SB 232, Veterinarians Continuing Ed for Neutering Services
Proponent Testimony by Beth Sheehan
February 6, 2018
Good afternoon, Chair Hackett, Vice Chair Hoagland, Ranking Minority Member O’Brien, and distinguished members of the Ohio Senate Agriculture Committee.
I am Beth Sheehan, a Hamilton County resident, who stands before you today, representing a broad, grassroots coalition of dog and cat advocates and engaged, Ohio voters – AARF Radio Ohio; Angels for Animals; Animal Pawtectors; Ashtabula County Animal Protective League; The Black Dog Food Pantry; Dogs Unlimited; Fairfield County CARES (Citizens for Animal Rights and Ethical Standards); Falcon Animal Rescue; Family Puppy Boycott-Puppy Mill Awareness of NW Ohio; Harrison County Dog Pound Volunteers; Hartman’s Hounds; Friends of Fido MCDP; Heaven Can Wait; Humane Society of Richland County; Joseph’s Legacy; Justice for Herbie; Kecia Mathys; Max’s Animal Mission; National Animal Shelter Volunteers; Never Muzzled; Nitro’s Ohio Army; North Coast Boxer Rescue; Ohio American Eskimo Rescue; Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates; One of a Kind Pet Rescue; Our Mission Dog Rescue; Paws and the Law; Pawz 2 Adopt, Austintown; Peppermint Pig Animal Rescue; A Perfect Match; Pinealope Animal Rescue; Rescue Village; Rose’s Rescue; Ross County Humane Society; Safe Harbor Animal Rescue, Vermillion; Sanctuary for Senior Dogs; Save Ohio Strays; Soul Connections of Central Ohio; Summit County Shelter; TNR of Warren, Inc.; Tuscarawas County Humane Society; Underdog Society of Knox County; Vote 4 Animals Help Chained Dogs, Dayton; West Side Cats, and 911 Dog Rescue Inc. / Amy’s Adoptables, who enthusiastically support the passage of SB 232, “Veterinary Spay-Neuter Bill”.
SB 232 gives veterinarians the OPTION (not mandate) of receiving up to 2 Continuing Education Units (CEU), out of 30 needed biennially for license renewal, for performing up to four hours of free spay-neuter surgeries.
Why is this a significant bill? Cat and dog population explosion is exponential. Over 70,000 puppies and kittens are born in the U.S. every day. Some 6.5 million healthy and treatable cats and dogs enter shelters across the nation each year. About half of them are euthanized, many for space.
One cat can have three litters of kittens per year, with an average of four kittens per litter. An indoor cat, living to 15-years-old, could produce up to 180 kittens during her lifetime.
One dog can have up to three litters in a year, with an average of seven puppies per litter. One female and her babies can create 67,000 puppies in six years.
Spaying-neutering pets not only saves lives, but protects against pet, health problems, reduces some behavior problems, and also saves taxpayer money.
Spaying eliminates the risk of ovarian and uterine cancers and infections, and substantially decreases the risk of mammary cancers. Neutering prevents testicular cancer, and reduces the risk of prostate problems.
Unfixed pets may mark their territory by spaying strong smelling urine throughout their homes or digging under fences to meet a mate in heat, only to become a stray dog.
County governments are more efficient and save taxpayer dollars with fewer animals in their shelters. Many shelter costs will significantly decrease – the animals’ cost-of-care, the shelter employees’ wages, the euthanization expenditures, the price to incinerate their bodies, and the fees to haul their corpses away. Additionally, fewer animal remains will be deposited in the local landfill.
On average, communities spend approximately $8 per capita for animal shelters, handle 30 animals per 1,000 people, and euthanize about 12.5 animals per 1,000 people.
Everybody pays, whether he owns an animal or not. There are additional costs in time, money, and resources to our police, fire, and health departments, hospitals, prosecutors’ offices, and courts with an overflow of animals. The abundant dogs and cats are involved in cruelty and neglect cases, animal fighting rings, car accidents, stray dog bites, spread of disease, neighborhood disturbances, and violations of local ordinances and state laws.
With the passage of SB 232, we recognize the compassionate, generous work of our veterinarians; we hasten fiscal efficiency of our county governments; we attain a higher standard of humanity for ourselves.
I appreciate the openness of the leadership and members of the Senate Agriculture Committee to learn more about this critical bill. I am pleased to answer your questions.
Bestiality makes us very uncomfortable. It is too hard to talk about, even with our families. It involves the unspeakable. It is one of our last taboos, boiling beneath the surface of our well-ordered communities.
But it is an outlier of deviant behavior so extreme that it must be banned. It is a marker of a seriously disturbed mind. It is clear sign of a combustible danger, hidden from our immediate view.
Animals are the perfect victims. They are easy to restrain and control … and they can never tell. Animal casualties are often reported first by animal control or neighbors. A dog’s whimpering or a cat’s frenzy may finally attract the attention of a nearby-resident.
But there may be less visible victims, tyrannized, in a nearby house of suffering. The children, the partners, the elderly, the handicapped – they may also be ensnared in an endless web of fear and pain.
Children and animals often appear together as easy victims of prey. For example, when law enforcement agencies confiscate the computers of trolls of child pornography, there is generally a trove of bestiality photos and videos also stored on those, same devices.
The FBI recognizes the importance of sexual animal abuse as an strong indicator of human crimes. In January of 2016, the FBI began, for the first time, to require the 18,000, local and state, law enforcement agencies to report animal cruelty in a stand-alone category, “crimes against society”.
Bestiality is a warped, vile act. It can be a powerful precursor of sexual homicide predators. It is also practiced by violent criminals, sex offenders, and the sexually abused.
Bestiality has health risks too. Animals can carry and transmit human, sexual diseases, bacterial or parasitic infections, as well as cancer-causing viruses.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
SB 195, “Bestiality”, has a hearing for all testimony on November 30, 2016. Please call the leadership of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee in support of SB 195.
Sen John Eklund, chair (614) 644-7718 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen Jim Hughes, vice-chair (614) 466-5981 email@example.com
Sen Cecil Thomas, ranking minority member (614) 466-5980 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sample script follows. Please tweak it a bit. Your original words make a larger impact in Columbus. Also, calls are count for more because they require an aide to fully listen. E-mails can be quickly scanned. – However, if you only have time for e-mails, thank you for your work!
“Good morning, Chair Eklund. This is (your name) from (your city). I strongly encourage you to move SB 195, “Bestiality”, to a vote and then VOTE YES. Bestiality remains legal in about a dozen states, including Ohio. Bestiality is a twisted, violent act, well connected to other predatory acts and highly correlated to pedophilia. It is well documented that the seized computers of pedophillacs generally contain both child sexual victims and animal sexual victims.
“Bestiality must be outlawed and then prosecuted to its fullest. The successful prosecution of bestiality will save a lifetime of heartache and expenses for those children and their families who also fall prey to the same sinister individuals.
“Again, I encourage you to bring SB 195, “Bestiailty”, to a vote and then to VOTE YES to protect our communities, our children, and our animals from sexual violence.”