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Government and Politics

Dog, cat abuse bill passed by Ohio House
Animal abuse could be punishable by up to a year in jail by the bipartisan Goddard Bill

Jo Ingles
Kittens huddle in a shelter, hoping for adoption. A new bill aims to prevent abuse of pets.
Courtesy of Dave Parker Flickr CC
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In The Region:
The Ohio House has passed a bipartisan bill increasing penalties for animal abuse. In most cases, the Goddard Bill, named for Dick Goddard, makes abusing a dog or cat a low level felony, punishable by up to a year in jail.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say abuse toward pets often leads to violence toward humans.

However, Republican Rep. Lynn Wachtmann from northwest Ohio worries the bill goes too far.
Dog, cat abuse bill passed by Ohio House

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“A prosecutor could, I know we like to trust their judgment but I would not like to give them the judgment of charging a person with a felony who for instance, may shoot a neighbor’s dog that is coming over the maul their dog or something or kill their cat.”

The bill passed the house 83-to-8 and now goes to the Ohio Senate.
Listener Comments:

Its a great start but all LIFE is equal and should be treated as such. Once you've looked into the eyes of an 'animal' and seen the soul, it no longer matters what form that soul takes, only that its a soul, a life.

Posted by: Rachel (NewZealand) on December 15, 2013 6:12AM
Long overdue..I think if we punished people for their behavior with animals they would stop, if for no other reason then jail is scary...people who harm animals will harm people...don't they get it? It is all wrong.

Posted by: Joanne (Estero, Fl.) on December 14, 2013 11:12AM
The law is a start, but the penalties should be much longer, that would be a deterrent, we as a society cannot stand by and allow cruel humans to take advantage of the most helpless amongst us, be it animals, children or any other living being that is not able to fend and speak for themselves.
It is time to get these predators out of our streets!

Posted by: Myriam Giovannini (Brooklyn, N.Y.) on December 14, 2013 11:12AM
This is long overdue...People who harm animals are animals. Don't think these same people won't hurt others too...jail time is a good deterrent and the time should fit the crime...

Posted by: Jo (Estero, Fl.) on December 14, 2013 11:12AM
Lynn Wachtmann is an idiot. This guy is a drunken hillbilly republican that needs to get voted out of office. When is it ok to shoot your neighbors dog? Google this criminal to see his mugshots!

Posted by: Wachtmann Hater (Cleveland) on December 14, 2013 2:12AM
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