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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. 

SB 232, “Veterinary Spay-Neuter” bill on its way to win!

Are you in?

Follow SB 232, “Veterinary Spay-Neuter” bill on its path to victory for Ohio cats, dogs, & the people that love them!

1. SB 232 started with the idea of reducing the number of healthy and adoptable, shelter pets.

2. Senator Cecil Thomas (D), humane legislator, agreed to sponsor this bill.

3. DanaMarie Pannella, Esq., experienced, compassionate attorney, wrote SB 232.

4. Senator Thomas asked the other senators if they would like to co-sponsor his bill. Senators Schiavoni (D), Yuko (D), and Tavares (D) are now co-sponsors. 

5. On November 14, 2017 the “Veterinary Spay-Neuter” bill was  assigned a number, SB 232.

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

6. On November 15, 2017, the bill was assigned to the Senate Agriculture Committee.

7. This is where YOU come in.  YOUR CALLS PUSH SB 232 forward in the process.

It’s always best to change the script a bit so that your message sounds fresh.  You might comment with an original phrase about your feelings.You might say, “Good morning, Senator Hoagland, this is (your name), calling from (your city), an Ohio voter.  —  I’m very excited about SB 232, the “Veterinary Spay-Neuter” bill.  I don’t see how anyone could oppose it because the bill gives veterinarians the option, not a mandate, to perform free spay-neuter in exchange for continuing education units. 

It’s a win-win bill!  I strongly urge you to call SB 232 to a sponsor hearing in the Senate Agriculture Committee. – Thank you.”


Please PM me, Beth Sheehan, with your e-mail address to be placed on the “Animal Action Alerts!” list. I provide a sample script and contact information. Your call should take about 5 minutes.

Are you in?

Congress ok’s the killing of wolves and bears in Alaska wildlife refuges

How did YOUR U.S. rep and YOUR TWO, U.S. senators vote?

The U.S. House and the U.S. Senate voted to OVERTURN a rule banning “some of the most appalling practices … denning of wolf pups, killing hibernating bears, spotting grizzly bears from aircraft and then shooting them after landing, and trapping grizzly bears and black bears with steel-jawed leghold traps and snares” … This will be on “16 national wildlife refuges covering 76 million acres, all in the state of Alaska.”

“Republican lawmakers did this for the NRA, the Safari Club, and some hunting guides and outfitters.” (Read the details in Humane Society, linked)


I strongly encourage you to call your three, federal legislators to voice your support or opposition to their votes.

“Good morning, Senator Brown.  This is (your name), an Ohio voter, calling from (your city and zip code).  Thank you for your NO VOTE on SJ Res 18, which overturns important, wildlife protections for wolf pups and hibernating bears.  It allows for aerial spotting of bears and steel-jawed, leg traps.  I do not support these cruel methods of killing wildlife. I appreciate that you do not either.”


Just click on @SenSherrodBrown below.  You will be taken to his Twitter account. Non-Ohio voters can use their own U.S. senators here.

@SenSherrodBrown   Thanks 4 your NO VOTE on SJ Res 18 – No more killing vulnerable, wolf pups & hibernating bears in Alaska #STOPreversingprotections

@senrobportman  I’m disheartened that you VOTED YES on SJ Res 18 – I oppose killing wolves & bears on Alaskan wildlife refuges 

You can find YOUR two U.S. senators and their contact information at the link below.  Contact information for Ohio Senators Brown and Portman follow. 

https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/  (Find all 100 U.S. senators here)

http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/   (Find all 435 U.S. representatives here)  

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown (D)

Cleveland  (216) 522-7272     Toll Free 1-888-896-OHIO (6446)

Cincinnati  (513) 684-1021     Columbus  (614) 469-2083

Lorain  (440) 242-4100     Washington, DC  (202) 224-2315

Ohio Senator Rob Portman (R)

Washington, D.C.   (202) 224-3353     Columbus (614) 469-6774

Toll-Free 1-800-205-6446 (OHIO)     Cincinnati  (513) 684-3265

Cleveland  (216)  522-7095     Toledo  (419)  259-3895

https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/  (Find all 100 U.S. senators here.)

U.S. senators voted largely on party lines 52-48, 2 not voting

YEAS – 52  (to OVERTURN the current rule)
Alexander (R-TN)   Barrasso (R-WY)   Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)   Burr (R-NC)   Capito (R-WV)
Cassidy (R-LA)   Cochran (R-MS)   Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)   Cornyn (R-TX)   Cotton (R-AR)
Crapo (R-ID)   Cruz (R-TX)   Daines (R-MT)
Enzi (R-WY)   Ernst (R-IA)   Fischer (R-NE)
Flake (R-AZ)   Gardner (R-CO)   Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)   Hatch (R-UT)   Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)   Inhofe (R-OK)   Johnson (R-WI)
Kennedy (R-LA)   Lankford (R-OK)   Lee (R-UT)
McCain (R-AZ)   McConnell (R-KY)   Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)   Perdue (R-GA)   Portman (R-OH)
Risch (R-ID)   Roberts (R-KS)   Rounds (R-SD)
Rubio (R-FL)   Sasse (R-NE)   Scott (R-SC)
Shelby (R-AL)   Strange (R-AL)   Sullivan (R-AK)
Thune (R-SD)   Tillis (R-NC)   Toomey (R-PA)
Wicker (R-MS)   Young (R-IN)
NAYs – 48  (to KEEP the current protections)
Baldwin (D-WI)   Bennet (D-CO)   Blumenthal (D-CT)
Booker (D-NJ)   Brown (D-OH)   Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)   Carper (D-DE)   Casey (D-PA)
Coons (D-DE)   Cortez Masto (D-NV)   Donnelly (D-IN)
Duckworth (D-IL)   Durbin (D-IL)   Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)   Gillibrand (D-NY)   Harris (D-CA)
Hassan (D-NH)   Heinrich (D-NM)   Heitkamp (D-ND)
Hirono (D-HI)   Kaine (D-VA)   King (I-ME)
Klobuchar (D-MN)   Leahy (D-VT)   Manchin (D-WV)
Markey (D-MA)   McCaskill (D-MO)   Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)   Murphy (D-CT)   Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)   Peters (D-MI)   Reed (D-RI)
Sanders (I-VT)   Schatz (D-HI)   Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)   Stabenow (D-MI)   Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-NM)   Van Hollen (D-MD)   Warner (D-VA)
Warren (D-MA)   Whitehouse (D-RI)   Wyden (D-OR)
Not Voting – 2
Isakson (R-GA)   Paul (R-KY)

