Nitro's Law, HB 108
Posted in the Toledo Forum
#1 Nov 13, 2012
It’s time for General Assembly to return its attention to Nitro’s Law
I would like to bring attention to a bill known as Nitro’s Law or Ohio House Bill 108. Some have heard of it, many have not. This law, if passed, would give prosecutors the option to charge kennel owners, manages and workers who abuse animals in their care with a fifth degree felony as opposed to a misdemeanor. This would be the first step in hopefully making animal abuse by anyone in this state a felony. Ohio is one of only four states in the nation that still considers animal abuse a misdemeanor.
This efforts is in response to the starving of 19 dogs at High Caliber K-9 Training and Boarding Facility in Coitsville in October of 2008, in which eight of the dogs died. This bill is named for one of the dogs who died, Nitro, a Rottweiler who was a beloved family companion. His owners, residents of New York, joined with others in 2009 to form Nitrofoundation.com to work towards legislation that would make such a crime a felony. The man charged in the animals death, Steve Croley, received four months in jail.
House Bill 108 passed the House in February. It passed through the Senate Agricultural Committee in May and is now in the Senate waiting to be brought to the floor. This bill has the full support of Rep. Ron Gerberry, who sponsored the bill and Sen. Joe Schiavoni, among others. Despite numerous supporters in the Legislature, Senate President Thomas E. Niehaus has not moved it to the floor for a vote.
We are constantly bombarded with reports of animal abuse, neglect and cruelty, especially in this area. The burning of a small calf at a farm in Lisbon is the latest. It is beyond horrific.
The passage of Nitro’s Law/HB108 would bring Ohio in line with 46 other states that currently have a “first offense” felony provision on their books for animal abuse.
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