COLUMBUS, Ohio-- House Bill 60, also known as Goddard's Law, is now on the books. The man for whom it was named, our own Dick Goddard, stood at the side of Ohio Governor John Kasich Monday afternoon as the bill was signed into law.
"It's wonderful; if it's the last thing I do of any consequence, I'm thrilled to death for the animals," said Goddard.
Goddard's Law made it a 5th felony to knowingly cause serious physical harm to a companion animal. That included depriving them of food, water, and shelter.
Executive Director of PAWS Ohio, Amy Beichler, said the new legislation could not come soon enough, for the animals or for Goddard, who made many trips to Columbus to lobby for its passage.
"He really deserved this. His name will now be associated with the felony five provision for a first offense and that's a huge step," said Beichler.
Sponsors of the legislation, State Representatives Bill Patmon and David Hall worked tirelessly behind the scenes. Both said they could not have closed the deal without Goddard's backing.
"There's a book I read, it says you shall know them by their works. Dick Goddard's work spoke for him when he wasn't here; it was still speaking for him," Patmon said.
"Just to get his name out there and his experience, that moved this bill; this bill could not have been done without Dick Goddard," said Hall.
The new legislation also required prison time for anyone who assaulted and killed a police dog, police horse or service animal.
PAWS executive director said she will now reach out to law enforcement across Ohio to ensure Goddard's law was enforced and justice for companion animals was served.