitation training.  Those costs become staggering with many, confiscated animals, detained over a long time.  That weighty, financial burden can potentially cause a humane society to fail.

Each day impounded in the humane society, adds a risk to the well-being of the animal victims.   Additionally, the animals in custody are taking space, resources, and finances that cannot be used for local animals in need.

Ohio needs animal law attorneys on the job for animal crimes.  These special prosecutors have the knowledge, training, and expertise to facilitate a quick resolution to animal crime cases.

Animal crime is the ‘red flag’ that others too may be in danger

An immediate responsibility of Ohio legislators is to safeguard our communities against the raging, epidemic violence.

The powerful connections among interpersonal violence, animal cruelty, and some, mental illness are well researched.  The recognition of that nasty web has been effecting rapid, legislative change across this nation.

The animal crime is often the most visible sign in the area that others too (children, elderly, handicapped, partners) may also be in danger of unmitigated violence or extreme neglect.

The swift prosecution of animal crimes by experienced, animal law attorneys is a useful prong in Ohio’s defense against sinister forces at work, hidden in plain sight, in our communities.

 

https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA131-HB-60 (Read HB 60 here.)

http://archives.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=129_HB_86   (Read HB 86 here.)

http://www.journal-news.com/news/news/hamilton-woman-sentenced-in-animal-cruelty-case/nYNyY/

 

Amendment to “Goddard’s Law” may cause dire, unintended consequences

I stand firmly opposed to the passage of HB 60, “Goddard’s Law”, because of its recently introduced amendment. The excellent legislative aim of HB 60 is severely damaged by this amendment.  

HB 60, Goddard’s Law, now appears to be going in two differing directions at once.   HB 60, as introduced, aims to protect both companion animals and Ohio communities with a felony provision for animal cruelty. Yet, the recent amendment aims to diminish the successful prosecution of animal felony cases by not allowing humane societies to employ special prosecutors for felony animal cruelty.

I believe that one of the unintended consequences of the passage of HB 60 with this amendment is that in order to retain experienced animal law attorneys, the humane societies will choose to make more animal crimes a misdemeanor, instead of a felony.

This will have a chilling effect on the future of felony prosecution of animal cruelty cases. This unintended effect alone for me is worth stopping the bill.

What happens when the already overworked, county prosecutor – with no training in animal law – gets an animal crime case with no potential for a large settlement to accompany it? That case quickly moves to the bottom of his stack. It may never soon see the light of day.

In the meantime, the seized animals are on hold in the local humane society.   That humane society is providing the daily cost of care, veterinary care, behavior assessment, and rehabilitation training. Those costs become staggering with many, confiscated animals, detained over a long time.   That weighty, financial burden can potentially cause a humane society to fail.

Each day dogs and cats are impounded in the humane society, adds a risk to the well-being of the animal victims. Additionally, the animals in custody are taking space, resources, and finances that cannot be used for local animals in need.

Ohio needs animal law attorneys on the job for animal crimes.   These special prosecutors have the knowledge, training, and expertise to facilitate a quick resolution to animal crime cases.

I do not seek a change of heart of those Ohio legislators without compassion for suffering animals.

I do, however, remind those legislators of their primary responsibility to their electorate – to safeguard, Ohio communities against the epidemic violence devastating our communities.

The powerful connections among interpersonal violence, animal cruelty, and some, mental illness are well researched. The recognition of the dangerous effect that nasty web has on our most vulnerable populations has catapulted important legislative change forward across this nation.

The animal crime is often the most visible sign in the area that others too (children, elderly, handicapped, partners) may also be in danger of unmitigated violence or extreme neglect.

The swift prosecution of animal crimes by experienced, animal law attorneys is a necessary prong in Ohio’s defense against sinister forces hard at work, hidden in plain sight, in our communities.

Oppose HB 198, “Special Prosecutors”

 

House Bill 198 – Opposition Testimony of

Matt Ditchey, Esq., Representative

Angels for Animals, Animal Cruelty Task Force of Ohio,  Joseph’s Legacy, Justice for Herbie, Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates, Nitro Foundation / Nitro’s Ohio Army, Ohio Voters for Companion Animals, Inc., and Paws and the Law

June 16, 2015 – House Judiciary Committee

Good morning Chairman Butler and Members of the House Judiciary Committee.

