Chairman Young, Vice Chairman DeVitis, Ranking Member Lepore-Hagan, and members of the House Economic Development, Commerce and Labor Committee, thank you for the opportunity to provide sponsor testimony on House Bill 433 . This bill, brought to Representative Brinkman and I by a constituent in Hamilton County, is a common sense approach to help the veterinarians in our state earn continuing education credit while helping to responsibly curb the issue of pet overpopulation.
The Ohio Revised Code and the Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board currently require all veterinarians in the state to report thirty hours of continuing education biennially . These hours may be obtained by numerous ways including online courses, office policy development, journal articles or conferences so long as 20 hours are scientifically related to the practice of veterinary medicine and no more than 10 are non – scientific.
Our legislation would simply allow Ohio veterinarians to receive up to two hours of continuing education per renewal if the licensed veterinarian performs free spaying and neutering services. For every one hour of free spaying and neutering services that the licensed veterinarian performs, they shall receive one – half hour of continuing education credit so long as the services are provided at a practice or facility that is appropriately staffed and equipped for such services and is done in conjunction with either a county humane society, dog pound or non-profit.
A companion bill has already been introduced in the Senate due to rising interest amongst the veterinary and animal rights community to provide veterinarian’s incentives to volunteer their services. Although many believe veterinarians stand to gain substantial knowledge through their involvement in spay/neuter work, veterinarians would still be required to complete core continuing education requirements by the state.
While estimates on number of unwanted animals in the state are unavailable, the exponential reproductive rates of cats and dogs continues to outpace adoption rates. Many shelters in the state are continuously forced to use euthanasia as the only means to make room for new take ins. The Humane Society of the United States successfully lobbied for the passage of a similar bill in the state of New York in 2016 in hopes that these laws might ease this problem.
Representative Brinkman and I believe that House Bill 433 is an easy step to decreasing the unwanted pet population and the number of animals euthanized at Ohio shelters. I appreciate the chance to offer testimony on House Bill 433 and would be happy to answer any questions.
Thank you, Representatives Kelly and Brinkman, for sponsoring, and DanaMarie Pannella for writing, this important, common sense bill that aims to recognize, with continuing education units, the compassionate work veterinarians do to stem the explosive, population growth of cats and dogs!
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?
1. HB 226 – “Fireworks” aims to make higher grade fireworks more accessible
sponsors – Rep Bill Seitz (R), Rep Martin Sweeney (D)
cosponsors – Rep Bill Dean (R), Rep John Becker (R), Rep Andy Thompson (R), Rep Wesley Goodman (R), Rep Dick Stein (R), Rep Bill Reineke (R), Rep Louis Blessing (R), Rep Kyle Koehler (R)
Fireworks terrify many dogs. They panic and run away to get away from the explosions. Shelters fill up with lost dogs after July 4 each year.
Woodland animals flee and abandon their nests.
Ohio has 800,000 veterans. Veterans with PTSD, sadly, relive the trauma of war when they hear the thunder of fireworks.
Individuals with dementia and autism are frightened by the sounds.
120 Ohioans go to ER each year with injuries. They lose limbs and are blinded. Their homes are set on fire.
- https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-HB-226 (Read the bill here)
status – PASSED OHIO HOUSE, 84-13 on 10/13/17
- http://www.dispatch.com/opinion/20170919/editorial-new-bill-is-bad-medicine (Dispatch – “Dangerous Fireworks Bill Should Fizzle”)
- http://www.dispatch.com/news/20171011/those-fireworks-youve-been-setting-off-may-finally-be-legal-in-ohio (Dispatch article)
2. HB 263 – “Pups on the Patio”, aims to allow dogs on outdoor patios of restaurants
sponsor – Rep Laura Lanese (R)
- Restaurant owner must agree. Patio must have its separate entrance. Dogs are not permitted on the chairs or tables. Dog clean-up bags will be available.
- https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-HB-263 (Read the bill here)
3. HB 319 – “Shelter Dog as State Pet”
sponsor – Rep Laura Lanese (R)
- https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-HB-3194 (Read the bill here)
4. HB 349 – “Increase Crime of Assaulting a Police or Search & Rescue – Dog or Horse “
sponsor – Rep Sarah LaTourette (R)
- Applies same penalities for assaulting or harassing search and rescue dogs and horses as police dogs and horses have
- Increases the penalty for assaulting a police dog or horse from a second degree misdemeanor to a fourth degree felony, a third degree felony if the animal suffers serious physical harm, and a second degree felony if the animal dies.
