OHIO ANIMAL ACTION ALERT!
SB 331. “Dog Sales in Pet Stores”, IS EXPECTED TO HAVE AMENDMENTS AND TO BE VOTED ON and PASSED BY THE FULL HOUSE THIS WEEK!
Your VOICES & TWEETS are needed to STOP the passage of SB 331,”Dog Sales in Pet Stores”
Tuesday, December 4 – House Finance Committee hearing, possible amendments added
Some two hundred jurisdictions across the nation have passed ordinances, banning the sale of mill animals in pet stores.
Additionally, some twenty-one states have passed “Puppy Lemon Laws”. These laws promote the humane treatment of animals and protect unsuspecting consumers from purchasing unhealthy, unsocialized animals.
OHIO is headed in the OPPOSITE direction!
It appears that special interests and big business influence state law. The chorus of “No More Big Government” is silent here. State government is strong-arming Ohio voters by moving quickly to OVERTURN “home rule” in Toledo and Grove City and to prevent it from popping up in jurisdictions across the state.
These bills are primarily an affront to our Ohio Constitution. Our Constitution has “home rule”. “Home rule” intends to protect the wisdom of each community to know best what its own values are and to independently legislate in order to preserve those values.
When Petland comes a-knocking, our state legislators open the door wide. The Statehouse ignores the state Constitution, the will of its voters, and the orderly progression of bills.
The business interests of one company, Petland, are being promoted by the Ohio General Assembly over “home rule”, the will of the voters, consumer protections, and animal welfare.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Ohio, CALL your STATE REPRESENTATIVES and the HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE in opposition to SB 331. Instructions and contact information follow below. This bill is a runaway locomotive, … but that does not mean we should not try.
- If you buy pet food, animal toys, pet shampoo, or pet products of any kind, thank you for only supporting those stores that advocate for our animal friends and the families that purchase them.
SB 331, “Dog Sales in Pet Stores”, PASSED the Ohio Senate. It aims to pass the House in the next couple of weeks.
Sponsor – Senator Bob Peterson (R), Cosponsors – Senators John Eklund (R) and Bill Seitz (R)
https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA131-SB-331 (Read SB 331 here.)
Please RESPECTFULLY write or call the members of the House Finance committee. It’s always better to tweak the script to make it fresh. Calls require more effort of the office staff than e-mails; therefore, our calls make a stronger impression in Columbus.
You might say, “Good morning, Chair Smith. This is (your name) from (your city). I strongly urge you to VOTE NO on SB 331, ‘Dog Sales in Pet Stores’.
“I stand firmly against this bill for several reasons. First, it was only introduced in the late spring. SB 331 is being fast-tracked and has not been properly vetted.
“Second, I am opposed to the state legislators stomping on ‘home rule’, embedded in the Ohio Constitution. “Home rule” says local jurisdictions are in the best position to know what their community values are and to make their own ordinances.
“This is yet another example of ‘big government’ (132 state legislators) deciding what’s best for all and imposing laws which the local jurisdictions do not want.
“Third, state legislation should protect unsuspecting families from buying defective, unsocialized animals instead of opening the floodgates to sell more mill animals.
“Fourth, how do the wishes of one, Ohio business, Petland, override the wishes of the voters in Toledo, Grove City, and in jurisdictions across the state?
“Again, I urge you to VOTE NO on SB 331, ‘Dog Sales in Pet Stores’.”
House Finance Committee
Rep Ryan Smith (R), Chair (614) 466-1366 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep Scott Ryan (R), Vice Chair (614) 466-1482 email@example.com
Rep Denise Driehaus (D), Ranking Minority Member (614) 466-5786 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep Marlene Anielski (R), (614) 644-6041 email@example.com
Rep Nickie J. Antonio (D), (614) 466-5921 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep Kevin Boyce (D), (614) 466-5343 email@example.com
Rep Tony Burkley (R), (614) 644-5091 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep Jack Cera (D), (614) 466-3735 email@example.com
Rep Kathleen Clyde (D), (614) 466-2004 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep Robert Cupp (R), (614) 466-9624 email@example.com
Rep Timothy Derickson (R), (614) 644-5094 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep John Patterson (D), (614) 466-1405 email@example.com
Rep Debbie Phillips (D), (614) 466-2158 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep Barbara Sears (R), (614) 466-1731 email@example.com
Winter is bearing down hard. Please check on your elderly and handicapped neighbors, who live alone, as well as animals who may be abandoned. Make sure that they are safe and warm.
