Ohio Seeks Stiffer Penalties for Pet Abuse

New legislation would make mistreatment of cats and dogs a felony.

Posted: May 19, 2009, 3 a.m. EDT

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A push to make the mistreatment of cats and dogs a felony instead of a misdemeanor is under way in Ohio.

Legislation introduced recently seeks to increase the degree of offense for the prohibition against the cruel treatment of a companion animal by the animal’s custodian or caretaker to a felony of the fifth degree.

House Bill 70, sponsored by Rep. Ronald Gerberry, D-Canfield, was written in response to a case in Youngstown, Ohio, involving a kennel owner who was ordered to serve four months in jail plus fines for starving seven dogs to death and abusing 12.

Proponents of the bill say Ohio must join 45 other states in making animal abuse a serious felony crime and not allow cruelty to continue with little to no punishment. This measure would increase fines and potential jail time for a person who is convicted or pleads guilty to abuse charges.

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Ohio Seeks Stiffer Penalties for Pet Abuse

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cheryl    INDIANAPOLIS, IN

12/1/2009 11:31:16 AM

Animal cruelty should be a felony. A life is a life no matter if its human or animal. Isn't it a proven fact that serial killers begin by abusinng animals? Lawmakers should wake up.

jessica    VE, IA

6/13/2009 9:00:39 PM

i think it should be a felony..
honestly whatever they do to the cat should be done to them. (ex.) if they set a cat on fire they should be set on fire themselves.

Amy    Badin, NC

5/27/2009 7:07:12 PM

I think that this is the way to go. I believe that all states should increase the penalty for abuse. Even the "stiffer" penalties that are proposed are not "stiff" enough. Most people don't know that someone who abuses animals will eventually abuse humans as well. Stop the cycle when it starts.

Fran    Mansfield, OH

5/19/2009 7:36:52 PM

We definitely need stronger laws and penalties for abuse to dogs, cats or any animal. It's been proven that people who abuse animals, also abuse their kids and it just keeps on going down the line. I'm appalled at the light sentences handed down by "so called judges" for kids setting cats on fire, hanging them from a clothes line, you name it, it's happened and nothing is ever done to the culprit who is responsible. They learn these actions at their fathers knee that cats are the lowest of the low and the only good cat is a dead one.

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