Tag Archives: pet

Why HB 433, Veterinary Spay-Neuter Bill, is Good News for Ohio Pets & Vets

HB 433, Veterinarian Continuing Ed for Neutering Services, is a home run for Ohio!

  • gives veterinarians the OPTION (not mandate) of performing up to FOUR HOURS of FREE SPAY-NEUTER SURGERIES to receive up to two continuing ed units needed for license renewal

  • 14 Ohio, distinguished, licensing boards currently allow continuing ed credit for pro bono work of their licensees: 

  • The Supreme Court of Ohio that licenses attorneys 

  • The State Medical Board of Ohio

  • The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy

  • The Ohio State Dental Board

  • The Ohio Board of Nursing 

  • The Ohio Vision Professionals Board 

  • The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy

  • The Ohio Board of Psychology

  • The Ohio State Chiropractic Board

  • The Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Athletic Trainers Board

  • The Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board

  • The Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board 

  • Ohio Emergency Medical Services

  • The Speech and Hearing Professionals Board

  • no cost

  • is voluntary

  • no burdensome regulations

  • saves animal lives

  • saves taxpayer money, especially in rural counties with limited funds

  • shelter medicine is unique and only briefly covered in veterinary school; thus, additional learning opportunity for veterinarians 

  • vets may learn about ethnic, indigent, and underserved populations, not normally encountered in their work-a-day world

  • provides critical service to neighborhoods with outside, community cats or with low-income families

  • does not take revenue from other veterinary practices

  • broad, grassroots coalition of dog and cat advocates, who support HB 433: 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

Proponent Testimony for HB 523, Cross-reporting of Child Abuse & Animal Cruelty

House Community and Family Advancement Committee

HB 523, Cross-reporting

Proponent Testimony by Beth Sheehan

March 14, 2018

Good afternoon, Chair Ginter, Vice Chair LaTourette, Ranking Minority Member Boyd and distinguished members of the House Community and Family Advancement Committee, I am Beth Sheehan from Hamilton County, representing an Ohio grassroots group, Paws and the Law, advocating for the swift, diligent passage of HB 523.

HB 523, Cross-reporting, offers relief to Ohio families, long suffering under the burden of unrestrained violence. It adds another layer of defense against the nasty web of abuse at work in the shadows of many, Ohio homes.

Many states (CA, CO, CT, DC, IL, LA, ME, MS, NB, OR, TN, VA, WV) already recognize the powerful connections between child abuse and animal cruelty with mandatory or voluntary cross-reporting legislation. Agencies protecting animals shall or may report their suspicions of child abuse to organizations protecting children, and vice versa.

Right now, Ohio cross-reporting laws are puny. They require humane society officials (but neither dog wardens nor animal control officers) to report suspected child abuse.

HB 523 puts more eyes on the alert for hidden violence with mandatory cross-reporting by veterinarians, veterinary technicians, dog wardens, deputy dog wardens, animal control officers, employees of children’s services, county departments of job and family services, licensed counselors, social workers, and marriage and family therapists.

With claims made in good faith the reporting individuals would be immune from civil and criminal liability.

Established research shows the powerful connections among interpersonal violence and animal abuse. In one study of homes with known physical abuse of children, animal abuse also occurred in 88% of those families. (DeViney, Dickert, & Lockwood, 1983)

71% of women with pets in homes of domestic violence reported their partners had threatened, harmed, or killed their companion animals. 32% of those mothers mothers reported that their children had also hurt or killed their pets. (Ascione, 1998)

Animal cruelty is a warning sign that others too may be at risk. Violent offenders in maximum security are significantly more likely than nonviolent offenders to have committed animal cruelty as children. (Merz-Perez, Heide, and Silverman, 2001)

A current, Ohio case clearly illustrates the nasty web of child abuse and animal cruelty. Middletown police and Butler County Children Services were called to check on a home. After three dead dogs and one decapitated dog’s head were found in the back yard, the mother was charged with three counts of felony animal cruelty.

A few days before her arrest, elementary school officials, concerned about the woman’s three children, notified the police.

Police report said the residence had no edible food and the house was in “very much disarray and unlivable”.

HB 523, Cross-reporting, offers early detection, and hopefully, prevention of rampant violence, unleashed against the most vulnerable among us, children and pets.

I strongly urge you to VOTE YES on HB 523, Cross-reporting of Child Abuse and Animal Cruelty, and to send this bill to the House floor for a vote.

Children pay a high price for witnessing or experiencing violence. Sometimes they pay their entire lives.

Excellent, opponent testimony for HB 506, clearly states bill’s impact on our animal friends & the families that unwittingly purchase these dogs

TESTIMONY ON OHIO H.B. 506 

Presented by Vicki Deisner, Animal Welfare Institute
Before the Ohio House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Chairman Blessing, Vice- Chairman Reineke, and Ranking Minority Member Clyde, I am Vicki Deisner, government affairs representative for the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI). AWI is a national animal welfare organization founded in 1951 and dedicated to reducing animal suffering caused by people. We seek better treatment of animals everywhere—in the laboratory, on the farm, in commerce, at home, and in the wild.