5. HB 433 – “Veterinary Spay-Neuter”
sponsors – Reps Tom Brinkman (R) and Brigid Kelly (D)
author – DanaMarie Pannella, Esq.
This House bill and its companion bill, SB 232 in the Senate, give Ohio veterinarians the OPTION (not mandate) of using 2 CEU’s for FOUR HOURS of FREE SPAY-NEUTER.
Status – sponsor testimony – Jan 23, 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. SB 195 – “Nuisance, Dangerous, and Vicious Dogs”
sponsor – Sen Bill Beagle
- https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-documents?id=GA132-SB-195 (Read the bill here)
7. SB 232 – “Veterinary Spay-Neuter”
sponsor – Sen Cecil Thomas
cosponsors – Sens Charleta Tavares, Joe Schiavoni, Kenny Yuko
author – DanaMarie Pannella, Esq.
status – sponsor testimony – Jan 30, 2018
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
- HSUS initiative
aims to increase the standard of care in the kennels of large-scale breeders
applies to breeders with eight or more unspayed females and annual sales of more than 15 dogs
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
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.
Testimony before the Ohio House Finance Agriculture Subcommittee
March 11, 2015
Good morning, Chair Thompson, Ranking Member O’Brien, Representative Burkley, Representative Cera, and Representative Hall,
I am Beth Sheehan. I live in Cincinnati. I have come to reinforce the testimony of Ms. Theresa Stir, executive director of the Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board (OVMLB), who asked you for additional funds for fiscal years 2016 and 2017. The OVMLB needs these funds in order to strengthen its veterinary oversight program. I am specifically asking for an additional $100,000.
Right now about half of the funds from that licensure passes through the Veterinary Board and into a General Fund, not to be touched by the Veterinary Board. Please release the Veterinary Board’s own funds for use in animal hospital inspections.
Three, primary reasons for having increased animal hospital inspections are community disease control, illegal drugs control, and consumer protection. The Center for Disease Control states that 75% of emerging infectious, human diseases come from animals. These are zoonotic diseases that pass between animal and human species. So, the possibility of disease spread in an unhygienic, animal hospital not only negatively impacts the animals’ health, but also threatens the health of the workers and pet owners. Public health is at stake here.
Veterinarians are licensed to prescribe and have regular access to drugs. Yet, the drugs housed and used in animal hospitals go largely unchecked. The black hole in veterinary oversight leaves a lot of room for bad actors, flying low under the radar, to take advantage. Right now in Ohio there is a background check just once during the career of a veterinarian, when he first applies for his license. In Ohio, that fledgling veterinarian and his animal hospital can both go unchecked and unnoticed for the rest of his career until he retires.
There have been several cases, most notably Alvin Burger of Canton, Ohio and Brandi Tomko of Summit County, Ohio, who were both found guilty of practicing veterinary medicine without a license in their county courts. Where were these individuals getting their veterinary drugs to use in their illegal practice?
Additionally, Lee Ann Givan, DVM, was severely censored by the Tennessee Veterinary Board for a host of behaviors, including illegal use of drugs. What did Dr. Givan do then? She promptly moved to Ohio, where she was issued a license. She was later sanctioned by the OVMLB for getting drugs for her two dogs, but using them herself.
Recently, Michael Smith, DVM, of Zanesville, Ohio, his son, Eryn R. Smith, and Travis E. Ryan, “were indicted following a more than 2-year, multiagency investigation into a prescription drug trafficking ring.” Hopefully, the increased inspections of animal hospitals would be another prong to successfully work against prescription drug trafficking rings in Ohio.
Third, the mission statement of the OVMLB is “consumer protection”. Right now Ohio veterinarians are “on the honor system”. Ohio consumers remain unprotected if the conditions and operations of their animal hospitals are unknown and unmonitored by the state agency that issues the licenses. In fact, it is only in recent months that the number of animal hospitals and their locations became known by the OVMLB.
Finally, I appreciate the opportunity to speak with the Ohio House Finance subcommittee today about the need for the Ohio Veterinary Board to have access to an additional $100,000 of its own money. These funds will be used to increase animal hospital inspections, aimed at protecting public health, monitoring illegal use of drugs, and protecting the consumer.