Four, important, companion animal bills are having hearings in Columbus on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
Let’s get political for our cats and dogs! Please call the committee members. Let them know you want increased, legal protections for our beloved cats and dogs.
(Everything you need is right here – the bills, summaries of the bills, why the bills are important, committee leaders with contact information, sample scripts.)
1. OHIO ANIMAL ACTION ALERT!
HB 60, ‘Goddard’s Law’, is having a hearing (all testimony) in Columbus on Tuesday, June 9!
Please call the members of the Ohio House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee in support of HB 60! (It’s always better if you can tweak your own script a bit to make it sound different.)
(HB 60 IS IMPORTANT – “Goddard’s Law”, felony for animal cruelty, is the next step for Ohio after “Nitro’s Law”. Let’s look at felony for animal abuse in Ohio right now. MOST animal abuse is a misdemeanor in Ohio. There are two, specific times when animal abuse is a felony. First, the SECOND TIME that an offender is convicted of animal cruelty, it is a felony. The first time that offender is convicted it is a misdemeanor. Second, if an animal “in the care of a kennel” is intentionally harmed by the manager, the owner, or the employees, it is a felony. This is “Nitro’s Law”.
Additionally, Ohio judges are mandated to seek community sanctions (no jail) for certain nonviolent offenders because of prison overcrowding. Animal abusers are considered by law to be nonviolent.
So, the animal abusers often end up with no jail time, a fine, AND they get their animal back.)
* * IMPORTANT – There is a notation on the Ohio House web site next to HB 60 that indicates that there is a possible amendment to the bill. So, please support HB 60 “AS WRITTEN”. We have not seen the amendment. We do not know at this time if we support the unknown, possible amendment.
You might say, “Good afternoon, Chair Hill. This is _____ from ________, Ohio. I’m calling to urge you to use your leadership in the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee to bring HB 60, ‘Goddard’s Law’, felony for animal cruelty, to a vote. Then please VOTE YES on HB 60 ‘AS WRITTEN’.
There is some confusion among advocates about whether an unknown amendment is going to be added to HB 60 this week. I only support HB 60 ‘AS WRITTEN’ at this time.”
Rep Brian Hill, Chair
Rep Tony Burkley, Vice Chair
Rep John Patterson, Ranking Member
2. OHIO ANIMAL ACTION ALERT!
HB 187, First Responders May Stabilize Pets in Emergencies, is having a hearing in Columbus on Wednesday, June 10.
https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legis…/legislation-summary… (Read HB 187 here for yourself.)
Please call the members of the House Health and Aging Committee in support of HB 187! (It’s always better if you can tweak your own script a bit to make it sound different.)
(HB 187 IS IMPORTANT – It clearly defines what first responders may do on behalf of our pets if they are in a crisis, like a fire or a car accident. They can provide oxygen to a stressed animal or a splint to his injured leg before the animal goes to a veterinarian.)
You might say, “Good morning Chair Gonzales. This is ______ from _______, Ohio. I am calling to urge you to use your leadership in the House Health and Aging Committee to bring HB 187, First Responders May Stabilize Pets in Emergencies, to a vote in your committee. Then, please VOTE YES on HB 187.
This is a common sense bill that clarifies the for first responders the actions they may take on behalf of saving the life of a family pet or a police canine.”
House Health and Aging Committee
Rep Anne Gonzales, Chair
Rep Stephen A. Huffman, Vice Chair
Rep Nickie J. Antonio, Ranking Member
3. OHIO ANIMAL ACTION ALERT!
HB 198, Special Prosecutors Appointed by Humane Societies, is having a hearing (proponent testimony) in Columbus on Tuesday, June 9.
https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA131-HB-198 (Read HB 198 here.)
Please call the members of the House Judiciary Committee. (It’s always better if you can tweak your own script a bit to make it sound different.)
House Judiciary Committee
Rep Jim Butler, Chair
Rep Nathan H. Manning, Vice Chair
Rep Michael Stinziano
4. OHIO ACTION ALERT!
SB 151, “The Klonda Richey Act”, is having a hearing (sponsor testimony) in Columbus on Tuesday, June 9 this week!
https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA131-SB-151 (Read SB 151 here.)
Please call the members of the Senate Agriculture Committee. (It’s always better if you can tweak your own script a bit to make it sound different.)
Senate Agriculture Committee
Sen Cliff Hite, Chair
Sen Joe Uecker, Vice Chair
Sen Lou Gentile
HB 187, First Responders May Stabilize Pets, is moving forward in the Statehouse. It has passed the House. It has had its second hearing in the Senate.
This important bill clarifies the type of first aide first responders may give to a cat or a dog at the scene of an accident. Those treatments include opening and manually maintaining an airway, giving mouth to snout ventilation, administering oxygen, managing ventilation by mask, controlling hemorrhage with direct pressure, immobilizing fractures, and bandaging.