Our more than 1,300 members and supporters in Ohio have spoken out many times on proposals affecting animal welfare, including the bill before you today, as well as the Commercial Dog Breeders Act, Nitro’s law, and pet protection orders. Today, on their behalf, AWI comes before you to strongly oppose HB 506, which fails to provide reasonable protections for dogs bred in puppy mills in Ohio.

The state’s brutal and thriving puppy mill industry would not be curtailed by this bill. On the contrary, those with a financial interest in keeping the puppy mill industry afloat support it, and it would provide cover for those who wish to continue profiting from the suffering of animals.

Puppy Mills Overview

Puppy mills are operations that breed large numbers of dogs to sell in the commercial pet trade. Puppy mills are also places where profits take precedence over animal welfare. Consumers are intentionally prevented from ever seeing the breeding operations because they would be appalled at what they would find. At the mills, the animals are not recognized as sentient beings; rather, they are mere production stock.

Breeding animals typically spend their entire lives confined in small, barren wire cages. The females are denied an opportunity to rest and recuperate between litters. Once they are physically worn out and stop reproducing successfully, they are dumped or killed.

The kennels are overcrowded, filthy and dimly lit for the dogs, and there is no socialization, let alone nurturing or opportunity for play outside the confines of the cages. Many dogs in puppy mills suffer from dehydration and malnutrition, lack of dental care leading to rotting jaws, eye infections, ulcerations and dermatitis and ulcerated skin from urine and feces falling through wire bottom cages, tick infestations, ingestion of contaminated food, and diseases borne from unsanitary conditions. These issues have been visually documented by the USDA Office of Inspector General (OIG) in their inspection reports of problematic breeders.

The ASPCA has accumulated over 10,000 photos taken by the USDA during routine inspections of facilities, which demonstrates these issues are not exception, but rather the rule (nopetstoepuppies.com/buy-a- puppy). Generally, the breeders have no concern for genetic abnormalities, either, that may be passed from parents to the offspring such as heart disease, kidney disease, hip dysplasia, and cataracts.

Current Circumstances in Ohio

Ohio is a notorious stronghold for puppy mill operations. The Commercial Dog Breeders Act, which went into effect in 2013, requires the licensure and annual inspection of high volume breeders that sell 60 dogs and produce at least 9 litters in a single year. However, while this law was a strong step in the right direction, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) stated that it is very difficult to enforce. Nearly 900 breeders are on the department’s “action list,” meaning that they may meet the threshold for licensure but aren’t currently licensed or inspected. This means that approximately two-thirds of puppy mills are not actively regulated by the state. ODA has said that it does not have the authority to visit facilities that should be licensed but are not. 

Due to these shortcomings of the Commercial Dog Breeders Act, Ohio continues to be second only to Missouri in the number of federally licensed commercial dog breeding facilities. As of June 2017, there were 263 state-licensed high-volume breeders and 260 USDA-licensed commercial breeders in Ohio. Ohio is also a major importer of puppy mill puppies, as mills across the country sell to Ohio consumers via pet stores, the internet, and other indirect methods.

Illustrative of the problems that beset Ohio puppy mills, in 2017, 12 of them were included among The Horrible Hundred, a list of the 100 worst puppy mills in the country. A number were on the list for a second time, but for Berlin Kennel in Millersburg, third time was the charm. In June 2016, owner Marvin Burkholder received an Official Warning from USDA for violations, on at least four separate occasions, of the federal Animal Welfare Act relating to veterinary care. Despite this warning, more violations were cited in August of that same year. And these were on top of repeat violations in 2014 and 2015.

Implications of HB 506

There are a number of breeding facility welfare reforms that would result in proper regulation of Ohio’s puppy mill industry and take meaningful steps towards ending the extreme cruelty that is currently the norm at these operations. However, they are not contained in HB 506.HB 506 would not simplify enforcement for the ODA. Rather, it changes the threshold for coverage to any breeder who keeps, houses, and maintains 8 or more breeding dogs that produce at least 5 litters of puppies per year and, in return for a fee or other consideration, sells 30 or more puppies per year – setting forth a more complicated standard that will not ease enforcement issues.

The coverage of the law is not only complicated, but also incomplete, because it applies only to Ohio breeders. This would allow unscrupulous breeders from other states to continue selling to Ohio consumers. A substitute version of HB 506 also creates a loophole that invites failure by providing that unspayed adult female dogs who are used both for breeding and for hunting and field trial activities do not count as a breeding dog when determining if a breeder is a puppy mill.

HB 506 also sets forth inadequate requirements for food and water, specifying that they must only be available in quantities that allow maintenance of “normal body condition.” The result of this language is that food could be provided only once per day, and water could be provided in very small quantities. Inspectors would have no way of knowing when it was last made available, and because H.B. 506’s illogical cage size requirement is based on the weight of the dog, breeders would be incentivized to keep dogs thin so they could keep them in small enclosures.