Cincinnati has an ordinance in place for outside dogs. The dogs may not be endlessly tethered between 10 PM and 6 AM, when the temperatures fall below 20 degrees, when there is an extreme weather advisory, and when no one is home.
The ordinance is enforced, because of the generosity of our Cincinnati Police Department. Please call a non-emergency number to politely report an animal in distress.
Kindly thank the Cincinnati police officers, who work under very stressful conditions to protect us and the animals we love!
Read the tethering ordinance at the link below.
Today, I am Ohio. I am shocked at what happened in Arizona this year. I am chilled at what is happening right now in Ohio.
A rotting stink is slowly wafting across the nation. It’s not just the usual, rising stench of the 10,000 mills with puppies and kittens, endlessly crated, lying in their own waste. This nasty odor starts in Arizona. A bill was signed this spring into law by Arizona Governor Ducey. This new state law, allowing pet stores to sell animals from large-scale breeders (AKA “puppy mills”), trumps and VOIDS ordinances already in effect in the cities of Tempe and Phoenix, and finishes off the proposed ordinance in Tucson. These three cities had independently legislated that they would only allow shelter and rescue dogs to be sold in pet stores. The state legislature decided otherwise for them.
The new law also STOPS other Arizona jurisdictions from passing such ordinances in the future.
Arizona’s initiative is larger than the mill animals being sold in pet stores. Please note that there are some 18, Arizona state bills that aim to trump local ordinances.
Additionally, there is a state bill that intends to withhold state funds from jurisdictions that want to pass local ordinances that do not line up with the Arizona legislature’s proposals.
Two, fast-tracked, Ohio bills
This same rotten funk is now hovering over Ohio. Two bills are being fast-tracked at the end of the legislative session against the will of Ohioans and against “home rule”, embedded in the Ohio Constitution.
Two years ago, Toledo passed an ordinance, banning the sale of mill animals in pet stores. Grove City passed this same ordinance in March.
So, Petland pushed back hard. First, it sued Grove City Council because it not want the local ordinance. Then, Petland, whose international headquarters is in Chillicothe, approached Senator Bob Peterson (R) of Chillicothe, to sponsor state legislation similar to Arizona’s.
SB 331, sponsored by Senator Peterson (R) moved through committee and passed a full Senate vote in about a week, lightning speed. Amendments are expected to be added this week. A full House vote is expected to pass SB 331 this week, the last week of the General Assembly.
These bills are not good for mill animals, where profit stomps puppies, and not good for unsuspecting, pet owners. Additionally, the passage of these initiatives does not bode well for the passage of future, animal welfare legislation in Ohio. These bills must be stopped.
What can you do to stop these bills from being enacted? Call Speaker Rosenberger’s office (614) 466-3506 today to RESPECTFULLY oppose SB 331, Dog Sales in Pet Stores!
You might say, “Good morning! This is (your name) from (your city). I am calling to ask Speaker Rosenberger to use his authority as Speaker of the Ohio House to oppose SB 331, Dog Sales in Pet Stores.
“SB 331 is not good for Ohio animals, families, or communities. It perpetuates the inhumane treatment of animals by large-scale breeders. It does not protect unsuspecting families, who buy pet store animals that often have enormous medical and behavior problems. It stomps ‘home rule’, embedded in the Ohio Constitution. Ohio jurisdictions know what their own community values are, and are capable of legislating accordingly.
“Most states across the nation are moving in the OPPOSITE direction. Their pet stores use the successful business model of selling pets from shelters and humane agencies, not large-scale breeders.
“Thank you for using your leadership to protect Ohio animals, families, and communities by OPPOSING the passage of SB 331!”
Kindly write or call important decision makers in Columbus to push back against the contentious amendment in HB 166!
The “Pet Store Animal Sales” amendment, recently slipped into HB 166, an unrelated tax cleanup bill, lays a legal foundation for continuing ‘profits over pups’.
This amendment aims to OVERTURN the ban on the sale of mill animals in pet stores already passed in Toledo and Grove City and to STOP future ordinances from passing in Ohio cities.
This amendment overrides “home rule”, the ability of individual jurisdictions to understand and to regulate their local issues. Will the state legislature be enacting other legislation to nullify more local ordinances?
The ever-popular “End Big Government” chorus is silent here. State legislators appear to be strong-arming the small jurisdictions by moving suddenly on this undesirable amendment, right before summer break. These legislators are now poised to impose the will of a few onto the many.