Ohio:  Brown (D-OH), Nay  Portman (R-OH), Yea

Ohio U.S. representatives

Please check below to see how YOUR U.S. Rep voted today on HJ 69, (renamed SJ Res 18 in the U.S. Senate). Then, call him either to thank him for his vote or to respectfully tell him his vote does not represent your views and why.

Ohio U.S. reps voted strictly on party lines. 

Steve Chabot (R) YES (513) 684-2723
Warren Davidson (R) YES (513) 779-5400
Bob Gibbs (R) YES (419) 207-0650 
Jim Jordan (R) YES (419) 999-6455
Bill Johnson (R) YES (740)-376-0868
David Joyce (R) YES (440) 352-3939
Bob Latta (R) YES (419) 354-8700
Jim Renacci (R) YES (330) 336-3001
Steve Stivers (R) YES (614) 771-4968
Pat Tiberi (R) YES (614) 895-0900
Mike Turner (R) YES (937) 225-2843
Brad Wenstrup (R) YES (513) 474-7777

Joyce Beatty (D) NO (202) 225-4324 
Marcia Fudge (D) NO (216) 522-4900
Marcy Kaptur (D) NO (216) 767-5933
Tim Ryan (D) NO (330) 630-7311

http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2017/roll098.xml (Check non-Ohio US reps’ votes here)

Please TWEET or CALL Ohio Governor Kasich

Ohio Governor John Kasich signed SB 331, the ‘Petland’ bill, into law, “behind closed doors and without additional comment”, as reported by the Vindicator.  

A huge thanks goes to each of you for all the calls and tweets that  sent to the governor. You stayed active, dedicated, and strong right until the final moments.

You are wonderful advocates for our animal friends.

Governor Kasich and the legislators that VOTED YES on SB 331 did not listen to us. The bill moved very quickly through the legislature and then to the governor. Interested parties were not included in all of the discussions. It was not properly vetted.

Governor Kasich and the legislators who voted yes have failed us and the animals that we love.

There are some 22 states have passed “Puppy Lemon” laws and 206 jurisdictions across the nation that have passed pet store ordinances, aimed at drying up the market for mill animals. 

Why has Ohio moved so quickly in the OPPOSITE direction?

Petland could continue to stay in business utilizing a humane, business model, as other successful, national, pet stores use.

Finally, the governor and the Statehouse majority have stomped ‘home-rule’, embedded in the Ohio Constitution. The same legislators that cry “No more big government”, always bristling at interference from the federal government, have dishonored the work and the judgement of local jurisdictions and have taken away some of their legal rights with the passage of SB 331.

How did YOUR STATE SENATOR and YOUR STATE REP vote?  A YES VOTE means they are in support of SB 331. A NO VOTE means they are opposed to SB 331.

Ohio Senate Vote – December 7, 2016

Yeas : 21 – Nays : 10


Kevin Bacon (R), Troy Balderson (R), Bill Beagle (R), Dave Burke (R), Bill Coley (R), John Eklund (R), Keith Faber (R), Bob D. Hackett (R), Cliff Hite (R), Jay Hottinger (R),Shannon Jones (R), Kris Jordan (R), Frank LaRose (R), Peggy Lehner (R), Gayle Manning (R),Larry Obhof (R), Scott Oelslager (R), Tom Patton (R), Bob Peterson (R), Bill Seitz (R), Joe Uecker (R), Bob D. Hackett (R)


Edna Brown (D), Randy Gardner (R), Lou Gentile (D), Tom Sawyer (D), Joe Schiavoni (D), Michael J. Skindell (D), Charleta B. Tavares (D), Cecil Thomas (D), Sandra R. Williams (D), Kenny Yuko (D)

