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Outlaw Bestiality in Ohio

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  eklund@ohiosenate.gov 

Sen Jim Hughes, vice-chair  (614) 466-5981   hughes@ohiosenate.gov

Sen Cecil Thomas, ranking minority member (614) 466-5980  thomas@ohiosenate.gov

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.” 

Please call Columbus to oppose HB 278, “County Humane Societies”

HB 278 Weakens the Effective Prosecution of Ohio Animal Cruelty

Opposition testimony is being heard in Columbus for HB 278, “Special Prosecutors”, on Tuesday, February 23, 2016.  I strongly encourage you to write to the leadership of the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee in opposition to this bill.

You may use any part of my blog that you like.  It is always better if you vary it so that all of the letters do not sound the same.

Links to both the bill and its analysis follow the blog.

House Government Accountability and Oversight

Rep Tim W. Brown, chair   rep03@ohiohouse.gov   (614) 466-8104

Rep Louis W. Blessing, vice chair  rep29@ohiohouse.gov  (614) 466-9091

Rep Kathleen Clyde, ranking minority member rep75@ohiohouse.gov  (614) 466-2004

HB 278 Has Shut its Eyes to Rampant Violence

I oppose the passage of HB 278, “Special Prosecutors”, sponsored by Representative Stephen Hambley.  Animal cruelty, a gateway act to human violence, must be prosecuted with great vigor in order to effectively safeguard our communities.

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 county humane society is in the best position right now to properly choose between the special prosecutor and the county prosecutor.  HB 278 takes away that choice.

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? 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.

Also, each day dogs and cats are impounded, 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.

Moreover, HB 278 allows removal of humane agents by the Probate Court without cause and removes the broad reporting requirement for child abuse cases.

HB 278 does have worthy attributes.  It removes the residency requirement for humane agents.  Thus, Ohio humane agents would be able to work outside of the county in which they reside.  In addition, the county would raise the monthly pay for humane agents from $25 to $150.

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.

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

 

https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA131-HB-278

 Read the bill in its entirety at the link above.

https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/download?key=4090&format=pdf

Read the analysis of HB 278 at the link above.

 

HB 45, Humane Officer Training, “adds teeth” to combat violence!

Ohio, let’s turn back the violence in our towns and cities!  We’ll start by working to enact legislation “with sharp teeth” to protect our beloved, companion animals and to safeguard our wonderful neighborhoods.  Ohio voters, seeking safer communities, understand HB 45, Humane Officer Training, is a critical part of stemming the violence.

Animal cruelty and interpersonal violence are powerfully connected. Animal abuse is, first and foremost, an act of violence.  The perpetrator causes suffering, injury, and possible death to the animal.  The tormentor can also be acting out violence in ways that are less evident to the casual eye.   There may be other vulnerable victims (mentally handicapped, elderly, children, spouses) living nearby in danger and in fear.

HB 45 has two, main components.  First, it mandates the filing with the county recorder of twenty hours of successful training for humane officers.  The officers are schooled in the investigation and prosecution of cruelty and neglect to animals.   They are also educated about “domestic violence, violence-related incidents, protection orders, consent agreements, crisis intervention, missing children, child abuse, and neglect”.   So, while investigating the animal abuse, their trained eyes are scanning for additional at risk victims.

As first responders to an animal crime scene, the humane officers collect evidence and make assessments that form the foundation upon which a later animal cruelty trial is based. If the humane officers  are improperly trained and neither know what to look for nor know what to do during that initial phase of an animal abuse case, the case will be lost from the first day.  The animal abuser will go free.  The animal will be returned to the abuser.

Second, HB 45 eliminates the residency requirement.  Current law says that the humane officer can work only in the county in which he resides.  By getting rid of the residency requirement, more Ohio counties will be served by the same amount of animal cruelty investigators.

Additionally, there are many, Ohio counties today without even one humane officer.  So, when animal cruelty cases arise, there are no humane officers to respond.

Finally, each county pays the humane officer merely $25 each month.  Liz Raab is working on an amendment to HB 57 that would raise that salary. 

Let’s look at one, famous, Ohio animal cruelty case.  Liz Raab, and her husband, Tom Siesto, left their beloved three-year old, Rottweiler, Nitro, with food, toys, full medical coverage, and the anticipation of additional training for Nitro, in a Youngstown kennel, while they kept vigil at the hospital bed of Liz’s father.

When they came to pick up Nitro, they were stunned by the nightmarish scene and horrific news.  Nitro was in a freezer waiting for them.  The boarding kennel had  been a hell hole, with no food or water for the animals lodged there.  Those nineteen dogs had been left in a house of death.  Nitro and six other animals had died slow, painful deaths.   An additional twelve animals were in deplorable physical condition, severely underweight, dehydrated, and near starvation.  Liz and Tom’s much-loved family pet went from a healthy 105 pounds when they left him at the kennel to 50 pounds at his death weeks later.

This cruelty case of nineteen, emaciated and dead dogs, was bungled from its beginning.  When the humane officers entered the crime scene, they neither had a search warrant, nor were both humane officers already sworn into office. Therefore, the evidence that they collected that day could not be used in court.

Fifteen charges, out of nineteen possible charges, were dropped because the officers came without a search warrant.  Only four charges, relating to the four dogs that could be seen from a neighbor’s yard, remained.

Ohio’s puny animal laws revealed themselves at the kennel owner’s, criminal trial.  For severe, animal cruelty, the agonizing deaths and near deaths of nineteen family pets, the kennel owner was subject to a misdemeanor charge with four counts of animal cruelty and four months in jail. 

The owner then declared bankruptcy, which allowed him to avoid paying for the animals in the lawsuit.

Interpersonal violence and animal cruelty are tightly interwoven, living in the shadows of our neighborhoods.  If Ohio is to effectively combat violence, it must prosecute animal cruelty with the same fervor as it acts against interpersonal violence.  Step one is to have properly trained, humane officers who rigorously comply with the law. 

This significant bill, Humane Officer Training, has died in previous Ohio General Assemblies.  It appears headed down that same path today.  HB 45 needs our support. 

Join Ohio voters across the state in support of HB 45, Humane Officer Training, by calling or writing important, decision makers today.  Start by contacting Senator Keith Faber, president of the Ohio Senate. Then contact the members of the Senate Agriculture Committee.  Their contact information is provided below.

Each of your calls is noted by the legislators and helps to move HB 45, Humane Officer Training, forward.

Ohio, let’s keep the momentum going for HB 45!

https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA131-HB-45  (Read the bill here.)