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PM Beth Sheehan your foster, rescue, or advocacy group name to join the grassroots support for SB 232

Senate Agriculture Committee

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. 

Bills and Ballot Initiative in the 132nd Ohio General Assembly


1.  HB 226 – “Fireworks” aims to make higher grade fireworks more    accessible      


  • sponsors – Rep Bill Seitz (R), Rep Martin Sweeney (D)

  • cosponsors –  Rep Bill Dean (R), Rep John Becker (R), Rep Andy Thompson (R), Rep Wesley Goodman (R), Rep Dick Stein (R), Rep Bill Reineke (R), Rep Louis Blessing (R), Rep Kyle Koehler (R)

  • Fireworks terrify many dogs.  They panic and run away to get away from the explosions.  Shelters fill up with lost dogs after July 4 each year.

  • Woodland animals flee and abandon their nests.

  • Ohio has 800,000 veterans. Veterans with PTSD, sadly, relive the trauma of war when they hear the thunder of fireworks.

  • Individuals with dementia and autism are frightened by the sounds.

  • 120 Ohioans go to ER each year with injuries.  They lose limbs and are blinded. Their homes are set on fire.

  • https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-HB-226 (Read the bill here)
  • status – PASSED OHIO HOUSE, 84-13  on 10/13/17

  • http://www.dispatch.com/opinion/20170919/editorial-new-bill-is-bad-medicine (Dispatch – “Dangerous Fireworks Bill Should Fizzle”)


  • http://www.dispatch.com/news/20171011/those-fireworks-youve-been-setting-off-may-finally-be-legal-in-ohio (Dispatch article)


2.  HB 263 – “Pups on the Patio”, allows dogs on outdoor patios of restaurants


      sponsor – Rep Laura Lanese (R)

  •  status – moves to full House for vote

  • Restaurant owner must agree.  Patio must have its separate entrance.   Dogs are not permitted on the chairs or tables. Dog clean-up bags will be available. 
  •  https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-HB-263 (Read the bill here)

3.  HB 319 – “Shelter Dog as State Pet”


      sponsor – Rep Laura Lanese (R)

  • https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-HB-3194 (Read the bill here)

4.  HB 349 – “Increase Crime of Assaulting a Police or Search & Rescue –      Dog or Horse “


     sponsor – Rep Sarah LaTourette (R)

  • Applies same penalities for assaulting or harassing search and rescue dogs and horses as police dogs and horses have                                                                                                                                          
  •  Increases the penalty for assaulting a police dog or horse from a second degree misdemeanor to a fourth degree felony, a third degree felony if the animal suffers serious physical harm, and a second degree felony if the animal dies.

      https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation?          2&pageSize=10&start=1&sort=LegislationNumber&dir=asc&statusCode&legislationNumber=349&legislationTypes=HB&generalAssemblies=132   (Read the bill here)

5. HB 433 – “Veterinary Spay-Neuter”


  • sponsors – Reps Tom Brinkman (R) and Brigid Kelly (D)
  • author – DanaMarie Pannella, Esq.
  • This House bill and its companion bill, SB 232 in the Senate, give Ohio veterinarians the OPTION (not mandate) of using 2 CEU’s for FOUR HOURS of FREE SPAY-NEUTER.
  • Status – has had two hearings in Economic Development, Labor, and Commerce Committee

    Read Rep Brigid Kelly’s sponsor testimony at the link below for a clear understanding of the bill.

    http://pawsandthelawblog.com  (Read Rep Brigid Kelly’s sponsor testimony here)

    https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legis…/legislation-summary… (Read the bill here)

    6.  HB 506, “High Volume Breeders” (AKA ‘puppy mills’) 


    sponsor – Rep Brian Hill (R)

    cosponsors – Reps Andy Thompson (R), Brian Smith (R), John Patterson (D), Kirk Schuring (R), Bill Seitz (R), Koehler, Thomas Patton (R), Dick Stein (R), Thomas West (D),  Martin Sweeney (D), Darrell Kick (R), Scott Ryan (R), James Hoops (R)

    This bill is introduced in response to the STOP PUPPY MILLS OHIO (SPMO) ballot initiative.

    HB 506 is not as good for animals from high volume breeders (AKA “puppy mills”) as Stop Puppy Mills Ohio (SPMO) is.  Both HB 506 & SPMO ban stacking of cages & require daily cleaning of cages.

    The House committee has made improvements on the bill, such as having a licensed veterinarian provide medical care for the animals.

    status – moves to the full House for a vote


    7.  HB 523 – “Cross-reporting of Animal Abuse and Child Abuse”


    •  sponsors – Representatives Laura Lanese (R), Rick Perales (R)
    •  This bill requires cross-reporting of child abuse and animal cruelty 
    •  status – House Community and Family Advancement – 2nd hearing – March 14, 2018

    https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-HB-523  (Read the bill here)

    http://pawsandthelawblog.com/?p=1419 (Read my proponent testimony here)


    8.  HB 539 – Labrador Retriever as State Dog


    sponsor – Representative Jeff Rezabek

    status – 

    https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-HB-539  (Read HB 539 here)

    9.  HB 552 – Euthanasia and Chemical Capture of Animals


    sponsor- Representative LaTourette

    status – not yet assigned to committee

    https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-HB-552  (Read HB 552 here)

     10.  HB 560 – Prohibit pet food from containing euthanized animal remains


     sponsor – Laura Lanese (R)

    author – DanaMarie Pannella, Esq.

    status – not yet assigned to committee


11.  SB 195 – “Nuisance, Dangerous, and Vicious Dogs”


  • sponsor – Sen Bill Beagle (R)

  • https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-documents?id=GA132-SB-195 (Read the bill here)

12.  SB 232 – “Veterinary Spay-Neuter”


  • sponsor – Sen Cecil Thomas (D)

  • cosponsors – Senators Charleta Tavares (D),  Joe Schiavoni (D), Kenny Yuko (D)

  • author – DanaMarie Pannella, Esq.

  • status – has had two hearings in the Agriculture Committee

  • This Senate bill and its companion bill, HB 433, in the House, give Ohio veterinarians the OPTION (not mandate) of using 2 CEU’s for FOUR HOURS of FREE SPAY-NEUTER.

  •  https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-SB-232 (Read the bill here)



  • HSUS ballot initiative
  • aims to change the Ohio Constitution to standardize care in the kennels of large-scale breeders (AKA “puppy mills”)

  • applies to breeders with eight or more unspayed females and annual sales of more than 15 dogs