Tag Archives: veterinarian

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

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. 

Representative Brigid Kelly’s Sponsor Testimony on Jan 23, 2018 for HB 433, “Veterinary Spay-Neuter Bill”

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!

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 1 – Dating Violence Protection Orders  includes dating partners in DV protection orders, allows women to access DV shelters and take their pets

     SUPPORT – SIGNED INTO LAW BY OHIO GOV KASICH in April 2018

sponsors – Rep Vernan Sykes (D), Rep Gayle Manning (D)

      https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-HB-1

2.  HB 147 – Special Prosecutors

      OPPOSE

  •      Rep Steven Hambley

3.   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)

 

4.  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)

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

     SUPPORT

      sponsor – Rep Laura Lanese (R)

       status – one hearing

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

6.  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)

7. 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)

    status – passed House; sponsor hearing in Senate

    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

It’s raining cat & dog bills in Columbus this week – HB 60, HB 187, HB 198, & SB 151!

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

(614) 644-6014

rep97@ohiohouse.gov

Rep Tony Burkley, Vice Chair

(614) 644-5091

rep82@ohiohouse.gov

Rep John Patterson, Ranking Member

(614) 466-1405

rep99@ohiohouse.gov


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
(614) 466-4847 
rep19@ohiohouse.gov

Rep Stephen A. Huffman, Vice Chair
(614) 466-8114 
rep80@ohiohouse.gov

Rep Nickie J. Antonio, Ranking Member
(614) 466-5921 
rep13@ohiohouse.gov


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

(614) 644-6008 

rep41@ohiohouse.gov

Rep Nathan H. Manning, Vice Chair

(614) 644-5076 

rep55@ohiohouse.gov

Rep Michael Stinziano

(614) 466-1896 

rep18@ohiohouse.gov


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

(614) 466-8150

hite@ohiosenate.gov

Sen Joe Uecker, Vice Chair

(614) 466-8082

uecker@ohiosenate.gov

Sen Lou Gentile

(614) 466-6508

gentile@ohiosenate.gov

 

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.

 

Testimony in front of the Ohio House Finance Agriculture Subcommittee

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.