About Us

Ohio Animal Advocates (OAA) advocates for animals by effecting systemic change and working toward the humane treatment of all animals. This includes active support of local and state legislation toward the prevention of animal cruelty as well as public awareness campaigns designed to teach communities across Ohio about the ongoing threats to animals.

OAA began as a small, dedicated group of Ohioans concerned about the unmet needs of Ohio animals. Our Board members, committee members, and founders have been working on animal welfare issues on the ground in local communities throughout Ohio as well as statewide policy at the statehouse, with the goal of making a difference for Ohio’s animals and the communities in which they live. This dedicated group of Ohioans came together in 2018 to form Ohio Animal Advocates with the goal of raising visibility of issues Ohio’s animal population regularly faces.

Our mission is to make Ohio a place where all animals are protected from cruelty, abuse, and neglect.

OAA achieves its mission in a variety of powerful ways. We help create policies that protect animals and work to ensure that humane laws are vigorously enforced. We also establish relevant and practical solutions to take on seemingly insurmountable animal cruelty issues. By challenging and changing entrenched systems that harm animals, we are elevating animal protection concerns from a “fringe” issue to one taken seriously by the public and policymakers, who are beginning to understand the deep connection between the welfare of animals and that of society overall.

As a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization registered with and recognized by the IRS and the Ohio Secretary of State’s office in good standing (EIN 83-1947658).

An Ohio that serves as a national model for the humane treatment of animals.
We champion the advancement of animal welfare in Ohio by:
  • Initiating & implementing effective humane policies and programs.
  • Building diverse partnerships & leading collaborative efforts.
  • Achieving positive, innovative solutions.
  • Applying the best available research and information.
  • Involving all citizens and stakeholders.
A special thanks to our trailblazing founders:
  • Dr. Mark Bamberger, Esq., Spring Valley OH
  • Amy Blank, Bexley OH
  • Pat Currie, Columbus OH
  • Laura Dehlendorf, Bexley OH
  • Vicki Deisner, Esq., Columbus OH
  • Phil Greenberg, Columbus OH
  • Gene Klingler, Columbus OH
  • Abby Lavelle, Columbus OH
  • David Sickles, Willoughby OH

Why OAA?

The need for a statewide organization to address animal welfare is the missing link to moving animal welfare forward in Ohio. The animal welfare movement is centuries old and is grounded in philosophy and social justice principles.  In many respects, however, it would appear to be a young movement both nationally and statewide in comparison to other more recent social-welfare efforts.  For example, the environmental movement was launched in the 1970s when federal laws were passed and national organizations were formed to advocate for the implementation of those laws.  Ohio played a significant role as a catalyst when the Cuyahoga River caught fire and became a national media event that was emblematic of the need for change.  However, it wasn’t until state and local environmental organizations were created in the 1980s and 1990s that the movement evolved to accomplish the implementation of those laws.  

The key to success was the presence of state and local organizations to speak to state and local policymakers about the needs and challenges on the ground.  These organizations had the ability to network all critical parties of interest into a consolidated voice with shared goals, enabling the environmental movement to develop consensus-based solutions.  

The animal welfare movement continues its work to pass animal welfare legislation through national organizations.  Following the successful lead of other movements, a statewide animal welfare organization needs to exist to address the implementation of protections at a state and local level.  A number of other states have already formed state organizations to address this need, and it was time for Ohio to do the same.  The Ohio Animal Advocates was created to fill this critical niche in Ohio.