My name is Matt Ditchey, Esq. and I currently live in Green Township, Ohio (Mahoning County). I am submitting written testimony on behalf of the following eight grassroots animal welfare organizations: Angels for Animals, Animal Cruelty Task Force of Ohio, Joseph’s Legacy, Justice for Herbie, Nitro Foundation/Nitro’s Ohio Army, Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates, Ohio Voters for Companion Animals, Inc. and Paws and the Law as opposed party for Ohio House Bill 198. 

Representing over 77,000 constituents across 81 Ohio counties, our eight Ohio-citizen driven, community based organizations are the driving force behind legislative efforts to address issues impacting the health and safety of companion animals as defined under Ohio Revised Code 959. Our supporters include a diverse section of voters and taxpayers from across the state, including but not limited to, a broad range of dog enthusiasts, veterinarians, breeders, animal care and welfare organizations, animal control representatives, appointed humane agents, judges, attorneys, and government employees who understand state and federal governance.

Given our coalition’s dedication to educate and support the law enforcement and judicial communities in the enforcement and administration of Ohio’s animal welfare laws, I want to begin my testimony by thanking Representative Hambley’s leadership in addressing criminal prosecution authority as a component within this important piece of legislation for Ohioans.

Our coalition strongly agrees that the first step in the successful criminal prosecution of crimes related to animal cruelty begins with the governance of Ohio Revised Code. However, our supporters have expressed concerns that HB 198 will weaken the current provisions under 2931.18 which allows a humane society or its agent to employ an attorney to prosecute violations of law relating to the prevention of cruelty to animals. Their greatest concerns include the following:

1. The proposed legislation repeals the statute authorizing a humane society or its agent to employ an attorney and to also employ one or more assistant attorneys to prosecute violations of law relating to prevention of cruelty to animals.

Recommendation: Retain the original language under 2931.18.  A unique aspect of prosecuting animal cruelty cases is that the evidence includes living creatures that require daily care.  We firmly believe having the ability to appoint a special prosecutor allows humane societies to work with an experienced specialist in animal statutes, case law and veterinary reporting. This specialist is able to prioritize animal cruelty and neglect cases and expeditiously establish custody of animals that cannot humanely be held in a cage while waiting for their day in our hard-working, but heavily burdened court system. 

2.  The proposed legislation seeks to move the oversight of special prosecutors employed by humane societies perceived to be without any accountability to either a county prosecutor or municipal law director.

Recommendation: Retain the original language under 2931.18 and consider alternative language which would appoint a probate judge to review all pre-prosecution agreements prior to execution by the courts.  (It is important to note the records involving all of a humane society’s resolved criminal cases are available to any Ohioan who requests them under the Ohio Sunshine Laws.) 

Our eight groups and their supporters firmly believe that changes to 2931.18 under House Bill 198 will remove an important tool for humane societies to successfully prosecute animal cruelty cases. Most importantly, we believe the proposed abolition of humane societies’ authority to employ an attorney could create scenarios for cases of egregious violations under 959.131(B) to fall by the wayside for already overworked elected and appointed prosecutors. This is of special concern given that a recent report released by the Animal Legal Defense Fund has shown Ohio has not yet evolved to placing a greater emphasis on animal welfare in the intervening decades when compared to other states in the Midwest.

It is our hope this Committee will reflect on the opinions expressed by our eight groups and their supporters in today’s testimony prior to recommending Ohio House Bill 198 for review and passage by the House Judiciary Committee.

As the representative for Angels for Animals, Animal Cruelty Task Force of Ohio, Joseph’s Legacy, Justice for Herbie, Nitro Foundation/Nitro’s Ohio Army, Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates, Ohio Voters for Companion Animals, Inc. and Paws and the Law, I greatly appreciate your time and consideration on this important piece of legislation for Ohioans, and I welcome any questions you may have.

It’s raining cat & dog bills in Columbus this week – HB 60, HB 187, HB 198, & SB 151!

Four, important, companion animal bills are having hearings in Columbus on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

Let’s get political for our cats and dogs!  Please call the committee members.  Let them know you want increased, legal protections for our beloved cats and dogs.

