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Tell the USDA to stop protecting animal abusers

advo-puppy-mill-ic2017

On February 3, the USDA purged its website of all these reports with no warning or explanation. This outrageous action undermines longstanding consensus about public access to information concerning these laws and frustrates public interest, state, local and industry efforts to help enforce them.

Animals held in research facilities and puppy mills are shielded from public view, therefore these records are essential to ensure that these dogs, monkeys, rabbits and other animals are receiving basic care.

The USDA is changing the equation for the worse for animals and the public with this abrupt and destructive move. Your voice is needed to ensure that these records are restored.

 

TAKE ACTION
Please send a message to the USDA and let them know, in no uncertain terms, that they should not be permitted to withhold this vital information and should instead continue to keep those who are responsible for complying with federal law accountable for their actions.

The Humane Society – 2016 Progress Report

humane societyThe Ohio State Legislature adjourned on December 30 after a productive two-year session with lots of progress for animals. Highlights from the session include:

• The state legislature passed powerful animal welfare reforms, including SB 215, which grants civil immunity to people who forcibly enter a motor vehicle to rescue a pet or child in distress, and HB 60, which strengthens penalties for first-offense egregious acts of companion animal cruelty.

• The state legislature also passed a provision that criminalizes bestiality and a significant provision that makes cockfighting a felony offense and upgrades one of the weakest anti-cockfighting laws in the country.

• On a local level, Ohio saw the enactment of anti-tethering ordinances in cities and towns across the state.

• Unfortunately, a bad provision known as SB 331 passed into law. Advanced by the Ohio-based pet store franchise Petland, this legislation bans local governments from prohibiting the sale of puppy mill dogs in pet stores.

The gains we achieved would not have been possible without calls, letters and other efforts from advocates like you — thank you! Together, I know we’ll make even more progress for animals in the next legislative session.

In the meantime, I invite you stay connected by joining us on The HSUS Ohio Facebook page or by texting HSUSOH to 30644. Interested in taking on a leading role for animals in your state? Email HSUS Ohio State Director, Corey Roscoe.

 

– Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO

OVCA Animal Legislation Update: 131st Ohio General Assembly

THE GOOD NEWS!

SB 215 (Grants immunity to citizens who forcibly enter a motor vehicle to rescue a pet or child) was signed into law by Governor Kasich on May 31, 2016. With its passage, a person is now granted immunity from civil liability for any damage resulting from the forcible entry of a motor vehicle for the purpose of removing a minor or an animal from the vehicle because the minor or the animal is in imminent danger of suffering harm.

Many thanks to the coalition of six animal welfare advocacy/rescue organizations – Angels for Animals, Justice for Herbie, Joseph’s Legacy, Nitro Foundation/Nitro’s Ohio Army and Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates and OVCA – who have worked diligently with OVCA to help craft and support this important piece of legislation for Ohioans!

In addition to this new law, language increasing criminal penalties against cockfighting, bear-beating and pitting an animal against another animal (HB 215) was passed as an amendment to SB 331 and signed into law by Governor Kasich on December 13, 2016.

Many thanks to everyone who made calls, wrote letters and visited their state representative and senator to help create this positive change for people and companion animals in Ohio. A very special thanks to Senators Jim Hughes (R-16) and Frank LaRose (R-27) and Representatives Barbara Sears (R-47) and Representative Heather Bishoff (D-20) who helped support and guide the efforts of many grassroots groups!

THE NOT-SO-GOOD NEWS!

Unfortunately, with the passage of SB 215 and HB 215 (as an amendment to SB 331), two companion animal bills - HB 94 (prohibits tethering an animal outdoors during inclement weather under specified circumstances) and HB 526 (prohibit injuring or killing a dog or cat trespassing on the person’s property) – died in their respective committees.

Also, SB 331 (Petland-backed pet store bill which preempts local ordinances such as those in in Toledo and Grove City which prohibited the sourcing of “puppy mill” dogs) which was signed into law by Governor Kasich as a “Christmas Tree” bill, rolled together restrictions on minimum wage rates, pet stores, bestiality, cockfighting/bear-bating/pitting an animal against another animal and high-speed cell phone technology into one convoluted, controversial bill.

For more information on SB 331, click here to view the ABC 6 news segment: “Petland” Bill Regulates Statewide Sale of Dogs to Pet Stores.

We have worked hard to keep everyone informed about the bills in the last General Assembly. We will continue to stay current and active in the 132nd General Assembly (2017-18)!

PLEASE JOIN US IN 2017!

OVCA is dedicated to working for the enactment of stronger, legal protections for Ohio cats, dogs, and families at risk! Your part is easy – you can even work from the comfort of your home. We do all of the hard work to keep you informed and to provide you with sample letters and contact information when it’s time to take action!

Together, we can reach across the miles to effect positive change in Ohio legislation! As beautifully shared by dedicated animal advocate, Sandy Muir, “In 2017 we have to do better, do more, educate until we are blue in the face, change minds, change laws and continue on with our mission statement and move forward.”

Click here to locate contact information to speak with your state legislators.

