Where is Ohio?
In the last five years many states have increased, felony-level penalties for extreme animal abuse.
Data from the Animal Legal Defense Fund:
• First time felony penalties for cases involving extreme animal cruelty or torture: Alaska, Arkansas, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Mississippi and Utah.
• Strengthening existing felony animal cruelty laws: Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada and Puerto Rico.
• Felony for repeated or aggravated animal neglect: Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, and Tennessee.
• Felony for repeated abandonment, or abandonment resulting in the death or serious injury of an animal: Arkansas, Idaho, Louisiana, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska and Puerto Rico.
• Felony for the sexual assault of an animal: Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Tennessee.
Ohio ranks 34th in animal protections. We are woefully in need of improved, decent, common sense laws to protect our animals and our communities.
Animal abuse is often the most visible sign of other serious personal and community problems. It can be associated with interpersonal violence (spousal abuse, elder abuse, child abuse), extreme mental illness, property offenses, drug offenses, and public disorder offenses.
The Ohio General Assembly needs to do the work of enacting serious, adequate legislation to protect our animals and our communities. It can begin by reinstating the felony provision for extreme cruelty including starvation by owners, managers, or employees of a kennel in HB 90, “Nitro’s Law”, which is now attached to the governor’s budget.
Ohio, call your state senator, your state representative, and Senator Faber, the Ohio Senate President. Ask that they return the language to HB 90, “Nitro’s Law”, as it was when recently, unanimously passed by the Ohio House and co-sponsored by Speaker Batchelder.
The Senate clock is ticking! The final vote for the governor’s budget will be within the next two weeks.