Ohio Needs to Increase the Penalty for Animal Cruelty
OAA MISSION AREA: Pet Protection, Community Compassion
ACTION LEVEL: State
Ohio Senate Bill 205 would make killing a pet a 3rd-degree felony and increase the likelihood of prison for convictions.
The link between domestic violence and animal abuse is well established. A 2010 survey of state domestic violence programs by the Ohio Domestic Violence Network reported that more than 40 percent of respondents could recall cases where pets had been threatened with harm, actually harmed, or killed. Increasing penalties for cruelty to companion animals could deter violence against animals and people.
What You Can Do
The Ohio Senate will start re-start committee hearings and floor sessions in May. Please call your State Senator (____) and send an email, letter or postcard to their office urging them to support the passage of Ohio Senate Bill 205 out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and to the Senate floor. Share this Action Alert on your social media to raise awareness, educate, and encourage others to take action.
Dear Senator _______ ,
I respectfully urge you to support S.B. 205 which would increase penalties for those convicted of cruelty to or killing companion animals.
S.B 205 will not only help to protect companion animals from abuse, but may also deter domestic violence. It is said pets are often the canaries in the coal mine when it comes to abuse, and there is undeniable evidence demonstrating a link between animal abuse and violence towards humans. One study found that 70% of people charged with cruelty to animals were known by police for other violent behavior–including homicide. Another study found that 61.5% of animal abuse offenders had also committed an assault, 17% had committed sexual abuse, and 8% had arson convictions.
These statistics are troubling and highlight the critical need for this legislation. Those who are willing to harm animals tend to harm others. Increasing penalties for those convicted of heinous cruelty to or killing of pets can be a critical piece of legislation to help stop animal abuse and family violence.
In summary, I ask you to support and help to pass S.B. 205. Thank you for your consideration of this issue.