Costly, ongoing problems come with the purchase of mill animals. Designer pets, originating in mills, with hidden health and behavior problems, are often sold for $1,000, $1,500, even several thousands of dollars per animal. Cleaned up, groomed, and endearing – but seriously defective – pets are sold to unsuspecting consumers.
Moreover, this recently added amendment is a clear example of special interests and lobbyists directing the legislature. Petland has a law suit against Grove City because of the ordinance that passed there in March to ban mill animals from being sold in pet stores.
Petland approached Senator Bob Peterson (R) of Chillicothe, where Petland’s world headquarters is located, to add this amendment to a bill. Senator Peterson is the chair of the Senate Ways and Means committee, that is hearing HB 166 with the horrendous, Petland-backed amendment.
Also, the “Pet Stores Animal Sales” amendment states, “The regulation of pet stores is a matter of general statewide interest that requires statewide regulation.” I agree that this is a laudable goal. It should, however, be reached in a decidedly different manner. Instead of voiding local ordinances with state bills, the senators should be applauding the legislative initiatives and due diligence of Grove City and Toledo.
Widespread awareness of the miserable conditions in which animals are raised by large-scale, dog merchants has launched a flurry of protective, legislative action across the nation. Over 160 jurisdictions nationwide have passed ordinances to ban the sale of mill animals in pet stores with a half dozen more poised to pass their own ordinances.
More than 21 states (AZ, AK, CA, CT, DE, FL, IL, ME, MD, MA, MN, NB, NV, NH, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, SC, VT, VA) have enacted “Puppy Lemon Laws”. “Puppy Lemon” laws are common sense consumer protections that guard against individuals unknowingly buying a dog or cat with expensive, health or severe behavior problems.
Senator Peterson was recently quoted in the media as saying he wanted to see animals coming from USDA-licensed breeders. Unfortunately, Senator, the USDA-licensed breeders require only the most bare, minimum standards of care to keep an animal alive.
Pet stores nationwide regularly advertise that their puppies and kittens come from USDA-licensed breeders. This is an attempt to relax unsuspecting consumers. The consumers believe that this means these animals are not bred in mills. That is not so. That USDA-license neither assures that the animals were housed in sanitary conditions nor confirms that the animals had adequate, veterinary care.
Big business is at its worst here. One business with its world headquarters in Ohio is directing state law, against the will of the voters across the state.
There is a hearing in Columbus on HB 166 this Wednesday WITH A POSSIBLE VOTE. We do not want the amendment to be voted on in committee. We want the amendment to be taken out.
If the committee votes on HB 166 WITH the amendment, it is also possible that HB 166 could move to the Senate floor for a vote. This would not be good.
There is a similar, pet store bill in Arizona that has passed both the House and the Senate. It awaits the governor’s signature.
“’We want to grow in all four corners of the state,’ said Mike Gonidakis, Petland attorney and lobbyist. ‘Our world headquarters is in Chillicothe. We’re a family-owned business that employs 500 people statewide in over 20 stores, and we want to grow. But radicals have been picking off city councils one at a time to ban us from operating.’”
Both Toledo and Grove City Councils have passed resolutions opposing this amendment.
When Illinois Governor Quinn signed his “Puppy Lemon” bill into law, he stated, ”This law … is all about protecting our pets and protecting our families who love their pets. We don’t want those who are conducting these puppy mills anywhere in the United States to get away with what they’re doing. That’s our real mission.”
Please write or call the members of the Senate Ways and Means committee. RESPECTFULLY ask that the “Pet Stores Animal Sales” amendment be taken out of HB 166.
“Dear Chair Peterson, Vice Chair Beagle, Ranking Minority Member Tavares, and honorable members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee,”
“I strongly urge you to strike the “Pet Store Animal Sales” amendment, recently slipped into HB 166, a tax cleanup bill.”
“I stand firmly against this amendment for several reasons. First, I am opposed to the state legislators working to end ‘home rule’. Local jurisdictions are in the best position to know what their community values are and to make their own ordinances. This is yet another example of ‘big government’ deciding what’s best for all and imposing laws which the local jurisdictions do not want.”
“Second, state legislation should protect unsuspecting consumers from buying unhealthy, unsocialized animals instead of opening the floodgates to sell more mill animals.”
“Third, this recently added amendment relates specifically to one, Ohio business whose world headquarters is located in the chair of the committee’s district, Chillicothe.”
“In closing, I urge you to strike this contentious amendment from HB 166 before the next committee meeting.”
