State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) voted for bipartisan legislation that greatly stiffens penalties for abusing companion animals. The bill is nicknamed “Goddard’s Law” after long-time Cleveland weatherman Dick Goddard, who for several years has passionately advocated strengthening penalties for animal abuse.

“Strengthening the penalties for those who demonstrate violent and abusive behaviors towards companion animals will only keep our citizens of Ohio safer,” Rep. Anielski said.  “Goddard’s Law is the result of many years of research, and statistical findings to support the claims that violence towards animals correlates with other disorderly crimes against people.  I am pleased that our legislature is taking proactive measures for the well-being of all Ohioans.”

House Bill 60 makes it a fifth degree felony to knowingly cause serious physical harm to a companion animal, such as pets or domestic creatures. This is generally defined as activities involving a substantial risk of death, a partial or permanent incapacity, long-term pain, or deprivation of food, water and shelter.

HB 60 also broadens the definition of “companion animal” to include animals that are kept inside a pet store, whereas the previous definition was limited to a residential dwelling.

A study released by Northeastern University and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) found that 70 percent of people who committed crimes against animals were also involved in violent, property, drug or other disorderly crimes. The report also found that a person who has committed abuse against an animal is five times more likely to commit violence against people.

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Columbus - 

State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) was sworn in yesterday as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives for the 132nd General Assembly. She represents the 6th Ohio House District, which includes the south-east portion of Cuyahoga County, for a fourth term.


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