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CLEVELAND, Ohio — It’s been years in the making, but Tuesday Goddard’s Law officially goes into effect in Ohio.

Now, causing serious physical harm to a companion animal will warrant a felony.

Goddard’s Law, or House Bill 60, was signed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich on June 13.

Starting Tuesday, it will be a fifth degree felony to knowingly cause serious physical harm to a companion animal. This includes depriving a pet of food, water or shelter or inflicting long-term pain.

The law is named for Fox 8’s own Dick Goddard and his effort to protect pets. The bill is sponsored by Republican David Hall and Democrat Bill Patmon.

Patmon said with the number of co-sponsors and conversations with hierarchy over the past five years, it was the toughest piece of legislation he’s ever had to get through the legislature.

The law also requires prison time for anyone who assaults and kills a police dog, police horse or other service animal.

Continuing coverage here.