Senate Ways and Means Committee
Sen Bob Peterson, Chair (R), (614) 466-8156 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen Bill Beagle (R), (614) 466-6247 email@example.com
Sen Chaleta Tavares (D), Ranking Minority Member (614) 466-5131 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen Troy Balderson (R), (614) 466-8076 email@example.com
Sen Capri Cafaro (D), (614) 466-7182 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen Frank LaRose (R), (614) 466-4823 email@example.com
Sen John Eklund (R), (614) 644-7718 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen Bob Hackett (R), (614) 466-3780 email@example.com
Sen Kris Jordan (R), (614) 466-8086 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen Sandra Williams (D), (614) 466-4857 email@example.com
Please copy your e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com They have been reporting on the amendment.
In my opinion, any legislator in support of this amendment is NOT a HUMANE LEGISLATOR. Do not vote for him or her in November. Keep those names on your radar and widely share them.
Thank you so much for working to stop this fast-tracked, offensive amendment!
Sub SB 215, the “Good Samaritan” bill, was hit out of the ball park yesterday by the Ohio House Judiciary Committee vote, 13 – 0. It was already on base, ready for action! The Senate had unanimously passed it. It is now rounding the bases and is headed for home plate!
Sub SB 215 allows individuals to rescue children and pets in danger in unattended vehicles. This bill can save lives, children’s and pets’. Individuals that break a window or forcibly enter a parked car to rescue a child or a pet in danger, are immune from civil damages, provided that they take certain, common sense measures.
These reasonable measures are: (1) Determine the vehicle is locked. (2) Believe the child or the pet is in danger. (3) Call 9-1-1, the police, or the fire department before entering the car. (4) Place a note on the windshield with contact information, the reason the entry was made, the location of the child or pet, and stating that authorities have been notified. (5) Remain with the child or pet until authorities arrive. (6) Use no more force than necessary to break into the vehicle.
On the other hand, Sub SB 215 is also a far-sighted bill that anticipates that a person who is “recklessness or willful … with regard to the forcible entry of the motor vehicle” will not be exempt from damages.
There are at least twenty-two states (AZ, CA, DE, FL, IL, ME, MI, MD, MN, NB, NV, NH, NJ, NY, NC, ND, NV, OK, PA, RI, SD, TN, UT, VT, WA, and WV) with legislation that specifically prohibits leaving an animal or a child in a confined vehicle, in conditions which endanger the life of the animal or child, like lack of adequate ventilation or extreme temperatures.
Cars can be deathtraps for children and pets. In 2014, there were 32 children nationwide who died horrendous deaths in hot cars, according to the organization Kids and Cars. Additionally, pets can suffer heatstroke and brain damage in minutes in a hot car or be impaired by frost bite and hypothermia, leading to their deaths, in a frigid car.
Last year in Cincinnati, where I live, there were two reports of animals dying in vehicles. One dog died a terrible death, trapped in a sweltering car in Clifton in the summer. A second dog died overnight in plummeting temperatures, left in the back of an SPCA van. Additionally, there was an eight-month old infant that died in a hot car in a parking lot in Central Ohio, last summer, while her mother shopped.
(Read Sub SB 215 at the link.)
Sub SB 215, “Good Samaritan” bill is now in effect in Ohio!
Do you have ten minutes to write to important decision-makers in Columbus this week?
Three, critical, companion animal bills will have hearings in the Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday. This is the committee in which our bills generally languish and die.
Furthermore, although there are now sixteen, companion animal bills in the current General Assembly, not one has been signed into law by Governor Kasich.
Additionally, just THREE of our stand-alone bills have been enacted in the last EIGHT YEARS.
Below is a sample script, contact information, and links to the bills. The script is lengthy so that anyone can understand the main points of each bill. Feel free to shorten it. It is always better if each person tweaks the narrative a bit so that each e-mail sounds different.
Thank you for working to see our beloved cats, precious dogs, and vulnerable people get stronger, legal protections!
Dear Chair Hite, Vice Chair Hackett, Ranking Minority Member Gentile, and members of the Senate Agriculture Committee,
I strongly encourage you to VOTE YES on HB 187, First Responders Stabilize Injured Pets, to VOTE NO on HB 60, “Goddard’s Law”, and to have additional hearings on SB151, Dog Law Revision.
First, HB 187, First Responders Stabilize Injured Pets, is a bill that can save lives, not many bills can do that. Emergency response teams have reported that individuals in a crisis, like a house fire or a car accident, are often panicked that their animals may be seriously hurt or lost. The pet owners will not be calmed, and sometimes refuse treatment, until they are reassured that their dogs and cats are safe.
