View Full Version : ohio cruelty laws

12-13-2002, 06:07 AM
will increase! the ohio house and senate sent to gov. taft SB221,(full text @ www.legislature.state.oh.us, SB221 ) in which there are proposed changes that will, among other provisions, increase the fine from $100 to $750, 90 days or both. when i called the governors office yesterday to tell them that i was for SB221, the call took all of 3 minutes. the aide didn't even ask if i was an ohio resident. the govenors phone number is 614-466-3335 9-5 est. thank you, joyce

12-13-2002, 06:48 AM

With all due respect, while I think it's great that they're raising the fine and jail time, it's still not enough.

Most states now make animal cruelty a FELONY offense with a maximum 5 years in jail and $5,000 fine. Monsters to do horrible things to animals should pay be held responsible for their crimes. To me, that law in Ohio is nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

12-13-2002, 07:39 AM
It's better than nothing...............at least they are attempting to make the penalty harsher. I hope it will pass, Joyce.

Cinder & Smoke
12-13-2002, 03:07 PM
We in Ohio may be coming out of the Dark Ages and be starting to take Animal Cruelty more seriously.
It's about time! :mad:

The link Joyce gave won't work for me, but I've found some that seem to work and give information on the legislation. Best I can tell is that both the Ohio Senate and House have passed the same bill (SB 221) and it is now in a Clerk's Office being prepared for submission to Governor Taft. He has 10 business days, after he receives it, to sign it into law; not act upon it and allow it to become law without his signature; or veto it.

Links with Information on SB 221, titled "Companion Animal Abuse/Humane Agent Training", can be found at:

Summary of SB 221 - a readable explanation of the Bill's Provisions (http://lsc.state.oh.us/analyses/ans124.nsf/All%20Senate%20Bills%20and%20Resolutions/559e)

How to CONTACT Governor Taft page (http://www.state.oh.us/gov/section7-0.htm) which gives:

Gov Taft E-mail = [email protected]
and his phone number = (614) 466-3555

Pssst, Joyce ~ you got a lil typo in the number - too many 3's, not enuff 5's. :p

A slightly dated story is on the Humane Society of the US site:
HSUS story about Ohio's legislation (http://www.hsus.org/ace/13333)

PLEASE! If you Live in Ohio ~
Write an e-mail to Governor Taft...

URGE him (politely) to sign SB 221 when he receives it; and add a little background on yourself and your FurKids - try to let him know WHY you support the Bill and want his support for it's passage. Do it NOW ~ he should have the bill on his desk before Christmas.

And MoosMom ~
Although it doesn't insure jail time and fines for abusers on the first offense;
it DOES make animal abuse/cruelty a FELONY on the Second occurrence.

12-13-2002, 04:59 PM
Another link where Ohio residents can sign a petetion for the bill...Ohio Humane education (http://www.ohiohumaneeducation.org/)

Just scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see the link

12-13-2002, 06:18 PM
donna, you are absolutely right, it isn't enough, but with the current grossly inadequate law, many prosecuting attorneys won't even bother. it is a baby step, in the right direction, but a small step, none the less, to improve the lives of companion animals. i wish we would make the leap to enlightenment. best regards, joyce

Cinder & Smoke
12-17-2002, 04:29 PM
UPDATE: SB 221 *IS* on Ohio Governor Taft's desk awaiting his signature or veto. The Ohio House & Senate agreed and passed the same versions of this Bill on December 10, 2002.

I found out today the Bill is being "reviewed" by the Agriculture Dept to determine if any language in the Bill will negatively impact farmers. The Governor will look at Agriculture's report AND the Public Input he gets via Phone & E-mail - then make his decision to sign or veto the Bill.

Ohio Residents: STILL TIME to voice your opinion -
PLEASE! contact the Governor's Office via Phone or E-mail (see earlier post, above) to voice your Support and URGE Gov Taft to Sign this Bill into Law!!

12-19-2002, 03:10 PM
Cinder & Smoke,

"I found out today the Bill is being "reviewed" by the Agriculture Dept to determine if any language in the Bill will negatively impact farmers. The Governor will look at Agriculture's report AND the Public Input he gets via Phone & E-mail - then make his decision to sign or veto the Bill."quoted by C & S.

Indiana is considered an "Agricultural " state like Ohio.We here
in Indy had suprising strong support for increasing a 1st
conviction of Animal Cruelty to a Felony, instead of waiting
for the 2nd conviction to raise the level of penality from misdemeanor to felony. The bill never became law because
of intense lobbying by the "farm bureau interests" in Indiana.
We did however get stronger penalties exacted for people
convicted of animal fighting, or owning equipment used to
train animals to fight. Some progress anyway...but not enough.

People have to find a way of separating Companion Animals
from typical farm or market animals in the wording of laws.?

12-28-2002, 08:01 PM
i called the gov.s' office on thursday, again, to tell him of my support and the aide who took the call, said he was going to sign the new law:D , however:( since it was a holiday week, would i call again on monday to find out when he would sign the law:mad: . ya know, i was at work, and it seems that my state government should be at work also (small gripe there) so i will update this on monday night ,after I get home from work:rolleyes:

Cinder & Smoke
12-30-2002, 01:29 PM
Dad called em this mornin (Monday the 30th)...

The story changed a lil bit ~ :rolleyes:
Senate Bill 221 is not quite "on the Gov's desk" - it's still hung up in limbo-land between the Legislature and His Nibb's Desk. It's still undergoing "review"...

According to the Gov's Aid - Governor Taft has NOT *oficially received* the Bill - it's in with about 70 Other Bills - all being reviewed prior to being actually handed to the Gov for his final consideration. Not one of the three Aids that Dad spoke to could put a time line on WHEN the Bill would actually be presented to the Gov.