Ohio House Votes – December 7, 2016

Yeas : 55 – Nays : 42


Ron Amstutz (R), Marlene Anielski (R), Niraj J. Antani (R), Steven Arndt (R), Nan A. Baker (R), John Becker (R), Louis W. Blessing III (R), Terry Boose (R), Andrew Brenner (R), Jim Buchy (R), Tony Burkley (R), Jim Butler (R), Margaret Conditt (R), Robert R. Cupp (R), Anthony DeVitis (R), Bill Dean (R), Jonathan Dever (R), Mike Dovilla (R), Theresa Gavarone (R), Timothy E. Ginter (R), Anne Gonzales (R), Wesley A. Goodman (R), Doug Green (R), Christina Hagan (R), David Hall (R), Bill Hayes (R), Michael Henne (R), Brian Hill (R), Ron Hood (R), Stephen A. Huffman (R), Candice R. Keller (R), Kyle Koehler (R), Al Landis (R), Ron Maag (R), Nathan H. Manning (R), Robert McColley (R), Derek Merrin (R), Dorothy Pelanda (R), Rick Perales (R), Bill Reineke (R), Wes Retherford (R), Kristina Roegner (R), Mark J. Romanchuk (R), Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R), Scott Ryan (R), Tim Schaffer (R), Gary Scherer (R), Kirk Schuring (R), Marilyn Slaby (R), Ryan Smith (R), Robert Sprague (R), Louis Terhar (R), Andy Thompson (R), Ron Young (R), Paul Zeltwanger (R)


Nickie J. Antonio (D), Mike Ashford (D), John Barnes, Jr. (D), Heather Bishoff (D), John Boccieri (D), Kristin Boggs (D), Kevin Boyce (D), Janine R. Boyd (D), Thomas E. Brinkman, Jr. (R), Nicholas J. Celebrezze (D), Jack Cera (D), Kathleen Clyde (D), Hearcel F. Craig (D), Michael F. Curtin (D), Denise Driehaus (D), Mike Duffey (R), Teresa Fedor (D), Cheryl L. Grossman (R), Stephen D. Hambley (R), Stephanie D. Howse (D), Greta Johnson (D), Christie Bryant Kuhns (D), Stephanie Kunze (R), Sarah LaTourette (R), David Leland (D), Michele Lepore-Hagan (D), Michael J. O’Brien (D), Sean O’Brien (D), Bill Patmon (D), John Patterson (D), Debbie Phillips (D), Alicia Reece (D), Jeffery S. Rezabek (R), John M. Rogers (D), Margaret Ann Ruhl (R), Michael Sheehy (D), Stephen Slesnick (D), Kent Smith (D), Fred Strahorn (D), Martin J. Sweeney (D), Emilia Strong Sykes (D), A. Nino Vitale (R)

SB 331 also OVERTURNS the pet store ordinances already in effect in Toledo and Grove City and STOPS other, Ohio jurisdictions from passing future pet store ordinances. 

Please send a RESPECTFUL tweet, expressing disappointment in the passage of SB 331.  I know that many of you are angry, hurt, and fed up.  This bill is not fair to our puppies, our families, and our workers.  Yet, your message will not be well received unless it is POLITE.

You may tweet these phrases, or you might want to tweet your personal message.  

#SB331stompshomerule 22 states & 205 jurisdictions protect unsuspecting consumers – Why not Ohio?

#SB331stompshomerule OH Gov Kasich fails workers, families, & puppies

#SB331stompshomerule fast-tracked without proper vetting hurts OH workers, consumers, puppies

Is Ohio HOME RULE state (Statehouse said yes on BSL bill) or not (Statehouse said no on Petland bill)?

 Would you like to create a Twitter account?  It is free.  You can set up an account in a few easy steps.  Ask a teenager for help if you need support.

I went down the entire Twitter list here on this page in just 2 minutes, tweeting to all.

Yes, you can use your e-mail address (instead of your telephone number).


Twitter accounts 

@JohnKasich  —   John Kasich, governor

@TeamJohnKasich  —   John Kasich, communication team

@OhioSenateGOP  —  Ohio Senate GOP Caucus

@OhioSenateDems  —  Ohio Senate Dem Caucus

@OHRGOPCaucus  —  Ohio House GOP Caucus

@OHHouseDems  —  Ohio House Dem Caucus

@OhioPoliticsNow  —  Columbus Dispatch, politics

@Enquirer  —  Cincinnati Enquirer

@jpelzer  —  Jeremy Pelzer, Cleveland Plain Dealer

@dskolnick  —  David Skolnick, Youngstown Vindicator

@ohiocapitalblog  —  Marc Kovac

@ThomasSuddes —  Thomas Suddes

@ohioaj  —  Alan Johnson, Columbus Dispatch

@dispatcheditor  — Alan D. Miller, editor at Columbus Dispatch

                                Add your own hometown newspaper.

Call Governor Kasich at 614-466-3555.

https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA131-SB-331   (Read SB 331 here.)

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.



 Read the bill in its entirety at the link above.


Read the analysis of HB 278 at the link above.


Your precious vote in March can boost our bills

Thank you for following Joseph’s Legacy & Paws and the Law to stay connected to our humane community.

                     Thank you for doing what you can, where you are, to help our pets!

         Your vote in the March, primary election is very important for the success of our bills.

Be an informed voter in this year’s March primary election.  Because of the heavily gerrymandered, Ohio districts, the Democrat from the Democratic district who wins in March, and the Republican from the Republican district who wins in March, will both also win in November.

So, please be thoughtful with your precious, March vote.

All of the ninety-nine representatives in the House and half of the 33 senators in the Senate are up for reelection this year.  These one hundred thirty-two legislators vote on our companion animal bills.

You will vote for your state representative and possibly also for your state senator in March.   Please click on the link below to find your TWO, state  legislators. (Senators Brown and Portman are US congressional senators, not state senators.)

https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/ (Locate your state rep and your state senator here by typing in your zip code PLUS four digit extension in the two boxes next to “Find my legislators”.  If you followed the directions correctly, you will see two names, one state senator and one state rep.  Questions? PM Beth Sheehan)

I strongly encourage you to call or to write  your state representative and state senator. Make a public records request of their voting record on our bills.

