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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