Additionally, this bill clarifies the type of treatment a prized, police dog may receive in an emergency. These highly trained animals have unique skills. They protect not only their communities, but also the lives of the police officers that deploy with them. Local police departments cannot afford to accidentally lose these valuable dogs in a quickly deteriorating, dangerous situation because the first responders are not permitted by Ohio law to treat them.
Second, I support “Goddard’s Law”, Felony for Animal Cruelty, as it was originally written, as HB 274 in the 130th General Assembly.
I stand firmly opposed to the passage of HB 60, “Goddard’s Law”, because of the amendment, added just before the last, House vote. 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 different directions at once. HB 60, as originally written, aims to protect both companion animals and Ohio communities with a felony provision for animal cruelty. Animal cruelty is well understood to be a sentinel act for interpersonal violence, including murder, rape, domestic violence, elder abuse, and child abuse.
The National Association of Prosecuting Attorneys states, “Under-enforcement of animal cruelty laws is directly correlated to a host of corrosive, societal ills.”
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.
This amendment takes away one of the current options of the humane society. Each county humane society is in the best position to know whether the special prosecutor or the county prosecutor in its county can better handle the animal abuse 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, who have a sharp understanding of the complexities of the successful prosecution of animal cruelty cases, 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 felony prosecution of animal cruelty cases in Ohio. This unintended effect alone for me is worth stopping the bill.
Third, SB 151, Dog Law Revision, needs more committee work. There are valuable points in this bill, including extending the amount of time violent felons cannot own dogs from 3 years to 5 years and keeping convicted, child abusers from owning a dog for five years.
However, SB 151 offers neither incentive to rehabilitate the irresponsible owner nor common sense, bite prevention. Instead, the bill causes the dog to suffer penalties, sometimes with its life, because of its careless owner.
Practical preventions of future bites or injuries might include requiring the dog to be on a short (4 ft) leash or requiring the reckless owner to take attend behavior classes along with his dog. Upon successful completion of the dog training course, the owner will present his certificate to the dog warden.
Additionally, other states provide for declassification of the dogs after, for instance, a three-year period without a biting incident. So, the animal that was declared “dangerous”, that has completed three years without incident, may now be assigned a “nuisance”.
HB 151 leaves dog owners in the unhappy position of having to defend any injury the dog is alleged to have caused. Each time a report on the dog is filed, the dog warden is required to assign a label, “nuisance, dangerous, or vicious”, to the animal. Many owners will give up. The dogs will be surrendered.
Even worse, euthanization is mandated for any dog that kills a companion animal. This animal might be a hamster.
In summary, I urge you to VOTE YES on SB 187, First Responders Stabilize Injured Pets, to VOTE NO on HB 60, “Goddard’s Law”, and to continue to work in committee on SB 151, Dog Law Revision.
(your city, Ohio)
Read HB 187, First Responders Stabilize Pets in an Emergency, at the link below.
Read HB 60, “Goddard’s Law”, felony for animal cruelty, at the link below.
Read SB 151, Revision of Dog Law, at the link below.
Ohio Senate Agriculture Committee
Sen Cliff Hite, (R) Chair – (614) 466-8150 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen Bob Hackett, (R) Vice Chair – (614) 466-3780 email@example.com
Sen Lou Gentile, (D) Ranking Minority Member – (614) 466-6508 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen Bill Beagle (R) – (614) 466-6247 email@example.com
Sen Michael Skindell (D) – (614) 466-5123 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen Frank LaRose (R) – (614) 466-4823 email@example.com
Sen Capri Cafaro (D) – (614) 466-7182 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen Randy Gardner (R) – (614) 466-8060 email@example.com
Sen Joe Uecker, (R) – (614) 466-8082 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen Bob Peterson, (R) – (614) 466-8156 email@example.com
Sen Dave Burke, (R) – (614) 466-8049 firstname.lastname@example.org
Bestiality Must Be Outlawed
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 email@example.com
Sen Jim Hughes, vice-chair (614) 466-5981 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen Cecil Thomas, ranking minority member (614) 466-5980 email@example.com
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.”
Newark, Ohio City Council voted to ban BDL!
When Newark passes an ordinance to protect its dogs and to safeguard its community, dogs and their families across the nation also gain. Awareness grows. Momentum increases.
Do you have 10 minutes each week to curb animal cruelty and neglect? Please join Paws and the Law’s humane community. We work together across Ohio to advance state and local initiatives. Your part is easy. You can even work from the comfort of your home.
