‘Goddard’s Law’ Passes Ohio House

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COLUMBUS, OH -- 'Goddard's Law' is heading to the Ohio Senate after it passed in the Ohio House of Representatives Wednesday.

The fight will now shift to the Ohio Senate where it must pass in order to become a law. If passed, the bill would redefine companion animal abuse in Ohio, where there are few felony provisions for extreme cases of abuse.

The legislation is named after FOX 8's Dick Goddard. Throughout his more than five-decade long career at WJW-TV, Goddard has been an advocate for animals.

"He's a hero, he really is - he's a real dog advocate and animal advocate and I think it's wonderful that he's behind it, brought this forward, we need it and I hope it goes through rather quickly, I really do," Zaron Van Meter from Columbus previously told FOX 8's Mark Zinni.

The main sponsor of the legislation, Rep. Bill Patmon, D-Cleveland, had a last-minute meeting with the republican caucus in the House.  An amendment was added to the bill that would remove 'accidental negligence' from the felony category.  That change would exclude someone from a felony charge if they accidentally allow a companion animal to die while in their care.

Rep. Barbara Sears, R-Monclova Township, was a cosponsor of HB 274.

"These legislators know it's time, too, and with Mr. Goddard backing this bill, I think they're really paying attention, which is good," said Amy Beichler from PAWS Ohio.

According to a summary of the bill issued on Wednesday, "HB 274 amends sections 959.131, 959.132 and 959.99 and to enact section 4741.05 of the Revised Code to revise provisions and penalties regarding treatment of companion animals, to revise the definition of 'companion animal' in the Offenses Relating to Domestic Animals Law, and to provide a state collaborative effort to assist veterinarians in identifying clients who may use their animals to secure opioids for abuse."

Animal advocates from PAWS Ohio and other organizations are encouraging voters who support the measure to start contacting their state senator.

Locate your legislator by clicking here.

CLICK HERE for more stories on Goddard’s Law.


    • kim

      Do I think it’s wrong for vets to treat animals instead of humans???
      Absolutly not. Doesnt everyone of Gods creatures deserve a specialist to help them out in time of need??
      Do we criticize the hortoculturalist that wants to work on plants instead of humans or the aggracuturakist that works on farming instead of humans..
      I bekieve there is a reason we have so many specialist is b/c each abd every one has its place and each helps each other op theut.

  • Balls

    Not enough is done as soon as they get a slap on the wrist for beating their child they get the kids right back. For animal when it’s rescued they never get the animal back see the difference yet boneheads.

  • Andrea

    Animals need more advocates we as people advocate for each other but who is there for the animals?? It’s our duty to protect them no matter what. And people who abuse them should be punished. Indefinitely.

  • Aleta Pahl

    I hope people in Ohio will call their state senators and tell them this Law is long overdue.. Politicians need to hear from their constituents to give them the backbone to do the right thing…

  • flaminglib

    Just more laws and red tape that is going to muddy the system. “Accidental”? Are we opening a can of worms or what? As far as doing something good for “humanity”? I love my pets, but last I checked, they are not human. I am curious to the definition of accidental, I’ll read up on it to see how truly ridiculous this is.

  • Maria

    This world needs more people like Dick Goddard. How anyone can say anything negative against him and quest to help the animals is beyond me. It’s about time people who abuse animals are punished for the crimes they commit against them. So sorry if there are people out there who don’t agree. I can’t help but wonder what is wrong with them?…..

  • Cheryl

    It’s interesting that this state will do more to protect animals, while they opt to let women suffer rape and for children and poor families and the jobless to starve. Ohio has some of the most archaic laws and continues going BACKWARDS under Republican regimes such as we have now.

  • Maria

    Wow….This discussion is about animal abuse NOT abuse of women or children or poor families who are starving.

    I’m always saddened and surprised at the people who don’t seem to have a bit of compassion for animals.

  • Flaminglib

    I agree, this isn’t about “Dick”. It’s about more laws that lend themselves to more of “not minding your own business”. Answer me this, who is going to decide if you have “abused” a pet? “Starved” a pet? It’s all open to someone’s interperatation. It was mentioned that more “training” will be given to what will now be another version of “law enforcement”. Usually when you give some like that a badge, it goes straight to their head. A few years back my brother witnessed a county dog warden try to catch a couple dogs. He got one. He drove alongside until they crossed the road. He timed it to be able to accelerate and ran one over. Now you want to give people like that more authority? Yup, we need more laws that ooen your neighbors to sticking their nose where it shouldn’t be. All under the guise of “it’s for the critters”, or “it’s for the kids”, and so on. What it’s for is someones personal agenda, and we all are going to pay for it with our tax dollars.

  • bill skinner

    They should do this everywhere in the USA if you do not want it do not take it home you would not take a kid home & do it like ppl do to dos & cats !! would you ???

  • LostFaith

    I love the idiots who, for some reason, think that ethical treatment of people and animals are inherently mutually exclusive. You can’t do both? Scary stupid!

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