Furthermore, H.B. 506’s temperature regulations are vague, nearly impossible to enforce, and are largely at the discretion of the breeder.The exercise provision in HB 506, which mandates an opportunity for daily exercise and access to daylight, is too vague to ensure that it benefits the dogs. There is no specificity on how often each day that opportunity needs to exist or what would qualify as an “opportunity.” It is equally unclear what would constitute “outdoor access.” To ensure that breeders adhere to reasonable animal welfare standards, detailed provisions requiring constant outdoor access and freedom of movement are vital.

Dogs are highly social animals, and isolation or incorrect socialization generally produces mental distress, including chronic anxiety and the development of abnormal behaviors. H.B. 506’s socialization requirements could be met by petting a dog for briefly once a year, and permits dogs who are known to be incompatible to be housed together. This exposes the most vulnerable dogs – nursing mothers and their puppies—to potential injury or even death. Dogs who suffer from maladaptive behaviors resulting from poor or nonexistent socialization are unlikely to become safe and well-adjusted family companions when they leave the facility.

HB 506 does not specify that veterinary care must be performed by a licensed veterinarian, which would allow breeders to treat animals themselves under “veterinary guidance.” This is an unacceptable standard of care, and there are documented incidents of Ohio breeders using inappropriate or expired medications on dogs and even performing invasive procedures themselves with unsanitary implements. There are also no guidelines in the bill for vaccinations or parasite control, leaving breeders with a dangerous amount of discretion about illnesses that affect both animal health and public safety. Shockingly, the bill establishes no requirements whatsoever for surgical procedures or euthanasia, despite the fact that shooting, drowning, or poisoning unwanted breeding dogs and unsold puppies are common practices at puppy mills.

Finally, HB 506 does not improve breeding standards at puppy mills. It does not require screening for congenital disorders or prevent breeding of dogs with conditions likely to affect offspring. These genetic disorders can be painful and crippling, may cost Ohio consumers thousands of dollars to treat, and may limit the health, mobility, or lifespan of a dog. The bill also fails to limit the number of litters a dog may be forced to produce. This lack of protection for mother dogs enables the continuation of constant, exploitative breeding that results in lifelong physical ailments.It is clear that HB 506 would benefit the dog breeding industry at the expense of animal welfare and consumer protection. It provides a smokescreen of provisions that sound humane while accomplishing nearly nothing to close the devastating gaps in the Commercial Dog Breeders Act.

AWI strongly urges the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee to oppose HB 506. Thank you for your time and consideration of this issue.

https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-HB-506 (Read HB 506 here for yourself)

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?

Bills and Ballot Initiative in the 132nd Ohio General Assembly

BILLS

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

     OPPOSE

  • 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 – “Dining with Dogs”, allows dogs on outdoor patios of restaurants

     SUPPORT

      sponsor – Rep Laura Lanese (R)

  •  status – passed House on April 11, 2018

  • Restaurant owner must agree.  Waiters cannot intentionally touch dogs.  Each dog plate must be single use. 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”

     SUPPORT

      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 “

     SUPPORT

     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”

      SUPPORT

  • 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 –  unanimously reported out of committee on April 10, 2018

    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’) 

    OPPOSE

    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 – passed the House in April 2018

    https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-HB-506

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

          SUPPORT

    •  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

    SUPPORT

    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

    INTERESTED PARTY

    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

    SUPPORT

     sponsor – Laura Lanese (R)

    author – DanaMarie Pannella, Esq.

    status – not yet assigned to committee

    https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-HB-560 

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

     INTERESTED PARTY

  • 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”

      SUPPORT

  • sponsor – Sen Cecil Thomas (D)

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

  • author – DanaMarie Pannella, Esq.

  • status – has had three 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)

PUPPY MILL BALLOT INITIATIVE 

     SUPPORT

  • 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

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)

http://blog.humanesociety.org/wayne/2017/02/u-s-house-sanctions-killing-hibernating-bears-wolf-pups-dens-federal-refuges-alaska.html?credit=blog_em_021617_id8790&utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=humanenation

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.”

TWEET 

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)

Today, I am Ohio

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!”

 

Do you have ten minutes to advocate for Ohio mill puppies and kittens?

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.”

Sincerely,

–(your name)—

–(your city)—

Senate Ways and Means Committee

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

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

Sen Chaleta Tavares (D), Ranking Minority Member (614) 466-5131 tavares@ohiosenate.gov

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

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

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

Sen John Eklund (R), (614) 644-7718 eklund@ohiosenate.gov

Sen Bob Hackett (R), (614) 466-3780 hackett@ohiosenate.gov

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

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

Please copy your e-mails to jsiegel@dispatch.com and jprovance@theblade.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!

“Good Samaritan” bill is rounding the bases and headed for home plate!

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. 

https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA131-SB-215

(Read Sub SB 215 at the link.)

Sub SB 215, “Good Samaritan” bill is now in effect in Ohio!