Paws and the Law closely follows legislative initiatives for companion animals. When a critical point, like a hearing or a vote is about to happen, you will receive contact information for important decision makers and a sample script. You, of course, can use your own narrative. Can you give 10 – 15 minutes a week, working from home, to work against animal cruelty?
If so, PM Beth Sheehan with your e-mail address today.
A list of the current, companion animal bills in the Ohio General Assembly follows. Most of our bills languish and die in the Ohio Senate. The 131st General Assembly ends on December 31, 2016. All bill not passed then, will have to be reintroduced in the next GA.
But if we all do whatever we can, where we are, together we will be an awesome force for good for our beloved cats and dogs.
BILLS in the 131st GENERAL ASSEMBLY
1. HB 45 – Humane Officer Training SUPPORT
Cosponsors: Representatives Jack Cera, Michael Stinziano, Debbie Phillips, Sean O’Brien, Cheryl Grossman, Michele Lepore-Hagan
Status – Local Government Committee
Summary – “to require an individual to file proof of successful completion of training with the county recorder prior to being appointed as a humane society agent and to require the revocation or suspension of an appointment under certain circumstances”
(NOTE – The humane officer has 20 hours of special training in how to approach and to analyze an animal crime scene. Additionally, HB 45 gets rid of the residency requirement. Right now a humane officer can only work in the county in which he lives. By getting rid of the residency requirement, the same amount of officers can spread out to additional counties to investigate animal cruelty.
Finally, many, Ohio counties, especially rural ones, have no humane officer.)
2. HB 60 – “Goddard’s Law”, felony for animal cruelty – ENACTED
(NOTE – Read linked blog for an explanation of possible, unintended consequences of amendment.)
Sponsors: Representatives Bill Patmon and David Hall
Cosponsors: Representatives Nickie J. Antonio, Tim W. Brown, John Patterson, Marilyn Slaby, Sarah LaTourette, Cheryl Grossman, Janine R. Boyd, Jack Cera, John Barnes, David Leland, Michele Lepore-Hagan, Debbie Phillips, Michael Sheehy, Mark Romanchuk, Louis W. Blessing, Margaret Ann Ruhl, Marlene Anielski, Mike Ashford, Nan Baker, Nicholas J. Celebrezze, Mike Dovilla, Denise Driehaus, Teresa Fedor, Bob Hackett, Stephen Hambley, Michael Henne, Stephanie D. Howse, Greta Johnson, Terry Johnson, Michael O’Brien, Sean O’Brien, Dorothy Pelanda, Dan Ramos, John Rogers, Kirk Schuring, Barbara Sears, Stephen Slesnick, Kent Smith, Marting Sweeney
Summary – “to revise provisions and penalties regarding treatment of companion animals, to revise the definition of “companion animal” in the Offenses Relating to Domestic Animals Law, and to provide a state collaborative effort to assist veterinarians in identifying clients who may use their animals to secure opioids for abuse”
(NOTE – HB 60, “Goddard’s Law”, felony for animal cruelty, is the next step for Ohio after “Nitro’s Law”. I’d like to explain 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, at sentencing, the animal abusers often end up with no jail time, a fine, AND they get their animal back.)
3. HB 94 – Cruelty, Neglect, and Tethering SUPPORT
Sponsor: Representative John Barnes, Jr.
Cosponsors: Representatives Mike Duffey, Michele Lepore-Hagan, Margaret Ruhl
Status – House Agriculture & Rural Development Committee, 1st hearing
Summary – “to prohibit a person from negligently allowing an animal to be tethered outdoors under specified circumstances”
(NOTE – HB 94 protects animals from being endlessly chained outside in extreme weather. It also gives specification to the type of shelter the outside dogs need. So, for example, it’s not “adequate shelter” to have a dog in a plastic igloo in plummeting temperatures.)