Sooooo... Let's all hurry up an wait :mad:.
If you live in Ohio - please take the time to
call Gov Taft's Office (614) 466-3555 or
e-mail him at: [email protected]
to voice your SUPPORT of SB 221.


12-31-2002, 06:53 PM
I was wondering if this bill can become law without the
Gov's signature? In Indiana if a bill passes both house &
senate, a bill can become law without the Gov. actually
signing it. Many politicos use that feature to "allow" a law
without really "indorseing" it. It's politics after all .....

Cinder & Smoke
01-02-2003, 01:08 PM
Originally posted by lizbud
I was wondering if this bill can become law without the Gov's signature?


Gov Taft has 3 chioces:
1) SIGN IT and it becomes Law in 90 days.
2) Veto it - then the House & Senate can reconsider it in the 2003 Legislature and vote to override his veto - but that requires a high vote count.
3) Gov Does Nothing during the 10 day 'signing window' (not sign & not veto) and the Bill is adopted into Law without the Gov's signature in 90 days.

No one seems to know How Long the passed Bill can or will remain "out for review" (where it is NOW) before it is presented to or is received by the Governor for his action. After the "review" is over - the Bill begins it's 10 day period of sitting on his desk awaiting his Sign / Veto / Ignore decision.

Keep your Finnerz, Pawz & Klawz crossed!! ;)

01-08-2003, 07:55 AM
:D :D :D gov. taft will be signing SB221 today according to the columbus dispatch today!!! a very small step in the right direction in ohio!!!:D :D

Cinder & Smoke
01-13-2003, 05:05 PM
Here's the confirmation appearing on Governor Taft's State of Ohio web page:

COLUMBUS (January 8, 2003) -
Governor Bob Taft today signed the following bills, which will be filed with the Secretary of State's office.

Substitute Senate Bill 221, sponsored by state Senator David Goodman (R-Bexley),
Prohibits specified acts with respect to a companion animal, establishes a procedure for the care of an impounded companion animal during the pendency of charges against a person who violates the prohibition, requires training for humane agents, increases the penalty for committing certain offenses against animals if the commission of the offense also involves criminal trespass, and establishes requirements concerning the reporting by certain authorities of abuse or neglect of animals or children.
The bill goes into effect 90 days upon the Governor's signature and filing with the Secretary of State.

MANY THANKS :D to all who helped Support and Pass this Law!!


01-13-2003, 07:28 PM
HOORAY for Ohio !!! Very good news Phred...

Has the Bill changed much in language from the original bill
submitted? Just curious . This a a very Good sign for Ohio.:)
Thanks to Phred & Cincy'sMom for the updates on the bill.I
really wanted to know how this turned out. Hugs from Liz
and Moki.:)

Cinder & Smoke
01-14-2003, 08:10 PM
Originally posted by lizbud
HOORAY for Ohio !!!
Has the Bill changed much in language
from the original Bill as submitted?

Changed much? Not that Dad can tell...

Senate Bill 221 did some modifications to several existing Ohio laws that govern Peace Officers, Humane Officers, child abuse, AND the Law (ORC Section 959) which described Animal Cruelty and set the penalties for Animal Abuse and Cruelty.

The new Law doesn't make ALL forms of animal cruelty and abuse punishable as Felonies - but it DOES increase a lot of animal abuse & cruelty crimes from "minor misdemeanors" (usually punished by a $100 fine but no jail time) to being "Misdemeanors - Fourth through First Degree". Those crimes can get you :eek: Thirty Days & $250 up to 6 Months and $1,000 after conviction. "Abandoning" an animal is a 2nd Degree the first time, and a First Degree Misdemeanor the second and subsequent times.

Dog Fighting got a nice boost in punishment:
Conviction will now get you from 6-18 Months in the slammer, and up to a $5,000 fine, as it is now considered a Fourth Degree FELONY! :D

And Bill 221 created a New Section (ORC 959.131) that defines and punishes almost ALL Forms of Animal Cruelty & Abuse ("torturing, beating, killing") done by Anyone - including Caretakers and Custodians of animals. THAT will get you a First Degree Misdemeanor the first time; and a FELONY 5 the second time!

The new Laws aren't purfikt;
but they DO have some TEETH in em! :D

If you WANT to read a good summary of the Bill 221 provisions:
SUMMARY of SB 221. (http://lsc.state.oh.us/analyses/ans124.nsf/All%20Senate%20Bills%20and%20Resolutions/5656)
The actual Bill 221 is printed here:
SB 221 As Passed & Signed by Gov Taft. (http://OhioActs.avv.com/124/sb_221.html)

The sad part about trying to *read* the Bill is -
You ALSO need to find the basic ORC Section 959 to figure out what all the References to ORC Section numbers are talking about... :mad:
I used Anderson's Ohio Revised Code (Sec 959). (http://onlinedocs.andersonpublishing.com/revisedcode/home3.cfm?GRDescription1=revised%20code&GRDescription2=title%209&GRDescription3=&TextField=%3CJD%3A%22959%22%3ECHAPTER%20959%3A%20O FFENSES%20RELATING%20TO%20DOMESTIC%20ANIMALS&GRStructure1=959&GRStructure2=)

All thing considered;
Ohio moved closer to actually Punishing Animal Abusers!

01-15-2003, 07:45 PM
This is a big step forward for Ohio. Congrats to the Ohio
voters. Score one for all the loving companion animals of
the state.:D Phred, thanks for the links to the bill. I couldn't
get Ohio Code to "open up" but the bill summary pretty much
lists the changes in law. Thanks for the update .Good job Ohio.