Dick Goddard working to amend law to save more pets

CLEVELAND - A law that allows a good Samaritan to break into hot vehicles to rescue children and pets may soon be expanded thanks to the efforts of FOX 8's own Dick Goddard.

"Having the support from Dick Goddard, and Kimberly was amazing; that right there showed that. It made me feel and realize that I did actually do the right thing," said Hill.

In July, Richard Hill says he used a hammer to break a car window in a store parking lot after noticing two dogs were left alone inside. He was charged with criminal damaging as a result. His Tuesday court appearance was standard in every way expect one: Sitting beside Hill was Mr. Goddard and his daughter, Kimberly.

"We've got to help the four-foots -- the four-footed animals," said Mr. Goddard. "We're all animals but the two-footed animals are the problem."

Hill says he contacted Ohio Senator Sandra Williams who, according to an office spokesperson, is planning to introduce an amendment to Ohio Revised Code 215 in two weeks.

"Many of us, if we were faced with the same situation, we would have done the same thing," said Kimberly Goddard.

In court, Hill's attorney said he would pay for the broken window which amounted to $676 and finish a diversion program, then he could apply for the case to be expunged from his record.

"A wise resolution, thank you, attorney; he's giving you good advice," said Judge Timothy Gilligan of Parma Municipal Court. "This is a good way to resolve it. So we won't take the guilty plea now; he'll go through the diversion program and make sure he qualifies which I'm sure he will."

Goddard's namesake Goddard's Law made it a felony to knowingly cause serious physical harm to a companion animal; it became law in 2016.

"I wasn't there when it took place," said Mr. Goddard about Hill's case. "But, yeah, we've got to get the law changed; it's that simple," said Mr. Goddard.

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