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Ohio Legislature Proposes Two New Animal Welfare Laws

Paws Up! To the Ohio House and Senate for proposing new laws that would improve animal welfare in their state.

December 10, 2020

Ohio legislators have decided it is time to step up their animal welfare standards. With the introduction of two new bills that put a spotlight on animal cruelty happening in the state, animal cruelty offenders will soon have stricter punishment.

Senate Bill 205 would strengthen existing animal cruelty laws by raising the penalty for animal abuse to a felony charge. Currently, the penalty for serious injury or death to an animal is only a misdemeanor.

While mandated reporting is required of certain professionals who suspect abuse of people, House Bill 33 would require veterinarians, social workers, and animal control officers to report suspected animal abuse, also. This push for stronger legislation is supported by research which suggests there is a clear connection between abuse towards animals and abuse towards humans. Disturbingly, some abusive acts against animals arise out of an offender’s desire to inflict terror and pain upon other living creatures. Demonstrations of violence towards animals and depraved indifference to an animal’s suffering are closely correlated with other forms of criminal behavior including domestic abuse, rape, and homicide. Violent acts against animals are well-documented as one of the earliest and most reliable predictors of later acts of violence against humans. To learn more about animal abuse and how to report it, read more at Understanding and Reporting Companion Animal Abuse.

Take Action: Ohio residents, contact your legislators and urge them to vote in favor of Senate Bill 205 and House Bill 33 to strengthen the animal cruelty laws in your state!

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