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Ohio companion animal abuse bill ‘Goddard’s Law’ passes state House

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On Wednesday, a bill named after animal advocate and FOX 8 weatherman Dick Goddard passed the Ohio House of Representatives, according to Fox8.

Goddard’s Law, H.B. 274, would bring Ohio‘s animal cruelty law in line with most other states by making it a fifth-degree felony to torture, injure or kill a companion animal or deprive it of food, water or shelter. Those convicted of animal cruelty could receive six months to a year in jail.

Currently under Ohio law, most animal abuse cases are first-degree misdemeanors punishable with little or no jail time.

Only companion animals will be covered by the proposed bill; livestock and wild animals are not covered. H.B. 274 refers to companion animals as "any animal that is kept inside a residential dwelling and any dog or cat regardless of where it is kept, including a pet store.”

State Representative Bill Patmon, D-Cleveland sponsored the bill, along with Representative Barbara Sears, R-Sylvania.

The bill next goes before the Ohio Senate.

Follow the Facebook page Ohio Alliance for Animal Cruelty Reform for more information.

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