Nitro's Law lacks support for passage in Ohio General Assembly

COLUMBUS — Legislation that would increase criminal penalties against kennel operators who abuse pets in their care is not expected to move out of the Ohio Senate this session.

Mahoning Valley lawmakers Ronald Gerberry of Austintown, D-59th, and Robert Hagan of Youngstown, D-60th, sponsored the law changes after an incident at a Mahoning County kennel.

House Bill 108, better known as Nitro's Law, is named in memory of a dog that was starved to death at a Youngstown-area business.

The Rottweiler was among more than a dozen dogs that were found dead or dying from extreme neglect in 2008 at the High Caliber K-9 kennel on Coitsville-Hubbard Road.

The owner of the business faced a few misdemeanor convictions as a result and subsequently filed for bankruptcy, avoiding additional civil penalties.

HB 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 limitations on their future ability to operate kennels.

The bill passed the Ohio House in February and moved through a Senate committee a few months later. But it’s languished “below the line” on the Senate calendar, among two dozen-plus bills that either don’t have the support for passage or that were amended into other legislation.

For the complete story, read Thursday's Vindicator and

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