You might say, “Good morning, Representative Smith.  This is __(your name __) from __(your city)__.  I am one of your constituents and an advocate for stronger, legal protections for Ohio dogs, cats, and people at risk.  I would like to know which companion animal bills you have sponsored or cosponsored and which you have voted for or against in the last ten years.   Could you please send me that information?  My e-mail address is __(your e-mail)__. Best wishes this spring in the March Primary Election!”

Your legislators’ votes are all public records.  So, his office will send that information to you. That will not only help you to make an informed decision about whether your two legislators are humane-minded, but it will also let him know that his support of companion animal bills is important to you, his constituent.

Then, share this important information with your friends and family so that they can be informed voters too.

A list of our Ohio representatives and senators with their contact information follows.

Ohio Representatives                          

Ron Amstutz   (R)                                rep01@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-1474

Mark J. Romanchuk  (R)                      rep02@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-5802

Tim W. Brown  (R)                               rep03@ohiohouse.gov               (614) 466-8104

Robert Cupp (R )                                  rep04@ohiohouse.gov               (614) 466-9624

Timothy Ginter (R)                               rep05@ohiohouse.gov               (614) 466-8022

Marlene Anielski    (R)                         rep06@ohiohouse.gov               (614) 644-6041

Mike Dovilla    (R)                                 rep07@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-4895

Kent Smith    (D)                                   rep08@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-5441

Janine Boyd   (D)                                  rep09@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 644-5079

Bill Patmon   (D)                                   rep10@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-7954

Stephanie Howse  (D)                         rep11@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-1414

John Barnes, Jr.    (D)                            rep12@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-1408

Nickie J. Antonio  (D)                             rep13@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-5921

Martin Sweeney    (D)                           rep14@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-3350

Nicholas J. Celebrezze     (D)                rep15@ohiohouse.gov                 (614) 466-3485

Nan A. Baker   (R)                                  rep16@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-0961

Michael F. Curtin  (D)                           rep17@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 644-6005

VACANT                                                  rep18@ohiohouse.gov             (614)

Anne Gonzales    (R)                             rep19@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-4847

Heather Bishoff   (D)                            rep20@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 644-6002

Mike Duffey    (R)                                  rep21@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 644-6030

David Leland   (D)                                 rep22@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-2473

Cheryl L. Grossman    (R)                     rep23@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-9690

Stephanie Kunze    (R)                          rep24@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-8012

Kevin Boyce (D)                                     rep25@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-5343

Hearcel F. Craig (D)                               rep26@ohiohouse.gov               (614) 466-8010

Tom Brinkman    (R)                             rep27@ohiohouse.gov                (614) 644-6886

Jonathan Dever (R )                               rep28@ohiohouse.gov               (614) 466-8120

Louis W. Blessing III    (R)                     rep29@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-9091

Louis Terhar (R)                                     rep30@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-8258

Denise Driehaus    (D)                           rep31@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-5786

Christie Bryant Kuhns (D)                     rep32@ohiohouse.gov                (614) 466-1645

Alicia Reece    (D)                                   rep33@ohiohouse.gov               (614) 466-1308

Emiilia Strong Sykes   (D)                       rep34@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-3100

Greta Johnson   (D)                                 rep35@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 644-6037

Anthony DeVitis    (R )                            rep36@ohiohouse.gov               (614) 466-1790

Kristina Roegner    (R)                            rep37@ohiohouse.gov                (614) 466-1177

Marilyn Slaby     (R)                                 rep38@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 644-5085

Fred Strahorn   (D)                                 rep39@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-1607

Michael Henne    (R)                               rep40@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 644-8051

Jim Butler  (R)                                          rep41@ohiohouse.gov                 (614) 644-6008

Niraj J. Antani (R)                                    rep42@ohiohouse.gov                 (614) 466-6504

Jeffery Rezabek (R)                               rep43@ohiohouse.gov                 (614) 466-2960

Mike Ashford    (D)                               rep44@ohiohouse.gov                  (614) 466-1401

Teresa Fedor   (D)                                 rep45@ohiohouse.gov                (614) 644-6017

Michael Sheehy   (D)                             rep46@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-1418

Barbara R. Sears (R)                             rep47@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-1731

Kirk Schuring (R)                                   rep48@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 752-2438

Stephen Slesnick   (D)                          rep49@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-8030

Christina Hagan (R)                              rep50@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-9078

Wes Retherford   (R)                            rep51@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 644-6721

Margaret Conditt    (R)                          rep52@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-8550

Timothy Derickson   (R)                         rep53@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 644-5094

Paul Zeltwanger   (R)                             rep54@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 644-6027

Nathan Manning (R)                               rep55@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 644-5076

Dan Ramos   (D)                                     rep56@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-5141

Terry Boose   (R)                                     rep57@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-9628

Michele Lepore-Hagan   (D)                   rep58@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-9435

John Boccieri   (D)                                  rep59@ohiohouse.gov              (614)-466-6107

John M. Rogers   (D)                              rep60@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-7251

Ron Young    (R)                                     rep61@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 644-6074

Ron Maag    (R)                                      rep62@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 644-6023

Sean O’Brien   (D)                                 rep63@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-3488

Michael O’Brien    (D)                             rep64@ohiohouse.gov            (614) 466-5358

