We are Ohio Animal Advocates

OAA strives to protect Ohio’s animals from cruelty, abuse, and neglect. 

OAA works through education, science, and advocacy toward a world in which
all animals are respected and protected.  We collaborate with citizens, stakeholders,
and policymakers throughout the State of Ohio to champion humane policy and coexistence.

Missions Areas

Advocacy Networks

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Affiliations, partnerships, tools, and resources.

Community Compassion

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Humane education, breed neutrality, unchained dogs, and community cats.

Developed Resources

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State-wide reports to locate:
Pet Food Pantries
Where to Report Cruelty

Pet Assistance

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Help for pets in senior citizen and low-income families.

Pet Protection

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Help for pets caught in domestic violence situations.

Wildlife Protection

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Information about coexisting with wildlife.

Support our work!

Recent Events and Announcements

OAA in action at the Statehouse.
  • 09/27/2020 Attention Ohio renters w/ pets:  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued a sweeping moratorium on most evictions. The CDC took this unprecedented step out of concern that mass evictions and homelessness will accelerate the spread of COVID-19.  Unlike the many local eviction moratoriums in Ohio that have now expired, the CDC’s order requires tenants to take action in order to be protected. While this eviction moratorium won’t help tenants pay their rent, it is the best tool right now to stabilize at-risk Ohioans.  Also refer to OAA’s pet food pantry list and other resources for assistance during this health crisis.
  • 09/21/2020 The Board of Ohio Animal Advocates would like to thank the Ohio Animal Foundation for its recent grant support to expand our statewide public resource directories such as our pet food pantries, safe havens for animal victims of domestic violence, low-cost spay/neuter, and who to call to report cruelty. These lists are relied on by the public – especially during this COVID-19 crisis. Congratulations to the other grant recipients: Feral Mountain (TNR Program), Humane Society of Greater Dayton (Give a Dog a Bone PRogram), and Brukner Nature Center (Pre-Release Enclosure Supplies).
  • 09/01/2020 Vicki Deisner, OAA Executive Director, testifies in support of H 33 today in the Senate Agriculture Committee. Lori Carlson with Ohio Animal Welfare Association as well as Ohio Veterinary Medical Association also testified in favor of H 33 which mandates the reporting of animal abuse.
  • 08/28/2020 H.B. 33, which will require the reporting of animal abuse by social work professionals, veterinarians and other professionals in family violence situations, will have a hearing in the Senate Agriculture Committee on 9/1/20. Contact your state senator TODAY using OAA’s alert (link) and ask them to support H.B. 33 to protect Ohio’s families Including our pets.
  • 08/20/2020 OAA’s partner, Licking County TNR, is having a fabulous garage sale through the weekend to help the county’s community cats. WHERE: Refugee Canyon Veterinary Services, 116 North 9th Street, Hebron, Ohio. WHEN: Friday-Saturday 8-5, Sunday 10-3. OAA is working with Licking County TNR to set up community cat programs in trailer parks throughout Licking County.
  • 08/17/2020 OAA thanks all the good samaritans that contacted OAA and Lake Humane Society about a Painesville dog being left in the hot sun and developing heatstroke.  ‘Penny’ is at the Lake Humane Society and she is receiving the medical care she needs.  The story of the kind neighbors that helped Penny, the calls from so many caring people to Lake Humane Society and where to contribute to Penny’s medical care can be found at  https://www.wkyc.com/mobile/article/life/pets/painesville-dog-heatstroke-chained/95-a1e1b20c-2f7f-4216-abff-4924f8b4be22.
  • 08/11/2020 OAA is thrilled to be a recipient of the first ever Pet Education Project Givesback Grant Program! OAA thanks the Bob & Nita Hirsch Foundation and other supporters of the Pet Education Project for recognizing the need to continue humane education efforts during the COVID-19 time in innovative ways. OAA will utilize these funds for our humane education efforts in the central Ohio area.
  • 08/11/2020: Back to School Update! Many schools will not be going back in-person this fall due to the COVID-19, and as children continue to stay home there can be pet anxiety from having children around 24/7.  Please read the thoughtful article Gigi’s Animal Shelter wrote regarding how to reduce stress between pets and their families when everyone is at home.
  • 07/24/2020: NEWS FLASH! Ohio H.B. 33, which would require social service workers and veterinarians to report animal abuse, had a sponsor hearing in the Senate Agriculture Committee on 7/21/20, with Rep. Laura Lanese testifying to the critical need for the bill to address family violence. Please contact your state senator and tell them to support H 33 and pass it through the Ohio Senate.