The following story illustrates how the passage of HB 187 would help to save lives.
* * *
Riding with Jager
I am honored to ride through Cincinnati with Jager today. His police car proudly announces his presence. “Jager” is stenciled in black letters on the outside of the white, squad car. Jager, which means “hunter” in German, is aptly named. He competently tracks suspects and retrieves evidence long after the commission of a crime. He and his handler, Officer Bob, work in the K-9 unit for the Cincinnati Police Department.
Jager is a beautiful, fawn-colored Belgian Malinois with a black mask, weighing about 60 pounds. This athletic, intelligent dog is a great, criminal and evidence hunter whose nose is so highly sensitive that he can arrive an hour after a crime has been committed and lock onto the plume of scent, lingering in the air, left in the sudden wake of the bad guys. Jager has such keen sniff that he is able to follow the offenders away from the crime scene wherever they might quickly flee. He can sense their previous movements, zigzagging across back yards, scooting under decks and porches, or traversing a creek. He is able to astutely follow their scent long distances and to identify them where they are in hiding. He then alerts his handler, Officer Bob, to the hidden offenders, lying low, unable to be seen by his handler, yet well detected by Jager’s own acute radar.
Jager started out his life in Europe. The Cincinnati Police Department gets its canine officers from the Eastern Bloc countries because the dog blood lines there are clean and pure. The dogs are bred there for work and for sport, as they have been for centuries. The Belgian Malinois have not been mingled with other breeds.
These highly competent, confident animals, valued at between $50,000 and $100,000 after training, provide unique information to their police partners when tracking suspects, searching for missing persons, detecting explosives, or investigating arson.
* * *
Now, let’s look at a possible, dangerous scene that Officer Bob and Jager may encounter while on duty.
It’s two in the morning. Officer Bob and his partner, Jager, are riding alone through Over the Rhine, when a 911 call comes over the radio. “Send a dog to 2227 Reading Rd. Domestic violence. Suspect armed. Possible crystal meth, drug house.”
So, Officer Bob and Jager kick into high gear with strobe lights flashing and siren wailing, heading north on Reading Road. This officer and his canine partner are the first to arrive at the scene. They hear breaking glass, screams, and an explosion from inside the home. The officer and his partner quickly scale the front steps and position themselves to the left of the front door.
As the next squad car arrives, Officer Bob shouts into the dark home, “Canine officer! Come on out with your hands up, or I’ll let my dog loose.” There is no response to his call. This time, his shout is louder, “Canine officer. Raise your hands. Come out, or I’ll let my dog loose.”
Officer Bob leans down and quietly gives Jager a command In German. “Such, Jager.” He then unhooks Jager’s leash. Jager bolts into the dark building, head down, starting his track. He works around the perimeter of the first room, using his acute smell to detect any possible suspects in the room. He does not signal to Officer Bob that he has found anyone. Having cleared the first room, Jager, head down, continues into the second room. The officers enter the first room now, assured of a safe access because of Jager’s work.
The house remains silent. Outside additional officers, paramedics, and firemen have arrived and are forming a circle outside of the building.
Inside the second room of the darkened home, the policemen feel nauseous and begin to vomit. Their eyes burn. They are cough and gasp for air as they quickly back out of the house. The paramedics on duty leap into action to quickly administer the meds and oxygen to the men to stabilize them. Soon, the officers begin to come around again.
But where is Jager? He’s still inside, lying unconscious on the floor. Jager begins to convulse.
Some of the newer arrivals hurriedly don their masks, then they race into the building to rescue Yeager. They transport him outside and lay him on the ground. He is unresponsive. Officer Bob is very upset when he sees Jager having seizures. He begs, “Jager isn’t moving! He’s not coming around! You’ve got to give Jager the meds and the oxygen too!”
The paramedics refuse. It is not in their jurisdiction to give oxygen to an animal. They are afraid of losing their Ohio license because of treating a police canine
Frustrated, Officer Bob says to one of the other officers, “Help me get Jager into the squad car. Where is the nearest vet?”
Officer Bob and his partner lift the unresponsive body of Jager into the back seat of the squad care. He puts the car into emergency mode, racing towards the closest animal hospital. Yeager dies in the ambulance before they arrive.
What might have saved Jager from his fatal reaction to the meth lab? A simple dose of Versed, a sedative to stop the seizures which the paramedics had with them, and a pet mask with oxygen could have stabilized Jager enough to buy some critical time for him.
This is why HB 187, First Responders May Stabilize Pets in an Emergency, is a crucial, common sense bill to support. It enables First Responders to give oxygen, to splint an injured pet’s limb, or to call a veterinarian in order to get directions on how to stabilize the animal until the animal can be taken to a veterinarian.
This is a bill that can not only save treasured pets in emergencies, such as a fire or a car accident, but it can also save the lives of valuable, police canines and priceless, service animals.