(Everything you need is right here – the bills, summaries of the bills, why the bills are important, committee leaders with contact information, sample scripts.)


1.  OHIO ANIMAL ACTION ALERT!

HB 60, ‘Goddard’s Law’, is having a hearing (all testimony) in Columbus on Tuesday, June 9!

Please call the members of the Ohio House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee in support of HB 60! (It’s always better if you can tweak your own script a bit to make it sound different.)

(HB 60 IS IMPORTANT –  “Goddard’s Law”, felony for animal cruelty, is the next step for Ohio after “Nitro’s Law”. Let’s look at felony for animal abuse in Ohio right now.  MOST animal abuse is a misdemeanor in Ohio.  There are two, specific times when animal abuse is a felony.  First, the SECOND TIME that an offender is convicted of animal cruelty, it is a felony.  The first time that offender is convicted it is a misdemeanor.    Second, if an animal “in the care of a kennel” is intentionally harmed by the manager, the owner, or the employees, it is a felony.  This is “Nitro’s Law”.

Additionally, Ohio judges are mandated to seek community sanctions (no jail) for certain nonviolent offenders because of prison overcrowding.  Animal abusers are considered by law to be nonviolent.

So, the animal abusers often end up with no jail time, a fine, AND they get their animal back.)

* * IMPORTANT – There is a notation on the Ohio House web site next to HB 60 that indicates that there is a possible amendment to the bill. So, please support HB 60 “AS WRITTEN”. We have not seen the amendment. We do not know at this time if we support the unknown, possible amendment.

You might say, “Good afternoon, Chair Hill. This is _____ from ________, Ohio. I’m calling to urge you to use your leadership in the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee to bring HB 60, ‘Goddard’s Law’, felony for animal cruelty, to a vote. Then please VOTE YES on HB 60 ‘AS WRITTEN’.

There is some confusion among advocates about whether an unknown amendment is going to be added to HB 60 this week.  I only support HB 60 ‘AS WRITTEN’ at this time.”

Rep Brian Hill, Chair

(614) 644-6014

rep97@ohiohouse.gov

Rep Tony Burkley, Vice Chair

(614) 644-5091

rep82@ohiohouse.gov

Rep John Patterson, Ranking Member

(614) 466-1405

rep99@ohiohouse.gov


2.  OHIO ANIMAL ACTION ALERT!

HB 187, First Responders May Stabilize Pets in Emergencies, is having a hearing in Columbus on Wednesday, June 10.

https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legis…/legislation-summary… (Read HB 187 here for yourself.)

Please call the members of the House Health and Aging Committee in support of HB 187! (It’s always better if you can tweak your own script a bit to make it sound different.)

(HB 187 IS IMPORTANT –  It clearly defines what first responders may do on behalf of our pets if they are in a crisis, like a fire or a car accident.  They can provide oxygen to a stressed animal or a splint to his injured leg before the animal goes to a veterinarian.)

You might say, “Good morning Chair Gonzales. This is ______ from _______, Ohio. I am calling to urge you to use your leadership in the House Health and Aging Committee to bring HB 187, First Responders May Stabilize Pets in Emergencies, to a vote in your committee. Then, please VOTE YES on HB 187.

This is a common sense bill that clarifies the for first responders the actions they may take on behalf of saving the life of a family pet or a police canine.”

House Health and Aging Committee

Rep Anne Gonzales, Chair
(614) 466-4847 
rep19@ohiohouse.gov

Rep Stephen A. Huffman, Vice Chair
(614) 466-8114 
rep80@ohiohouse.gov

Rep Nickie J. Antonio, Ranking Member
(614) 466-5921 
rep13@ohiohouse.gov


3.  OHIO ANIMAL ACTION ALERT!

HB 198, Special Prosecutors Appointed by Humane Societies, is having a hearing (proponent testimony) in Columbus on Tuesday, June 9.

https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA131-HB-198 (Read HB 198 here.)

Please call the members of the House Judiciary Committee.  (It’s always better if you can tweak your own script a bit to make it sound different.)