  • 07/21/2020: OAA welcomes aboard Michelle Kulewicz as OAA’s new educational advisor and Troy Gregorino as OAA’s new Human-Animal Bond Advisor. Michelle is a librarian at Steward Elementary School in Columbus, and has partnered with OAA in starting a RedRover readers program at her school.  Troy is a mental health professional, doctoral candidate and educator with a writing background, and has advocated for the inclusion of animals in the duty-to-protect mandate in the American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics.
  • 07/06/2020: OAA is now a proud member of the Humane Education Coalition.
  • 07/05/2020: Vicki Deisner, OAA’s Executive Director, was on Mindy Drayer’s Sunday radio broadcast 7/5/20 to share the good news of H.B. 33 passing out of the Ohio House. HB33 will mandate domestic violence, social workers, and veterinarians to report animal abuse. Listen to it here!
  • 06/27/2020: Cat Kibble needed! Ohio Wildlife Center is in major need of cat kibble. They crush it and make a paste to feed to the baby birds! If you have any kibble, please let us know! OAA is happy to pick it up and deliver it for you.
  • 06/26/2020: Mindy Drayer is donating partial proceeds from her book “Guylo” to OAA throughout the rest of 2020. From the bottoms of our hearts- thank you for your support! You can grab a copy of her book “Guylo” here: https://bibliobookstore.com/animals-pets/guylo-by-mindy-drayerIf you would like your own personally signed copy of “Guylo”, Mindy invites you to contact her directly through social media or at minran54@yahoo.com.
  • 06/25/2020: Need foster caregivers? GreaterGood.org can help! Through their nationwide #StayHomeAndFoster initiative, GreaterGood.org has over 80,000 people signed up to foster, but just 750 organizations to match them with. Register your organization so you can be matched with local fosters in your area! If your organization is not in need right now, you can still sign up so that everything is ready to go when you do need. This includes all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
  • 06/24/2020: OAA welcomes aboard Lyndsay Bamberger as OAA’s web/social media advisor. Lyndsay is managing partner of Scribble LLC and Vice-President of Social Media and Design for the UC Chapter of the American Marketing Association.
  • 06/23/2020: OAA welcomes aboard Dr. Aviva Vincent as OAA’s new Human-Animal Bond advisor. Aviva is an adjunct professor at Case Western Reserve University and is a nationally recognized expert on the link between animal and human violence. Aviva was the lead author on the journal article The Link Between Interpersonal Violence and Animal Abuse, published in the Society Registry in December 2019. OAA’s Executive Director Vicki Deisner was a co-author of this article, along with two other nationally recognized social work professionals. Read her article here!
  • 06/22/2020: OAA is excited to announce that our OAA Board Member Krista Hyme has been accepted as a member of the Association of Professional Humane Educators. Krista’s membership with the Association of Professional Humane Educators will provide additional resources for the development of OAA’s Humane Education Program.
  • 06/12/2020: OAA welcomes aboard Alana Van Gundy and  Steffanie Sanchez as our new at-large Board members.  Alana is a former professor of criminal justice and just graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.  Alana’s experiences with battered women, survivors of sexual, domestic, and workplace violence, and women who are incarcerated led her to leave her position to work on legislation focused on the link between human and animal cruelty, animal and human rights violations, and protecting human and animal survivors of abuse.  Alana will work with OAA on pet protective legislation, trainings and the expansion of safe havens across the state for pet victims of domestic violence.  Steffanie brings a wealth of business, marketing, and communications expertise in the animal welfare world, and will assist us in evolving our communications platforms with our partners, target audiences, and the public.  We are so lucky to have Krista and Steffanie join our Board! 
  • 6/12/2020: Thank you to all of our dedicated OAA supporters who helped us raise significant funds for animal welfare activities during this health crisis.  Mindy Drayer, thank you for your donation of partial proceeds from your book to OAA through the Big Give!
  • 6/11/2020 – Today the Ohio House of Representative voted out H.B. 33 – important legislation mandating the reporting of animal abuse by professions such as social workers and vets.  The link between animal and humane violence has been documented for decades, and often animal abuse is the first escalation of violence in a dysfunctional family.  Thank you to all our supporters who contacted their state representatives – and remember we will all have to be vigilant in contacting our state senators this fall to get this bill on the Governor’s desk to sign by the end of the year.  Please thank Representatives Lanese and Carruthers for their efforts to get this bill over the finish line!!!!
  • 6/10/2020: OH H.B. 33 will be voted on the House floor TOMORROW so please contact you state representative TODAY and urge them to pass this bill that would mandate the reporting of animal abuse.