John Becker    (R)                                    rep65@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-8134

Doug Green   (R)                                    rep66@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 644-6034

Andrew Brenner   (R)                             rep67@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 644-6711

Margaret Ann Ruhl   (R)                      rep68@ohiohouse.gov                 (614) 466-1431

Stephen Hambley (R)                          rep69@ohiohouse.gov               (614) 466-8140

David Hall    (R)                                     rep70@ohiohouse.gov               (614) 466-2994

Scott Ryan    (R)                                    rep71@ohiohouse.gov               (614) 466-1482

Bill Hayes   (R)                                      rep72@ohiohouse.gov                      (614) 466-2500

Rick Perales    (R)                                 rep73@ohiohouse.gov                      (614) 644-6020

Bob D. Hackett    (R)                             rep74@ohiohouse.gov                      (614) 466-1470

Kathleen Clyde   (D)                             rep75@ohiohouse.gov                         (614) 466-2004

Sarah LaTourette    (R)                           rep76@ohiohouse.gov                      (614) 644-5088

Tim Schaffer    (R)                                  rep77@ohiohouse.gov                         (614) 466-8100

Ron Hood    (R)                                     rep78@ohiohouse.gov                         (614) 466-1464

Kyle Koehler   (R)                                  rep79@ohiohouse.gov                         (614) 466-2038

Steven Huffman    (R)                            rep80@ohiohouse.gov                      (614) 466-8114

Robert McColley   (R)                           rep81@ohiohouse.gov                     (614) 466-3760

Tony Burkley   (R)                                 rep82@ohiohouse.gov                    (614) 644-5091

Robert Sprague   (R)                            rep83@ohiohouse.gov                    (614) 466-3819

Jim Buchy   (R)                                         rep84@ohiohouse.gov                 (614) 466-6341

Nino Vitale    (R)                                      rep85@ohiohouse.gov                 (614) 466-1507

Dorothy Pelanda    (R)                           rep86@ohiohouse.gov                 (614) 466-8147

Jeff McClain (R)                                      rep87@ohiohouse.gov                  (614) 466-8147

Bill Reineke   (R)                                   rep88@ohiohouse.gov                   (614) 466-1374

Steven Arndt (R)                                  rep89@ohiohouse.gov                    (614-644-6011

Terry Johnson    (R)                               rep90@ohiohouse.gov                 (614) 466-2124

Cliff Rosenberger   (R)                          rep91@ohiohouse.gov                 (614) 466-3506

House Speaker

Gary Scherer (R)                                  rep92@ohiohouse.gov                   (614) 644-7928

Ryan Smith   (R)                                    rep93@ohiohouse.gov                 (614) 466-1366

Debbie Phillips  (D)                               rep94@ohiohouse.gov               (614) 466-2158

Assistant Minority Whip

Andy Thompson    (R)                           rep95@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 644-8728

Jack Cera  (D)                                         rep96@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-3735

Brian Hill    (R)                                       rep97@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 644-6014

Al Landis (R)                                           rep98@ohiohouse.gov              (614) 466-8035

John Patterson    (D)                             rep99@ohiohouse.gov            (614) 466-1405

Ohio Senators

Sen Cliff Hite   (R)                          hite@ohiosenate.gov                      (614-466-8150)

Sen Lou Gentile    (D)                    gentile@ohiosenate.gov                (614-466-6508)

Sen Troy Balderson    (R)              balderson@ohiosenate.gov          (614-466-8076)

Sen Dave Burke    (R)                     burke@ohiosenate.gov                  (614-466-8049)

Sen Capri S. Cafaro    (D)             cafaro@ohiosenate.gov                    (614-466-7182)

Sen Gayle Manning   (R)               manning@ohiosenate.gov                (614-466-7613)

Sen Bob Peterson (R)                    peterson@ohiosenate.gov               (614-466-8156)

Sen Joe Schiavoni    (D)                 schiavoni@ohiosenate.gov               (614-466-8285)

Sen Randy Gardner    (R)              gardner@ohiosenate.gov              (614-466-8066)

Sen Kevin Bacon  (R)                    bacon@ohiosenate.gov                (614-466-8064)

Sen Bill Coley    (R)                        coley@ohiosenate.gov                   (614-466-8072)

Sen Bill Beagle    (R)                      beagle@ohiosenate.gov                (614-466-6247)

Sen Peggy Lehner   (R)                  lehner@ohiosenate.gov                (614-466-4538)

Sen Shannon Jones    (R)             jones@ohiosenate.gov                   (614-466-9737)

Sen Bill Seitz   (R)                         s eitz@ohiosenate.gov                    (614-466-8068)

Sen Cecil Thomas                          thomas@ohiosenate.gov               (614-466-5980)

Sen Chris Widener    (R)               widener@ohiosenate.gov              (614-466-3780)

Sen Edna Brown    (D)                  brown@ohiosenate.gov                (614-466-5204)

Sen Keith Faber    (R)                    faber@ohiosenate.gov                  (614-466-7584)

Sen Joe Uecker    (R)                      uecker@ohiosenate.gov               (614-466-8082)

Sen Charleta B. Tavares    (D)      tavares@ohiosenate.gov             (614-466-5131)

Sen Jim Hughes    (R)                     hughes@ohiosenate.gov              (614-466-5981)

Sen John Eklund    (R)                   eklund@ohiosenate.gov               (614-466-7718)

