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Law would address kennel abuse

Published: Thu, September 22, 2011 @ 12:03 a.m.

By Marc Kovac



A state legislative committee has signed off on increased criminal penalties against kennel operators who abuse animals in their care, setting the stage for a final vote by the Ohio House.

House Bill 108 was introduced by Democratic Reps. Ronald Gerberry of Austintown and Bob Hagan of Youngstown after more than a dozen dogs were found dead or dying from starvation at a business in Mahoning County.

The 2008 incident at the High Caliber K-9 on Coitsville-Hubbard Road resulted in four misdemeanor convictions against the kennel owner, who subsequently filed for bankruptcy, avoiding additional civil penalties.

The bill, titled “Nitro’s Law” in memory of one of the dogs that died, 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 limitations on their future ability to operate kennels.

Comparable legislation passed the Ohio House last session but stalled in the state Senate late last year. The two lawmakers reintroduced the bill this session

The House’s Criminal Justice Committee has played host to several hearings on the legislation, including hearing testimony from the owner of Nitro.

The committee gave its OK to the legislation Wednesday, and the bill now awaits a vote of the full chamber. The Ohio Senate would take up the legislation after the House acts on it.

“I am in total agreement with the many thousands of animal lovers across this state that this bill is needed and can set the tone of intolerance on violent crimes commented against our four-legged friends,” Gerberry said in a released statement.

Hagan added, “Crimes against defenseless animals are as despicable as crimes committed against defenseless children, seniors and other fellow humans. At the end of the day, they are all victims. Ohio can do better than that. We can rewrite the laws to make a difference, and that is what Ron Gerberry and I are trying to do.”


1k9girl2223(19 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Nitro's Law needs passed!! It is long overdue!! As an animal lover myself, these people that commit these crimes need to be charged with felonies!!

In loving memory of Diane Adamson owner of Ridgeview Kennel who passed away on Saturday Sept. 3,2011.

She took excellent care of my dogs when I traveled out of town. You will be deeply missed.

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2lilgandee(103 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

The abuse in this country is rap-pent and needs harsher penalties to try and curb this appalling behavior to whatever is being abused-dogs, children and elderly. My grandma was abused in a nursing home and had her things stolen. It was hard to even prove, they put a camera in her room but it was useless. When she died and my mother packed her belongings she found a note unfinished saying that she was being hit by; then nothing. I hate abuse at any level. Toughen the laws to prevent easy penalties and have it be a felony. The victims will appreciate it. Thank you for trying Mr. Hagan and Mr. Gerberry.

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3ThewayIseeit(31 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

But when its hunting season you can shoot an Elk right between the eyes.....

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4taxpayer1001(274 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

This has already been drug out way too long. This needs done! It's not rocket science.

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5aliceloraine(1 comment)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

We are one of only 5 states that still don't have meaningful animal protection laws. We need to drag Ohio out of the dark ages and get Nitro's Law passed!!

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6resslerjf(1 comment)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

We need to get Nitro's Laws passed. There are so many animals that get abused that it is getting worse each day. We the people speak for the abused animals and we want it stopped. The abusers need to punished for what they have done. The abuse needs to be stopped.

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7dmorgan9(1 comment)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Passing Nitro's Law is a no brainer!
It's way past due that the legal system cracks down on animal abuse. What kind of society are we living in if there's no protection in place for those who can't defend themselves? PLEASE PASS NITRO'S LAW!!!!

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8ytowhoh330(89 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

This needs to pass! Nitro's army is growing & we won't give up!! They also have a f/b page. Don't let Nitro's death be in vain. This is a real shame what this man did to him & the others. Of course it had to happen here & the nut will be allowed to have animals again!!

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