Today Ohio begins to take a step in the right direction with a new law going into effect that anyone with a heart will be happy to hear about. While all across our country animal cruelty laws vary, before today our state only handed out minor misdemeanors to those who were charged with animal cruelty. So, who’s ready to hear the good news?
As of today, Tuesday September 13th, it is now a felony to abuse companion animals in the state of Ohio.
So, what exactly does this mean? The term companion animal might be making some of you wonder what this law actually covers. The law now makes it a 5th degree felony to cause serious physical harm to any animal that is kept inside a residential dwelling. The law also applies to any cat or dog, no matter where it is living.
Now known as Goddard's Law, the bill is named after WJW Channel 8 weatherman Dick Goddard, an animal activist.
Also known as House Bill 60, the legislation was passed back in May by both Senate and Ohio House members. The Senate vote was completely unanimous.
Those who are now charged with animal cruelty will be facing a prison term of six months to a year, along with a fine of $2,500.
While some of our residents are upset that the law only covers companion animals instead of all animals in general, I think we can all agree that this is a great step in the right direction.
The law also states that if anyone assaults a police dog or horse that results in the animal's death, he or she will automatically face prison time.
We're glad to see that these animals are being protected too!
Another benefit of this bill being passed?
It now requires state officials to provide resources to veterinarians that will help them better determine if someone is using their pet to get opioids.