Goddard’s Law To Be Delivered to House Clerk

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COLUMBUS – The final version of Goddard’s Law will be delivered to the clerk’s office in the Ohio House of Representatives Thursday morning.

The bill, named after FOX 8’s Dick Goddard, would redefine companion animal abuse in Ohio, where animal advocates say the laws are weak on serious abusers.

“There are thousands and thousands and thousands of folks who are encouraged by what we have done thus far and we are only able to get this done with their help,” said State Representative Bill Patmon, D-Cleveland, during a meeting with supporters last week.

Rep. Patmon is working with FOX 8’s Dick Goddard and the Public Animal Welfare Society, or PAWS Ohio, to pass the legislation.

Next week, Goddard’s Law will most likely be assigned a bill number by the clerk before a committee assignment is made.  Public hearings would be scheduled at a later date.

“If this passes and the worst kind of cruelty occurs where an animal is either killed because of animal cruelty or it has serious physical harm, then it will be a felony,” said Jeff Holland, an attorney who is involved in animal abuse cases in courtrooms throughout Ohio.

Right now in Ohio, most cases are first-degree misdemeanors and punishable with little to no time in jail.

Supporters of the legislation are encouraging every concerned Ohioan to contact their local legislator and urge them to learn more about the bill.

To find your representative, click here.