House Judiciary Committee

 Rep Jim Butler, Chair

(614) 644-6008 

rep41@ohiohouse.gov

Rep Nathan H. Manning, Vice Chair

(614) 644-5076 

rep55@ohiohouse.gov

Rep Michael Stinziano

(614) 466-1896 

rep18@ohiohouse.gov


4.  OHIO ACTION ALERT! 

SB 151, “The Klonda Richey Act”, is having a hearing (sponsor testimony) in Columbus on Tuesday, June 9 this week!

https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA131-SB-151 (Read SB 151 here.)

Please call the members of the Senate Agriculture Committee.  (It’s always better if you can tweak your own script a bit to make it sound different.)

Senate Agriculture Committee

Sen Cliff Hite, Chair

(614) 466-8150

hite@ohiosenate.gov

Sen Joe Uecker, Vice Chair

(614) 466-8082

uecker@ohiosenate.gov

Sen Lou Gentile

(614) 466-6508

gentile@ohiosenate.gov

 

Ohio Lags Behind Michigan in Tracking & Reporting Animal Disease

Ohio dog and cat lovers, take a close look at the difference in how Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts protect our animals – and also human, public health and safety – in the way disease is reported and tracked in each state.

The Michigan State Veterinarian, Dr. James Averill, recently added both types of canine influenza to the 2015 Reportable Disease list.  This means all Michigan veterinarians and diagnostic labs MUST notify the state department if they suspect or have a positive test of canine flu.  Dr. Averill is concerned about the spread of the canine flu in Michigan, even though there are only three cases reported so far.  Because “canine influenza poses a serious health risk to dogs, especially in animal shelter settings. (Dr. Averill is) particularly concerned about shelter dogs.”

Ohio, on the other hand, does not have canine flu on its  Reportable Disease List.  I am linking both Michigan’s, Ohio’s, and several other states’ Reportable Disease Lists for you.  Ohio has just 37 reportable  diseases.  These relate primarily to livestock.  One or two, according to the Ohio State Veterinarian’s office, relate also to companion animals. It is my opinion that the one or two diseases that relate to companion animals are on the list primarily because they are livestock diseases.

http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/901%3A1-21  (Read Ohio Animal Reportable Disease List)

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdard/2013_2014_MDARD_AID_Reportable_Animal_Diseases_426614_7.pdf  (Read Michigan Animal Reportable Disease List)

http://www.in.gov/boah/files/2015_Reportable_Disease_list.pdf (Read Indiana Reportable Animal Disease List)

http://www.kyagr.com/laws/documents/KY_Reportable_AnimalDiseases.pdf (Read Kentucky Reportable Disease List)

http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_2_24476_10297_0_43/AgWebsite/Files/Publications/reportable%20diseases04-10pdf.pdf   (Read Pennsylvania Animal Reportable Disease List)

http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/agr/animal-health/reportable-disease/reportable-disease-listing-generic.html (Read Massachusetts Animal Reportable Disease List)

Ohio, work with us to see stronger protections in place for our cats and dogs.  I strongly encourage you to join our FB groups today.

http://www.upmatters.com/story/d/story/veterinarians-warn-about-canine-influenza/13313/MIsIJFIX5kOcfnzrytu0Nw

HB 187, First Responders May Stabilize Pets

HB 187, First Responders May Stabilize Pets, is moving forward in the Statehouse.  It has passed the House.  It has had its second hearing in the Senate.  

This important bill clarifies the type of first aide first responders may give to a cat or a dog at the scene of an accident.   Those treatments include opening and manually maintaining an airway, giving mouth to snout  ventilation, administering oxygen, managing ventilation by mask, controlling hemorrhage with direct pressure, immobilizing fractures, and bandaging.

The following story illustrates how the passage of HB 187 would help to save lives.

                                                     *         *          *

Riding with Jager

I am honored to ride through Cincinnati with Jager today. His police car proudly announces his presence.  “Jager” is stenciled in black letters on the outside of the white, squad car. Jager, which means “hunter” in German, is aptly named.  He competently tracks suspects and retrieves evidence long after the commission of a crime. He and his handler, Officer Bob, work in the K-9 unit for the Cincinnati Police Department. 