  • 6/7/2020: June 15, is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Many elders are financially challenged and have to choose between food for themselves and their pets. If you know an elder that is resourced stretched – please refer them to OAA’s statewide list of pet food pantries and statewide list of low-cost spay/neuter facilities.
  • 6/5/2020: SAVE Ohio Pets will have a Pet Food Drive thru Sunday 6/7 at 1000 East Broad Street, from 1:30-2:30. Open to SAVE Ohio clients and Franklin County residents with proof of government assistance, Will be drive thru and volunteers will put food in the trunks of cars. While supplies last.
  • 6/3/2020: Franklin County Dog Shelter and Adoption Center in central Ohio received additional food for their Community Pet Food Pantry to assist struggling pet owners during the COVID-19 pet crisis. If you need food to help feed your dogs or cats during this time, visit the shelter during open hours including 9-5 on Saturday and Sunday.
  • 6/2/2020: Alley Cat Allies has a nationwide Feral Friends Network compromised of people, experts and veterinary professionals across the country to help cats and the people who care for them.  Find resources in your community by going to alleycat.org/our-work/feral-friends-network/ and find help by your zipcode.
  • 5/24/2020: Abby Lavelle, one of the original founders of OAA, passed away 5/21/2020 after a courageous battle with ovarian cancer.  After retiring from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Abby devoted her time to animal advocacy and rescue.  She spent many years as a liaison between the elected officials, the Franklin County Dog Shelter and the public.  Abby made a big impact on many people and saved the lives of countless animals – she will be sorely missed.
  • 05/22/2020: OAA welcomes aboard Jack Shaner as our new at-large Board member.  Jack was the Deputy Director and Senior Director of Legislative and Public Affairs at the Ohio Environmental Council, and Caucus Staff Policy Director to the Ohio Senate Minority Leadership in the Ohio General Assembly.  We are fortunate to add Jack to our board to help with our policy, program and fundraising efforts.
  • 05/22/2020: OAA welcomes aboard Krista Hyme as our new at-large Board member.  Krista is an elementary school teacher at Johnnycake Corners Elementary in the Olentangy School District, and first came aboard as an OAA advisor.  Excited to help OAA develop humane education projects, she is joining our board to lead that effort.  We are so lucky to have Krista and our most recent addition, Mark Finneran, OAA new Treasurer, who brings not only financial and fundraising experience to our board, but also experience as a statehouse legislative aide.  Our thanks to Paula Weiser, who devoted enormous energy, time and talent to developing OAA website and operational capacity serving as Vice-President and Treasurer.
  • 05/21/2020: As Ohio and local government start to reopen, we ask that you reach out to Hilliard City Council and urge them to continue their efforts of drafting a community cat ordinance – working with community members and groups such as OAA. COVID-19 may have halted human interaction, but it did not stop outdoor cat activity including kitten season. Hilliard and communities around Ohio need community cat ordinances that focus on community partnerships with trap/neuter/return (TNR) groups to humanely reduce populations and address nuisance issues.
  • 05/20/2020: As Congress returns we must urge our federal lawmakers to pass the Big Cat Safety Act, the Child and Animal Abuse Detection and Reporting Act , and the Humane Cosmetics Act. Please contact your federal lawmakers TODAY and ask them to support these important animal welfare bills and pass them out of Congress this session.
  • 05/19/2020: SNAP of Central Ohio is working with The Animal Health Organization (TAHO) during this health crisis to help pets who need spay/neuter in central Ohio.  SNAP requests if you need assistance, email info@snapofcentralohio.org.  OAA has statewide lists identifying resources for low-cost spay/neuter, pet food pantries, and safe havens for pets needing protection from domestic violence.
  • 05/18/2020:  As the state legislature continues to meet and hold hearings, there are three important animal welfare bills we need to encourage our lawmakers to support – H.B. 33 which will require social workers and other professions to report animal abuse (action alert), H.B. 350 which would make bestiality and cockfighting a crime throughout the state (action alert), and S.B. 205 which would increase the penalties for animal cruelty (action alert).  Please contact your state legislators TODAY and ask them to move these bills through committees and floor sessions as they will break for recess soon.
  • 05/15/2020: Unfortunately, Ohio H.B. 553 was introduced which would prevent the Ohio Division of Wildlife from adopting rules to regulate the killing of coyotes – including banning cruel coyote trophy killing contests as well as year-round coyote and trapping. This bill is moving quickly as there was a sponsor hearing on 5/12/2020 and proponent hearing scheduled 5/20/2020 had a hearing in the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee. OAA asks that you strongly urge your state representative TODAY to oppose H553 (action alert), as it is critical that the scientists at the Ohio Division of Wildlife maintain authority to regulate all of Ohio’s authority – not lobbyists or lawmakers. 
