Monthly Archives: January 2018

Representative Brigid Kelly’s Sponsor Testimony on Jan 23, 2018 for HB 433, “Veterinary Spay-Neuter Bill”

Chairman Young, Vice Chairman DeVitis, Ranking Member Lepore-Hagan, and members of the House Economic Development, Commerce and Labor Committee, thank you for the opportunity to provide sponsor testimony on House Bill 433 . This bill, brought to Representative Brinkman and I by a constituent in Hamilton County, is a common sense approach to help the veterinarians in our state earn continuing education credit while helping to responsibly curb the issue of pet overpopulation. 

The Ohio Revised Code and the Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board currently require all veterinarians in the state to report thirty hours of continuing education biennially . These hours may be obtained by numerous ways including online courses, office policy development, journal articles or conferences so long as 20 hours are scientifically related to the practice of veterinary medicine and no more than 10 are non – scientific.

Our legislation would simply allow Ohio veterinarians to receive up to two hours of continuing education per renewal if the licensed veterinarian performs free spaying and neutering services. For every one hour of free spaying and neutering services that the licensed veterinarian performs, they shall receive one – half hour of continuing education credit so long as the services are provided at a practice or facility that is appropriately staffed and equipped for such services and is done in conjunction with either a county humane society, dog pound or non-profit.

A companion bill has already been introduced in the Senate due to rising interest amongst the veterinary and animal rights community to provide veterinarian’s incentives to volunteer their services. Although many believe veterinarians stand to gain substantial knowledge through their involvement in spay/neuter work,  veterinarians would still be required to complete core continuing education requirements by the state.

While estimates on number of unwanted animals in the state are unavailable, the exponential reproductive rates of cats and dogs continues to outpace adoption rates. Many shelters in the state are continuously forced to use euthanasia as the only means to make room for new take ins. The Humane Society of the United States successfully lobbied for the passage of a similar bill in the state of New York in 2016 in hopes that these laws might ease this problem.

Representative Brinkman and I believe that House Bill 433 is an easy step to decreasing the unwanted pet population and the number of animals euthanized at Ohio shelters. I appreciate the chance to offer testimony on House Bill 433 and would be happy to answer any questions.

Thank you, Representatives Kelly and Brinkman, for sponsoring, and DanaMarie Pannella for writing, this important, common sense bill that aims to recognize, with continuing education units, the compassionate work veterinarians do to stem the explosive, population growth of cats and dogs!

I’m in it to win for outside dogs!

Want to get dogs off chains in YOUR city?

Here is your easy plan.

Step 1 – Gather a group of like-minded friends to advocate for the dogs.

Step 2 – Go to your city, township, or village web site to find out when their meetings are.

Step 3 – Call your city to confirm that there is a place for the public to speak during the meetings.  Generally, they allot 2 or 3 minutes near the beginning of the meetings for anyone to get up and speak about her concerns.   

Step 4 – Write down on an index card what you want to say during your two minutes.  You might write, “Good afternoon, Mayor Smith and Akron City Council.  I am (your name and address), a resident and voter in Akron.  (State your feelings) I am very upset by the number of dogs that I see endlessly chained out back in out city, especially in weather extremes. (If you know of specific dogs that are always out, mention those animals.)”

“I would like you to consider passing a tethering ordinance in Akron.  The ordinance is important not only for the humane treatment of the animals, but it also works to prevent dog bites.  The CDC says that a chained dog is three times more likely to bite.”

“When I go home today, I will e-mail all of you the ordinances already in effect in Columbus and Cleveland. – What is our next step?”

Step 5 – Send a follow-up e-mail.  You might write – 

Dear Mayor Smith and Akron City Council,

I appreciate the opportunity to speak with you about Akron passing a tethering ordinance.

Tethering ordinances are good for our animals and good for our communities.  Endless tethering is not just inhumane, but it is also impacts public safety / health, urban blight, and quality of life issues. 

There are three main, common sense components to many ordinances:

1. 10 PM to 6 AM is largely standard across the nation. It gets the dogs inside during the coldest time of the night in winter. It cuts down on the nuisance whining, barking, and howling from frustrated dogs. This fits nicely with barking ordinances. 

2. Leaving a dog tied outside when no one is home is dangerous both to the tethered dog, who may be a victim to a mean-spirited neighbor, to curious children, to an attack by another dog or another animal.

3. The weather advisory and temperature limits are common sense, humane treatment of animals.  Dogs suffer physically and psychologically.  Endless tethering of a dog out back, with no social interaction, with no relief from extreme weather is unconscionable.

Enforcement is complaint driven.  The officers will not go out looking for violations.  Their focus is on education of the proper care of animals and citation for those individuals who refuse to comply.

Finally, I am linking the Columbus and Cleveland ordinances for your review.

http://library.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Ohio/cleveland_oh/cityofclevelandohiocodeofordinances?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:cleveland_oh  

(Cleveland ordinance)

https://library.municode.com/oh/columbus/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=TIT23GEOFCO_CH2327AN_2327.20TEAN

(Columbus ordinance)

I look forward to hearing from you and to working with you on this important tethering ordinance.

Sincerely,

Step 6 – Do not worry.  The hard part is over for you. Your mayor and council do not expect you to be an animal law attorney. So, they will not try to pin you down on the details.  This is their job.  They know exactly what to do to move the ordinance forward.

This may take a long time.  So, settle in for the duration.  Stay in touch with the members who seem supportive.

Thank you each for stepping out of your comfort zone to help the poor, outside dogs in Ohio!

Two paws up for your success! – Beth