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Dozens Rally for Stricter Animal Abuse Laws

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CLEVELAND -- The federal trial of a man accused of tying up a dog in a park and then shooting it, begins today.

But he's not being tried for trying to kill the dog.

And that's part of the reason why there will be a rally at Public Square

April is Animal Awareness Month, and supporters of stricter animal protection laws in Ohio say the case of Ramone Clements proves people who abuse animals get little more than a slap on the wrist.

It all started with the story of a dog named Forrest.  He was found shot and chained to a tree at a park in Cleveland Heights. Police say the man who did it is 42-year-old Ramone Clements.

When he was arrested, police say Clements had bullets on him, which is illegal considering his past criminal history.

Instead of being prosecuted for animal abuse charges, the federal charge of being a convicted felon in possession of ammunition took precedence.

As for Forrest, he was nursed back to health and adopted into a loving home.

As Clemens' trial begins this afternoon, animal lovers, including our own Dick Goddard will gather here on Public Square to draw attention to this case and rally for support for legislation they hope will pass this year, making animal abuse a felony.