4. HB 121 – Service Dog Awareness Week – ENACTED
Sponsors: Representatives Michael Stinziano and Margaret Ann Ruhl
Cosponsors: Representatives Ron Amstutz, Nicholas Celebrezze, Michele Lepore-Hagan, Debbie Phillips, Jeffery Rezabek, Ronald V. Gerberry, Cheryl Grossman, Bob Hackett, Stephen Slesnick, Martin Sweeney, Sarah LaTourette, Nickie J. Antonio, Nan A. Baker, Andrew Brenner, Thomas E. Brinkman, Tim W. Brown, Jim Buchy, Hearcel F. Craig, Robert R. Cupp, Timothy Derickson, Denise Driehaus, Teresa Fedor, Timothy E. Ginter, Christina Hagan, David Hall, Stephen Hambley, Brian Hill, Greta Johnson, Terry Johnson, Christie Bryant Kuhns, Stephanie Kunze, Al Landis, David Leland, Michael O’Brien, Sean O’Brien, Rick Perales, Dan Ramos, John Rogers, Mark Romanchuk, Tim Schaffer, Barbara Sears, Michael Sheehy, Marilyn Slaby, Kent Smith, Robert Sprague, Emilia Strong Sykes, Ron Young
Summary – “to designate the last week of July as ‘Service Dog Awareness Week’”
(NOTE – HB 121 highlights the unique skills a service animal provides to his owner so that the owner is able to become more independent and mobile in his own life. It also informs business owners of the rights the service animal and his owner have when they enter their places of business.)
5. HB 187 – First Responders May Give First Aid to Pets – ENACTED
Sponsor: Representative Timothy Ginter
Cosponsors: Representatives Sarah LaTourette, Blessing III, Schaffer, Vitale, Michele Lepore-Hagan, Margaret Ruhl, Becker, Steve Hambley
Summary – “to authorize a first responder, emergency medical technician-basic, emergency medical technician-intermediate, emergency medical technician-paramedic, or volunteer firefighter to stabilize an injured animal in an emergency”
https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA131-HB-187 (Read HB 187 here.)
(NOTE – HB 187 clearly defines what first responders may do on behalf of our pets in a crisis, such as a fire or a car accident. They may provide oxygen to a stressed animal or a splint to his injured leg before the animal goes to a veterinarian.)
6. HB 198 – Special Prosecutors OPPOSED
(NOTE – Read linked, opponent testimony of Matt Ditchey, representative of eight, Ohio grassroots groups. http://pawsandthelawblog.com/?p=367)
Sponsors : Representatives Steve Hambley and Greta Johnson
Summary – “to abolish the humane society’s authority to employ an attorney to prosecute certain violations of law dealing with animal cruelty or acts involving mistreatment or nonsupport of children”
Status: Referred to House Judiciary committee
Click here to view the full text of the bill as introduced in the House – > https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA131-HB-198
7. HB 215 – Animal Fighting SUPPORT
Sponsors: Representatives Barbara Sears and Heather Bishoff
Cosponsors: Representatives Cheryl Grossman, Brian Hill, Steven Kraus, Sarah LaTourette, David Leland, Robert McColley, Debbie Phillips, Michael Sheehy, Michael Stinziano
Summary – “to prohibit and establish an increased penalty for knowingly engaging in activities associated with cockfighting, bearbaiting, or pitting an animal against another”
Status – Passed out of House in February of 2016
https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA131-HB-215 (Read HB 215 here.)
8. House Bill No. 278 – County Humane Societies – OPPOSE
Sponsor: Representative Steve Hambley
Summary – “to require approval by the board of county commissioners, instead of the probate judge, of appointments of agents by county humane societies outside a municipal corporation, to specify that a county humane society is a political subdivision, to make its directors, agents, officers, and employees subject to the Ethics Law, and to increase the salaries paid to the agents.”
Status: Referred to Government Accountability and Oversight Committee
(Read HB 278 here.)
9. House Bill No. 447 – Killing Police Animal
Sponsors: Representatives Kirk Schuring and Stephen Slesnick
Summary – to prohibit a person from intentionally killing a police dog or horse in the line of duty.
Status: Referred to State Government committee
(Read HB 447 here.)
10. House Bill 450 – Officer May Purchase His Police Animal
Sponsors: Representatives Andy Thompson and Dave Hall
Summary – to authorize a law enforcement officer to purchase a police dog or horse for one dollar when the officer retires in good standing from a law enforcement agency
Status: Referred to State Government Committee
(Read HB 450 here.)
11. HB 573 – Dogs Sold in Pet Stores – OPPOSE
12. SB 151, “The Klonda Richey Act” INTERESTED
Sponsor: Senator Bill Beagle
Cosponsor: Senator Peggy Lehner
Summary – “to define nuisance, dangerous, and vicious dogs, to revise enforcement of that Law, and to establish a notification process regarding complaints of certain violations of that law”
Status – State and Local Government Committee
https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA131-SB-151 (Read SB 151 here.)