Jager is a beautiful, fawn-colored Belgian Malinois with a black mask, weighing about 60 pounds.  This athletic, intelligent dog is a great, criminal and evidence hunter whose nose is so highly sensitive that he can arrive an hour after a crime has been committed and lock onto the plume of scent, lingering in the air, left in the sudden wake of the bad guys.  Jager has such keen sniff that he is able to follow the offenders away from the crime scene wherever they might quickly flee.  He can sense their previous movements, zigzagging across back yards, scooting under decks and porches, or traversing a creek.  He is able to astutely follow their scent long distances and to identify them where they are in hiding.  He then alerts his handler, Officer Bob, to the hidden offenders, lying low, unable to be seen by his handler, yet well detected by Jager’s own acute radar.  

Jager started out his life in Europe.  The Cincinnati Police Department gets its canine officers from the Eastern Bloc countries because the dog blood lines there are clean and pure.  The dogs are bred there for work and for sport, as they have been for centuries.  The Belgian Malinois have not been mingled with other breeds.

These highly competent, confident animals, valued at between $50,000 and $100,000 after training, provide unique information to their police partners when tracking suspects, searching for missing persons, detecting explosives, or investigating arson.

                                                                  *        *      *   

Now, let’s look at a possible, dangerous scene that Officer Bob and Jager may encounter while on duty.

It’s two in the morning.  Officer Bob and his partner, Jager, are riding alone through Over the Rhine, when a 911 call comes over the radio. “Send a dog to 2227 Reading Rd.  Domestic violence.  Suspect armed. Possible crystal meth, drug house.” 

So, Officer Bob and Jager kick into high gear with strobe lights flashing  and siren wailing, heading north on Reading Road.  This officer and his canine partner are the first to arrive at the scene.  They hear breaking glass, screams, and an explosion from inside the home.  The officer and his partner quickly scale the front steps and  position themselves to the left of the front door.

As the next squad car arrives, Officer Bob shouts into the dark home, “Canine officer!   Come on out with your hands up, or I’ll let my dog loose.”  There is no response to his call.  This time, his shout is louder, “Canine officer.  Raise your hands.  Come out, or I’ll let my dog loose.”

Officer Bob leans down and quietly gives Jager a command In German.  “Such, Jager.”  He then unhooks Jager’s leash.  Jager bolts into the dark building, head down, starting his track.   He works around the perimeter of the first room, using his acute smell to detect any possible suspects in the room. He does not signal to Officer Bob that he has found anyone.  Having cleared the first room, Jager, head down, continues into the second room. The officers enter the first room now, assured of a safe access because of Jager’s work.    

The house remains silent.  Outside additional officers, paramedics, and firemen have arrived and are forming a circle outside of the building.

Inside the second room of the darkened home, the policemen feel nauseous and begin to vomit.  Their eyes burn.  They are cough and gasp for air as they quickly back out of the house. The paramedics on duty leap into action to quickly administer  the meds and oxygen to the men to stabilize them.  Soon, the officers begin to come around again.

But where is Jager?  He’s still inside, lying unconscious on the floor.  Jager begins to convulse.

Some of the newer arrivals hurriedly don their masks, then they race into the building to rescue Yeager. They transport him outside and lay him on the ground.  He is unresponsive. Officer Bob is very upset when he sees Jager having seizures.  He begs, “Jager isn’t moving!  He’s not coming around!  You’ve got to give Jager the meds and the oxygen too!” 

The paramedics refuse.  It is not in their jurisdiction to give oxygen to an animal. They are afraid of losing their Ohio license because of treating a police canine

Frustrated, Officer Bob says to one of the other officers, “Help me get Jager into the squad car.  Where is the nearest vet?”

Officer Bob and his partner lift the unresponsive body of Jager into the back seat of the squad care.  He puts the car into emergency mode, racing towards the closest animal hospital. Yeager dies in the ambulance before they arrive.

What might have saved Jager from his fatal reaction to the meth lab?  A simple dose of Versed, a sedative to stop the seizures which the paramedics had with them, and a pet mask with oxygen could have stabilized Jager enough to buy some critical time for him.

This is why HB 187, First Responders May Stabilize Pets in an Emergency, is a crucial, common sense bill to support.  It enables First Responders to give oxygen, to splint an injured pet’s limb, or to call a veterinarian in order to get directions on how to stabilize the animal until the animal can be taken to a veterinarian.

This is a bill that can not only save treasured pets in emergencies, such as a fire or a car accident, but it can also save the lives of valuable, police canines and priceless, service animals.