Sen Kris Jordan   (R)                      jordan@ohiosenate.gov                (614-466-8086)

Sen Larry Obhof    (R)                    obhof@ohiosenate.gov                  (614-466-7505)

Sen Michael J. Skindell   (D)          skindell@ohiosenate.gov               (614-466-5123)

Sen Tom Patton    (R)                      patton@ohiosenate.gov              (614-466-8056)

Sen Frank LaRose    (R)                  larose@ohiosenate.gov                (614-466-4823)

Sen Tom Sawyer   (D)                    sawyer@ohiosenate.gov               (614-466-7041)

Sen Scott Oelslager    (R)              oelslager@ohiosenate.gov            (614-466-0626)

Sen Sandra R. Williams (D)           williams@ohiosenate.gov              (614) 466-4857

Sen Kenny Yuko (D)                       yuko@ohiosenate.gov                   (614) 466-4583

Sen Jay Hottinger (R)                    hottinger@ohiosenate.gov             (614) 466-5838

Gerrymandering Blunts All Hopes

Disgraceful gerrymandering of Ohio districts blunts all hopes of the passage of our companion animal bills. Our congressional and state legislators are all in “safe districts”. Those comfortable districts have been carved out with laser precision by computers to assure a predetermined outcome on Election Day.

Efforts to control the district lines for political gain have been in effect since the beginning of our nation. Democrats and Republicans alike have used this technique to their advantage over the years. Patrick Henry opposed the Constitution. So, he attempted to draw district lines in a way that would cause James Madison, a prime author of the Constitution, to not be elected.

In the 1812, Elbridge Gerry, governor of Massachusetts, endorsed a redistricting plan to ensure his party’s domination. Some of the redrawn district lines were long and skinny, like a salamander. Thus, a combination of “Gerry” and “salamander” gave us the origin of Gerrymander, a partisan attempt at drawing district lines so that the party in control benefits politically.

Gerrymandering leads to serious consequences for the health of our democracy.  It is a root cause of  frustrating political inertia. The MAJORITY PARTY NOW CHOOSES THE VOTERS in advance. It both carves out large districts for itself and packs the minority party’s voters into a few districts.

Outcomes for the November election are decided in the spring primary.  In a designated Democratic district, for example, the winner of the Democrat primary will also be the winner in November.  The winner of the Republican primary has little chance of success in that Democratic district.

Legislators are so comfortable in their districts that they do not have to work across the aisle. This is what leads to extreme political positions and lack of progress on important issues.

In contrast, in a healthy democracy, the voters choose the legislators.  The legislators compromise by working across the aisle.  There is progress on important issues, like our companion animal bills.

                                            US Supreme Court Decision

Arizona voters wanted a fairer, less partisan system of the voter districts. So, in 2000, they made created an independent redistricting commission.

The Arizona commission has five members, two chosen by Republican lawmakers and two by Democratic lawmakers. The fifth member is chosen by the other four.

The Republican-led, Arizona state legislature sued. The legislators said the voters did not have the authority to take the power away from the legislators to draw district lines.

The Arizona case made its way all the way up to the US Supreme Court. In 2015, the Court ruled, 5 – 4, that Arizona voters could create an independent, redistricting commission.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony M. Kennedy, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan were in the majority.

Justice Ginsburg wrote for the majority, “The animating principle of our Constitution is that the people themselves are the originating source of all the powers of government.”

“In so acting, Arizona voters sought to restore ‘the core principle of republican government’, namely, that the voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around.”

Justices John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. were in the minority.

                                    What happens to Ohio, companion animal bills?

Our companion animal bills do not fair well year after year in the Statehouse. They have some activity in the House. Then, when they are assigned to the Senate Agriculture Committee, they meet failure. In the Senate, our bills generally languish and die in a two-year period without even a hearing.

In the last General Assembly we supported ten, companion animal bills. One bill was enacted. Nine bills died. SB 177, Domestic Violence and Pet Protection Orders, the one bill that passed, had been in the General Assemblies for eight, long years.

In Ohio, when the votes are cast, Republicans and Democrats win about the same number of votes. Yet, 75% of Ohio congressional legislators and 66% of state legislators are Republicans.

Gerrymandering is why we get so little response to our calls, visits, and e-mails.  Ohio legislators are all sitting comfortably in their political offices.  They do not have to work at compromise across the aisle to stay in office. The strength of the individual voice has been seriously compromised.

                                                            What you can do

VOTE YES on ISSUE 1 on your November ballot. Issue 1 is endorsed by the Ohio Democrats, the Ohio Republicans, the League of Women Voters, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO, and many more organizations.

With a fairer, more representative redistricting plan in place, there will be hope again for the passage of our companion animal bills.  It is the way forward for our bills.


Call your US rep today in support of HR 2293, the PACT Act (Prevent Animal Cruelty and Torture)!

A landmark bill, HR 2293, the PACT Act (Prevent Animal Cruelty and Torture) is the first ever, federal bill aimed at prosecuting intentional animal cruelty.  The PACT Act gives the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorneys the authority to investigate and to prosecute animal cruelty cases.  While individual states across the nation have their own animal cruelty statutes, this federal bill grants an even wider reach into areas where individual states’ laws do not reach.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/2293  (Read the bill here.)