13. Senate Bill No. 195 – Bestiality – INTERESTED
Sponsors: Senators Jim Hughes and Sen. Jay Hottinger
Cosponsors: Senators Kenny Yuko, Frank LaRose, Sandra R. Williams
Summary – “to prohibit a person from engaging in sexual conduct with an animal and related acts, to provide for the seizure and impoundment of an animal that is the subject of a violation, and to authorize a sentencing court to require an offender to undergo psychological evaluation or counseling.”
Status: Referred to Criminal Justice committee
(Read SB 195 here.)
14. SB 215 – “Good Samaritan” – ENACTED
Sponsors: Senators Jim Hughes and Frank LaRose
Cosponsors: Senators Joe Uecker, Kevin Bacon, Bill Beagle, Dave Burke, Bill Coley, Randy Gardner, Cliff Hite, Jay Hottinger, Shannon Jones, Kris Jordan, Peggy Lehner, Gayle Mannning, Larry Obhof, Tom Patton, Tom Sawyer, Joe Schiavoni, Charleta B. Tavares, Cecil Thomas, Kenny Yuko
Summary – to allow individuals to rescue a pet or a child in danger in an unattended vehicle without liability
https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-votes?id=GA131-SB-215 (Read SB 215 here.)
15. Senate Bill 271 – Purchase Police Animal – INTERESTED
Sponsor: Sen. Lou Gentile
Summary – “to authorize a law enforcement officer to purchase a police dog or horse for fair market value when the officer retires in good standing from a law enforcement agency and certain conditions are met.”
Status: Referred to Agriculture Committee
17. Senate Bill 286 – Killing Police Animal – INTERESTED
Sponsor: Sen. Jim Hughes
Summary – “to modify the penalty for assaulting a police dog or horse to require, if the dog or horse is killed, a mandatory prison term and a mandatory fine to be paid to the law enforcement agency served by the dog or horse.”
Status: Passed out of House committee
18. SB 331 – Dogs Sold in Pet Stores – OPPOSE
Status: Voted out of Senate
Paws and the Law is proud to endorse
these humane legislators …
The single, most important act you can take to curb animal cruelty and neglect is to VOTE SMART! Vote for HUMANE LEGISLATORS that have a proven, voting record of sponsoring / cosponsoring and voting for good, companion animal bills and voting against bad ones.
Here are the humane legislators, currently serving in the House of Representatives. The newer representatives are not included since they do not have a significant voting record yet. Some candidates on your November 8 ballot have no voting records because they have not been elected yet.
Please VOTE SMART for HUMANE LEGISLATORS on November 8. All 99 House seats and half of the 33 Senate seats will be on the ballot. These are the Columbus decision makers who vote for (or against) our companion animal laws.
Find your state rep and your state senator by filling in BOTH boxes (zip code PLUS four-digit extension) at the link below.
Candidates running for office have both a web site and a Facebook page. Why not call them or message them on their web page or on Facebook? Ask them which companion animal bills they have voted for in the past. Ask what their position is on an animal cruelty registry, animal fighting, and felony for animal cruelty.
Be sure to share what you have learned with your family and friends before November 8!
Because of our heavily gerrymandered districts in Ohio, the November winners for our Senate and House will be largely determined in March. Yet, that does not mean that we should not try!
Thank you for VOTING SMART!
Marlene Anielski (R )
Nickie J. Antonio (D)
Michael D. Ashford (D)
John E. Barnes (D)
Heather Bishoff (D)
Louis Blessing (R)
Kristin Boggs (D)
Janine Boyd (D)
Tim Brown (R )
Jim Butler (R )
Nicholas J. Celebrezze (D)
Jack Cera (D)
Kathleen Clyde (D)
Margaret Conditt (R )
Bob Cupp (R )
Anthony DeVitis (R )
Mike Duffey (R )
Tim Ginter (R )
Anne Gonzales (R )
Doug Green (R )
Christina M. Hagan (R )
Stephanie Howse (D)
Jim Hughes (R)
Terry A. Johnson (R )
Al Landis (R )
Michele Lepore-Hagan (D)
John Patterson (D)
Rick Perales (R ) …
Dan Ramos (D)
Alicia Reece (D)
Wes Retherford (R )
John M. Rogers (D)
Mark Romanchuk (R )
Cliff Rosenberger (R )
Gary K. Scherer (R ) …
Kirk Schuring (R)
Michael Sheehy (D)
Marilyn Slaby (R)
Kent Smith (D)
Ryan Smith (R )
Robert Cole Sprague (R )
Fred Strahorn (D)
Ron Young (R )