HUDSON, Ohio (WJW) — State Rep. Casey Weinstein said he believes stronger penalties are needed for anyone convicted of stealing someone’s pet and is proposing a tougher law.

“Pets are not furniture,” Weinstein told the FOX 8 I-Team on Friday.

Weinstein’s action comes after a FOX 8 I-Team investigation into stolen dogs.

We spoke to several northeast Ohio pet owners who said their pets were stolen and they were heartbroken to learn the crime is considered a misdemeanor in Ohio. Weinstein would like the crime to bumped up to a felony.

“She was my heart,” said Michelle Roberts-Ragland of Euclid. “I miss her little face.”

She filed a police report in Euclid last April. Her dog has still not been found.

Weinstein noted that 15 other states treat stealing dogs more seriously and feels it is time for Ohio to do that as well.

“Our pets are our family members,” Weinstein said. “What I am about is accountability for Ohio families and I think most people would agree that there should be a higher standard and a higher level of accountability for someone who steals a dog versus someone who takes a chair. Pets are part of our families and deserve to be protected.”

Weinstein hopes to propose the legislation sometime in the next several weeks.