Sponsor:  Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX)

Cosponsors: Reps. Trent Franks (AZ), Raul Grijalva (AZ), Martha McSally (AZ), Julia Brownley (CA), Ken Calvert (CA), Tony Cardenas (CA), Judy Chu (CA), Susan Davis (CA), Sam Farr (CA), Grace Napolitano (CA), Scott Peters (CA), Adam Schiff (CA), Eric Swalwell (CA), Mark Takano (CA), David G. Valadao (CA), Mike Coffman (CO), Rosa L. DeLauro (CT), Elizabeth H. Esty (CT), Theodore Deutch (FL), Lois Frankel (FL), Alcee L. Hastings (FL), Vern Buchanan (FL),Carlos Curbelo (FL),  Frederica S. Wilson (FL), Austin Scott (GA), Dold, Robert Dold (IL), Mike Quigly (IL), Peter J. Visclosky (IN), Michael E. Capuano (MA), Stephen Lynch (MA),  James McGovern (MA), Chris Van Hollen (MD), John Sarbanes (MD), Chellie Pingree (ME), Keith Ellison (MN), Rodney P. Frelinghuysen (NJ), Donald Norcross (NJ), Eliot L Engel (NY), John Katko (NY), Frank LoBiondo (NJ), Albio Sires (NJ), Joseph Heck (NV), Dina Titus (NV), Nita M. Lowey (NY), Jerrold  Nadler (NY), Louise McIntosh Slaughter (NY), David Price (NC), Joyce Beatty (OH), Steve Chabot (OH), Steve Stivers (OH), Michael Turner (OH), Earl Blumenauer (OR),  Suzanne Bonamici (OR), Mike Kelly (PA), Brendan F. Boyle (PA), Matt Cartwright (PA), Michael G. Fitzpatrick (PA), Tom Marino (PA), Patrick Meehan (PA), David N. Cicilline (RI), Steve Cohen (TN),  Beto O’Rourke (TX), Barbara Comstock (VA), Gerald E. Connolly (VA), Peter Welch (VT), Derek Kilmer (WA), Adam Smith (WA), Gwen Moore (WI), Mark Pocan (WI)

                                                         WHAT YOU CAN DO

First, locate your federal representative.

http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/   (Find your US representative here by typing in your zip code in the box.)

Second, if your federal representative is not listed as a cosponsor above, call him to ask him if he will cosponsor this bill.  You might say, “Good morning, Representative ________.  I am _ (your name)__ from __(your city)__, __(your state)__ .  I am one of your constituents.  I am calling today to ask you to cosponsor  HR 2293, the PACT Act.  This important federal bill allows the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys to investigate and to prosecute intentional, animal cruelty.

“This is particularly important in today’s culture of violence because of the powerful connections between interpersonal violence, animal cruelty, and some, mental illness. Where there is animal cruelty, we all are at risk.”

If your federal representative is listed, please call him thanking him for sponsoring HR 2693.

You might say, “Dear Representative _______.  I am _(your name)__ from __(your city)__, __(your state)_.  I am one of your constituents.  I am calling to thank you for cosponsoring HR 2293, the PACT Act.

“As you know, because of the powerful connections between interpersonal violence, animal cruelty, and some mental illness, where there is animal abuse, we are all at risk.”

Oppose HB 198, “Special Prosecutors”


House Bill 198 – Opposition Testimony of

Matt Ditchey, Esq., Representative

Angels for Animals, Animal Cruelty Task Force of Ohio,  Joseph’s Legacy, Justice for Herbie, Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates, Nitro Foundation / Nitro’s Ohio Army, Ohio Voters for Companion Animals, Inc., and Paws and the Law

June 16, 2015 – House Judiciary Committee

Good morning Chairman Butler and Members of the House Judiciary Committee.

My name is Matt Ditchey, Esq. and I currently live in Green Township, Ohio (Mahoning County). I am submitting written testimony on behalf of the following eight grassroots animal welfare organizations: Angels for Animals, Animal Cruelty Task Force of Ohio, Joseph’s Legacy, Justice for Herbie, Nitro Foundation/Nitro’s Ohio Army, Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates, Ohio Voters for Companion Animals, Inc. and Paws and the Law as opposed party for Ohio House Bill 198. 

Representing over 77,000 constituents across 81 Ohio counties, our eight Ohio-citizen driven, community based organizations are the driving force behind legislative efforts to address issues impacting the health and safety of companion animals as defined under Ohio Revised Code 959. Our supporters include a diverse section of voters and taxpayers from across the state, including but not limited to, a broad range of dog enthusiasts, veterinarians, breeders, animal care and welfare organizations, animal control representatives, appointed humane agents, judges, attorneys, and government employees who understand state and federal governance.

Given our coalition’s dedication to educate and support the law enforcement and judicial communities in the enforcement and administration of Ohio’s animal welfare laws, I want to begin my testimony by thanking Representative Hambley’s leadership in addressing criminal prosecution authority as a component within this important piece of legislation for Ohioans.

Our coalition strongly agrees that the first step in the successful criminal prosecution of crimes related to animal cruelty begins with the governance of Ohio Revised Code. However, our supporters have expressed concerns that HB 198 will weaken the current provisions under 2931.18 which allows a humane society or its agent to employ an attorney to prosecute violations of law relating to the prevention of cruelty to animals. Their greatest concerns include the following:

1. The proposed legislation repeals the statute authorizing a humane society or its agent to employ an attorney and to also employ one or more assistant attorneys to prosecute violations of law relating to prevention of cruelty to animals.