  • 05/12/2020: A House version of a bill to ban gas chamber use to euthanize animals (Ohio H.B. 551) was recently introduced and sent to the House Local Government Committee. Please urge your State Representative to support Ohio H.B. 551 and your State Senator to support Ohio S.B. 167 and end this inhumane practice. 
  • 05/07/2020: Columbus Humane will provide free cat and dog food for residents in the Franklin County area that are struggling to feel their pets.  Starting 5/7/20 the community can sign-up for pet food by appointment for pick-up and curbside delivery at https://www.columbushumane.org/pet-food-assistance-program.
  • 05/06/2020: OAA welcomes aboard Krista Hyme as our new educational advisor.  Krista is an elementary school teacher at Johnnycake Corners Elementary in the Olentangy School District, and is excited to help us develop humane education projects throughout the state.  Krista is national board certified in early childhood development.
  • 05/04/2020: Not only are coyotes brutally killed in the thousands in Ohio, but such indiscriminate killing leads to human fatalities.  Please contact your State Representative and urge opposition to Ohio House Bill 553, which would prevent the Ohio Division of Wildlife from adopting rules to protect coyotes and our communities.
  • 04/30/2020: Watch Muskingham County Sheriff video on why the federal Big Cat Act must be passed to protect both exotic cats and community members, then contact your federal lawmakers and ask them to pass this bill out of Congress
  • 04/29/2020: April 2020 marks the 19th year of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  Each April, communities come together to raise awareness and support prevention programming in the hopes of eliminating sexual abuse, assault, and harassment.  Did you know that family pets are often sexual offense victims? Bestiality is not a crime everywhere in Ohio! We need you to contact your State Representative and request support of Ohio House Bill 350 which would make bestiality a crime throughout Ohio.
  • 04/28/2020: OAA is pleased to feature Licking County Trap-Neuter-Return as a new Partner! Licking County TNR is 100% donor funded, and the community’s generosity has enabled Licking County TNR to serve over 1,000 cats in more than 70 colonies. Welcome, Licking County TNR!
  • 04/28/2020: Meet Mark Finneran! He joined the OAA Board this month and has assumed responsibility as Treasurer. Welcome, Mark!
  • 04/21/2020: Join WildEarth Guardians and staff from the Humane Society of the United States for a free webinar Thursday, April 23, about ending cruel and unsporting wildlife killing contests! Register here!
  • 04/17/2020: A Bronx Zoo tiger tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 causing some to fear animals—including pets—could potentially spread the virus which causes COVID-19 in humans. Per the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), “There have been no reports of pets or livestock becoming ill with COVID-19 in the United States” and “no evidence to suggest domestic animals … that may be incidentally infected by humans, play a role in the spread of COVID-19.”  An AVMA report offers hygiene recommendations for pet owners, and pet owners should create emergency pet-care plans. For temporary food sources, see OAA’s state-wide Pet Food Pantry listing. Also see possible grant options that may be helpful during the pandemic.  Our pets need us, and we need them!  
  • 04/16/2020: The National LINK Coalition’s April LINK-Letter offers a special focus on how the COVID-19 pandemic is increasing the risk of domestic, child, animal, and elder abuse as families self-isolate.  Help is on the horizon as $2 million in grants is now available through the Department of Justice for co-sheltering pets and survivors.
  • 04/16/2020: As “Tiger King” enters its third week among Netflix’s top ratings, Ohio viewers would notice the part of the documentary that hits close to home–the Zanesville massacre in 2011.  A total of 48 exotic animals, including Bengal tigers, African lions, bears, cougars, wolves, and monkeys were killed.  This horrific incident led to passage of Ohio’s Dangerous Wild Animal Act in 2012. However, exotic ownership still occurs. In 2019, a serval–brought across state lines from Indiana–was killed in Licking County (learn more in OAA’s Wildlife Protection Resources and Reading Room).  Use the OAA Action Alert to tell Congress to pass the Big Cat Public Safety Act and stop the interstate transport of exotic cats.
  • 04/08/2020: Department of Justice has a short-turn Emergency and Transitional Pet Shelter and Housing Assistance Grant to assist domestic violence shelters and transitional housing services for domestic violence victims and their companion animals (includes horses). Applications due 05/29/2020. See details on our new page for organizations which offer a variety of grants and resources to help individuals, animal shelters/rescues, and domestic violence victims/pets.

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