"Goddard's Law" Passes Ohio House
Rep. Hambley votes to provide further protections for companion animals
 
 
COLUMBUS - 

State Representative Steve Hambley (R–Brunswick) today 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.


“As a former county commissioner, I worked closely with our county humane society, and regularly saw the effects of animal abuse firsthand,” Hambley said. “I am proud to vote in favor of Goddard’s Law, which will show the country that Ohio takes animal abuse seriously, as well as providing increased oversight of the prosecution of these serious cases.”


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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