At LovePets, we're always happy to hear about the new laws and legislations that protect our furry, feathered, scaly, and otherwise adorned friends, so imagine our joy when Ohio announced that it was stiffening the penalties for those who were found guilty of animal abuse. What a result for those who cannot speak, or stand up for themselves.
The bill, which took effect on Tuesday, September 13th, now ensures that anyone found guilty of "knowingly causing serious physical harm to a companion animal" will be charged with a fifth degree penalty, and face penalties of six months to one year in prison, and fines of up to $2,500. While "knowingly causing harm" can refer to deliberate acts of violence, it also covers acts such as depriving a pet of food, water, or shelter – in short, any act that results in discomfort or harm being experienced by a pet. Ohio's new law doesn't stop there. The punishments for those found guilty of assaulting or killing a police dog or horse, now incorporates mandatory jail time and set fines.
While the new law does not protect livestock or wild animals, it is certainly a step in the right direction. Our pets trust us implicitly and depend on us to stand up for their rights. Ohio's new law will certainly ensure that pets across the state are better cared for, and felons are punished more harshly. State officials will be required to assist veterinarians in the identification of clients who may abuse drugs, or those who may use their pets to gain access to drugs – a big move for pets that may be suffering at the hands of a reckless pet parent.
How do you feel about this new law? Do you think it goes far enough? Should it be copied across the country? Please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.