Recommendation: Retain the original language under 2931.18.  A unique aspect of prosecuting animal cruelty cases is that the evidence includes living creatures that require daily care.  We firmly believe having the ability to appoint a special prosecutor allows humane societies to work with an experienced specialist in animal statutes, case law and veterinary reporting. This specialist is able to prioritize animal cruelty and neglect cases and expeditiously establish custody of animals that cannot humanely be held in a cage while waiting for their day in our hard-working, but heavily burdened court system. 

2.  The proposed legislation seeks to move the oversight of special prosecutors employed by humane societies perceived to be without any accountability to either a county prosecutor or municipal law director.

Recommendation: Retain the original language under 2931.18 and consider alternative language which would appoint a probate judge to review all pre-prosecution agreements prior to execution by the courts.  (It is important to note the records involving all of a humane society’s resolved criminal cases are available to any Ohioan who requests them under the Ohio Sunshine Laws.) 

Our eight groups and their supporters firmly believe that changes to 2931.18 under House Bill 198 will remove an important tool for humane societies to successfully prosecute animal cruelty cases. Most importantly, we believe the proposed abolition of humane societies’ authority to employ an attorney could create scenarios for cases of egregious violations under 959.131(B) to fall by the wayside for already overworked elected and appointed prosecutors. This is of special concern given that a recent report released by the Animal Legal Defense Fund has shown Ohio has not yet evolved to placing a greater emphasis on animal welfare in the intervening decades when compared to other states in the Midwest.

It is our hope this Committee will reflect on the opinions expressed by our eight groups and their supporters in today’s testimony prior to recommending Ohio House Bill 198 for review and passage by the House Judiciary Committee.

As the representative for Angels for Animals, Animal Cruelty Task Force of Ohio, Joseph’s Legacy, Justice for Herbie, Nitro Foundation/Nitro’s Ohio Army, Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates, Ohio Voters for Companion Animals, Inc. and Paws and the Law, I greatly appreciate your time and consideration on this important piece of legislation for Ohioans, and I welcome any questions you may have.

Proponent testimony of Diane Less

                                             HOUSE BILL 187 – PROPONENT TESTIMONY OF

                                                           Diane Less, Representative

Angels for Animals, Animal Cruelty Task Force of Ohio, Joseph’s Legacy, Justice for  Herbie,Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates, Nitro Foundation / Nitro’s Ohio Army, Ohio Voters for Companion Animals, Inc., and Paws and the Law

                                      May 27, 2015 – House Health and Aging Committee

Good morning, Chairman Gonzales and Members of the House Health and Aging Committee.  My name is Diane Less and I currently live in Green Township, Ohio (Mahoning County). I am here today speaking on behalf of the following eight grassroots animal welfare organizations:  Angels for Animals, Animal Cruelty Task Force of Ohio, Joseph’s Legacy, Justice for Herbie, Nitro Foundation/Nitro’s Ohio Army, Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates, Ohio Voters for Companion Animals, Inc., and Paws and the Law, as a proponent for Ohio House Bill 187.

Representing over 67,000 constituents across 72 Ohio counties, our seven Ohio-citizen driven, community based organizations are the driving force behind legislative efforts to address issues impacting the health and safety of companion animals as defined under Ohio Revised Code 959.

Our supporters include a diverse section of voters and taxpayers from across the state, including but not limited to, a broad range of dog enthusiasts, veterinarians, breeders, animal care and welfare organizations, animal control representatives, appointed humane agents, judges, attorneys, and government employees who understand state and federal governance.

Given our coalition’s dedication to educate and support the law enforcement and judicial communities in the enforcement and administration of Ohio’s animal welfare laws, I want to begin my testimony by thanking Representative Ginter and Legislative Aide Alex Thomas for their leadership in sponsoring this important piece of legislation for Ohioans.

According to Animal Emergency Medical Training (AEMT), there is growing demand for theadministration of early and potentially life-saving interventions to injured companion and working animals in an emergency situation. This care is not meant to replace that provided by a licensed veterinarian; rather, it is meant to provide stabilization prior to and during transport to a licensed veterinarian.

Many of these EMTs and first responders have completed comprehensive training in small animal first aid, safety, veterinary triage, and basic veterinary cardiopulmonary life support. These highly trained professionals have been equipped with the knowledge, skills, tools, and hands-on experience necessary to recognize potential animal emergencies and provide initial treatment and stabilization.

As a coalition, we firmly believe the passage of HB 187 would provide clarification under Ohio Revised Code which would allow an EMT or first responder to safely provide early emergent and potentially life-saving intervention and stabilizing care to companion, service and K-9 unit animals in an emergency situation prior to that animal being further treated by a licensed veterinarian.  Most importantly, we believe the proposed language would successfully address two important considerations: (1) ensure EMTs and first responders do not administer drugs to injured companion and working animals without first consulting a veterinarian, and (2) ensure nothing changes about the process of a dispatcher handling a 911 call for incidents that do not require a first responder.

It is our hope this Committee will reflect on the opinions expressed by our seven groups and their supporters in today’s testimony prior to recommending Ohio House Bill 187 for review and passage by the House Health and Aging Committee.

As the representative for Angels for Animals, Animal Cruelty Task Force of Ohio, Joseph’s Legacy, Justice for Herbie, Nitro Foundation / Nitro’s Ohio Army, Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates, Ohio Voters for Companion Animals, Inc., and Paws and the Law, I greatly appreciate your time and consideration on this important piece of legislation for Ohioans, and I welcome any questions you may have.