Ohio, won’t you take a look East along with me? There are wonderful laws and initiatives already in place for animals and consumers throughout the United States. First, I sincerely applaud the initiative of New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman in sponsoring the Animal Protection Act. He has effective safeguards in place for the animal and consumers regarding dog fighting and puppy mill animals. There is even an anonymous tip line for reporting abuses.
Second, Massachusetts enacted a comprehensive, companion animal law last year, the Homeless Animal Protection and Care Act. It is a well-defined, multi-pronged model in place for all fifty states to use and adapt to.
Third, Connecticut has a bill in place to provide court-appointed animal advocates. These volunteers – law school students and animal law attorneys – would watch over the protections of an animal while its case made its way through the court system in an animal abuse or a custody case. In addition, State Representative Urban, the bill’s sponsor, has entered a vast amount of well-researched data into the record on animal abuse being a red flag for both mental illness and violent tendencies towards other humans.
Fourth, Pennsylvania has the “Cost of Care” bill before the General Assembly. There are provisions for the alleged abuser to pay $10 / day for housing and food plus approved, veterinary expenses for the care of an animal while the animal abuse case is winding its way through the court system.
Ohio, where we live, consistently drags its feet in protecting both animals and consumers. Ohio only acts too late, as clearly illustrated by the exotic animal tragedy in Zanesville in 2011. The stunned world looked on in disbelief at 48 beautiful Bengal tigers, black bears, and lions lay dead in the front, farm yard of Terry Thompson.
The Ohio General Assembly can update its animal laws and improve its public relations with voters by taking a cue from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New York.
I am asking Ohio voters to join me in promoting improved, legal protections for Ohio animals. The new laws need to end the suffering and misery of , increase health care of, and legally protect Ohio, companion animals.