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Valley residents rally for stalled Nitro’s Law in Columbus



Published: Thu, December 8, 2011 @ 12:05 a.m.

photo

Liz Raab , left, whose dog died after being left in the care of a Youngstown kennel owner, and Dana Donnelly from Youngstown, rally near the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus for passage of a bill to allow felony charges against kennel owners who neglect or abuse animals.

By Marc Kovac

news@vindy.com

COLUMBUS

Liz Raab stood on a busy street corner near the Statehouse with a big sign reading “Honk If You Love Your Pet.”

Raab loved her pet, a Rottweiler named Nitro who died as a result of extreme neglect at a Youngstown kennel. The dog was one of more than a dozen that were found dead or dying from starvation at the business.

Legislation in the Ohio House would allow increased criminal penalties against owners of kennels that abuse animals in their care. House Bill 108 passed out of a legislative committee in September but has not been brought up for a full floor vote.

On Wednesday, Raab and about 20 other pet advocates rallied outside the Statehouse, with hopes of persuading lawmakers to take action on the legislation.

“There’s no reason it shouldn’t go through,” Raab said. “Nitro wasn’t a Democrat; he wasn’t a Republican. He wasn’t a liberal or a conservative. He was our companion animal, and they deserve to be protected. The laws and punishments should not protect the criminals; they should protect the victims.”

House Bill 108, titled Nitro’s Law, was introduced by Democratic Reps. Ronald Gerberry of Austintown, D-59th, and Robert Hagan of Youngstown, D-60th, after a 2008 raid at the High Caliber K-9 on Coitsville-Hubbard Road, where humane agents found dogs suffering and starving. Eight died as a result.

The owner of the business faced four misdemeanor convictions and subsequently filed for bankruptcy, avoiding additional civil penalties.

House Bill 108 would make it illegal for kennel owners, managers or employees to abuse or neglect pets in their care. Those found guilty of doing so could face felony charges, and judges could place limits on their future ability to operate kennels.

Lawmakers have been working on the legislation for about three years. A related bill passed out of the Ohio House last session but died for lack of action in the Senate.

Raab and other advocates rallied with hopes that the new legislation would not face the same inaction.

“The animal laws in Ohio are painfully lacking in effectiveness,” said Dana Donnelly, a Youngstown woman who made the trip to Columbus for the rally. She added later, “I would like to see animal abuse become a felony. ... As it stands, if you kill an animal, you get a parking ticket, and that’s not fair. It’s taking a life, and that should be a felony.”


Comments

1lilgandee(103 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

They have got to impose tougher laws to these vicious people. Pass Nitro's law so that can happen. There is no reason it should have taken 3 years already. As Obama says about his bills: "pass this bil, what are you waiting for?"

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2ctamburrino(5 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

HB 108 deserves to be passed to allow the legal system the option of dealing appropriately with violent individuals by levying felony charges when warranted. In the end, Nitro's law protects not only companion animals but people as well since violent people will abuse anyone and anything that they can exert control over including children. Why would legislators prefer to protect violent offenders rather than victims? HB108 NEEDS TO BE PASSED!

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3Ashtok(3 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

We need HB108 to be voted upon! The people of Ohio are ready to come into line with other states in stricter punishments for animal abuse. Violence to animals rarely stops there. Ohio legislators need to see that this is what Ohio wants!

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4nikkif07(2 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

I was at the rally. It is beyond my comprehension why this hasn't made it to the House floor. We pay these peoples salaries and they clearly are not listening to us. It's time for a change. I wish I had a job where I could ignore my boss.

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5DianeLynne(1 comment)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

I have to wonder if someone's car was stolen and wrecked in Ohio, would the penalty be stronger than taking a life of what some may "perceive" as someone's "property"...i.e...a pet? We are all watching you Ohio...do the right thing...your weak animal protection legislation is criminal within itself.

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6OhioAtty666(19 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

The reason the legislation hasn't been voted on is because the Republicans in the majority have all been purchased by corrupt businessmen. The flavor of money merely enhances the GOP's natural inclination to let one of their own steal money from the public in any way possible without intervening protection from the State. It's called Capitalism in 21st Century America. Back in the Old Days it was called bribery, corruption, and felonious conduct.

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7hmm(183 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

@attny... What is to be gained by "corrupt politics" in this case... Explain how the pockets will be. Lined from NOT passing. NITRO'S Law... The lobbyist for kennels can't be that strong

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8mammenchiro(10 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Once again, PEOPLE WHO ABUSE ANIMALS ABUSE PEOPLE. IT's a statistical fact. Nitro's law would help identify those people earlier. This law is a win/win situation. The animals win and innocent humans win. There are many cases on file that when ACO went in to check on the animals Child Protective Services have been immediately called to remove a child from a dangerous situation. It's a no brainer for both Republicans and Democrats.

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9ohioanimallover(18 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

These people need to really step up and do their jobs! We PAY THEM to do their jobs, and yet they are still doing NOTHING! PASS HB108!

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10amgolias(8 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Great article and coverage...thank you VINDICATOR for covering this very important issue that hangs over Ohio. If a person abuses and animal, humans are next. We need to be the voice of the defenseless animals...and stop this horrendous treatment.

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