Ohio Voters for Companion Animals (OVCA)
Facebook: Ohio Voters for Companion Animals – OVCA
twitter.com/OVCA_OH
pinterest.com/OVCAOH
www.ohiovotersforcompanionanimals.com

LegiScan is an excellent dashboard to monitor all bills pending and passed in the 131st Ohio General Assembly! Be sure to bookmark in your Favorites! https://legiscan.com/OH

Representing over 28,000 constituents across 88 Ohio counties, OVCA is an Ohio-citizen driven, community-based, non-profit corporation concerned about the welfare of companion animals as defined under Ohio Revised Code 959. Our mission is to increase the engagement of the Ohio companion animal community in public policy through public awareness campaigns, grassroots advocacy and legislative engagement.

Bay Village cracks down on dogs at large

by Dennis Driscoll

To establish an effective remedy to address a serious initial dog attack as occurred this past summer, the Bay Village City Council revised ordinance section 505.01 regarding animals running at large. While the revised ordinance has the same running-at-large prohibitions as the prior ordinance, the revised ordinance has escalating penalties which provides Bay Village with broad authority to deter a future dog attack.

The running-at-large restrictions prohibit the owner of a dog, cat or other animal from allowing the animal to remain upon any public street or on any city park except under the reasonable control of a responsible person. The ordinance further requires that, while on private property, the animal be contained on the private property and not allowed to cross outside the property line.

Under the revised ordinance, upon an owner’s first violation of this ordinance, the owner is guilty of a minor misdemeanor and can be fined up to $150. Upon an owner’s second violation of this ordinance, the owner is guilty of a fourth degree misdemeanor, for which the owner can be fined up to $250 and sentenced to 30 days. Upon the third violation, the owner is guilty of a second degree misdemeanor, for which the owner can be fined up to $750 and sentenced to 90 days.

If the animal violates this ordinance and bites a domestic animal, the owner is guilty of a third degree misdemeanor, for which the owner can be fined up to $500 and sentenced to 60 days. If the animal violates this ordinance and bites a human, the owner is guilty of a second degree misdemeanor. If the animal violates this ordinance and seriously injures a domestic animal or person, the owner is guilty of a first degree misdemeanor and can be fined up to $1,000 and sentenced to 180 days.

Furthermore, upon a conviction for a second violation, the Court will have authority to place the owner on up to five years’ probation and impose any restrictions reasonably related to the overriding purpose of the sentencing, such as requiring obedience training.

At the Oct. 10 meeting of the Environment, Safety and Community Services Committee, citizens and City Council members expressed concern about owners allowing dogs to run free in Bay Village city parks and the need to educate owners as to the possible consequences of continuing to allow their dogs to run free. The number of dogs often running free in the park at Columbia Road was particularly cited as a concern. The revised ordinance could be appropriately used to effectively address this issue.

The Bay Village Council is in the process of conducting an overall review of Chapter 505 regarding animals, and it is anticipated that further ordinances will be revised in an effort to deter a minor animal incident from escalating to a serious animal incident.

Retractable Leashes: Dangerous And Deadly For Dogs And Humans

Consumer Reports first sounded the alarm, “Retractable leashes pose problems for people and their pets,” and it’s no exaggeration. Retractable leashes are wildly popular and are sold at every pet store or available online. People often choose them thinking it will give their dog a little extra freedom to sniff and poke around on walks. Unfortunately, the upside to this type of leash is far outweighed by the risks they pose.

A retractable leash is a length of thin cord wrapped around a spring-loaded device housed inside a plastic handle that fits comfortably in a human hand. A button on the handle controls the amount of cord that’s extended. As that cord plays out, the dog is less confined to walking beside you. Some cords extend up to 26 feet.

A dog at the end of a retractable leash can get far enough away from their human to get into trouble–able to run into the street or to make uninvited contact with other dogs and people. If your dog is on a retractable leash and approached by an aggressive dog, it’s hard to get control of the situation. It’s easier to protect an animal on a standard leash than one 20 feet away at the end of a thin cord. Too often, that cord can snap from the pull of a powerful dog.

When a retractable leash cord breaks, it can cause injury – often to the human at the other end. If the human grabs the cord in an attempt to reel in their dog, serious injuries can follow. People who have instinctively grabbed the cord have suffered burns, cuts, and even immediate amputation of a finger. Many people have been pulled off of their feet by a dog that reaches the end of the cord and keeps going. When this happens, or if you get tangled up in the leash, it frequently means a fall and “road rash” scrapes, bumps, bruises, broken bones, or worse.

Dogs have also been seriously injured by retractable leashes. When the leash runs out of line there is a sudden jerk on the animal’s neck that may cause neck wounds or burns, lacerated tracheas, or spinal injury. Dogs have been hit by cars darting into the road at the end of a retractable leash – still on their lead, but dead. Others have been injured getting tangled up with other dogs and bicycles. There have been cases of dogs getting twisted in the cord and having a tail or leg amputated by the deep cut made when the cord retracts. These things happen quickly, often too fast for the handler to react.

The bulky handle of a retractable leash can be pulled out of the hand by a dog intent on going his own way. That can mean a runaway dog. As if that in itself isn’t dangerous enough, the sound of the handle dropping scares many dogs and signals them to run. If the leash is retracting as the dog bolts, the handle is gaining on the frightened animal and can strike and injure it. You and your dog may be lucky enough to get through this scenario without an injury, but it could also create a lingering fear in the animal – not only of the leash, but of being walked. Who could blame them?

By their very nature, retractable leashes teach a dog to pull when on a leash because dogs quickly learn that pulling extends the lead. Dogs should learn to walk politely on a regular leash, and to stay close enough to their human to be safe.

These leashes have a tendency to wear out and over time will malfunction. The leash may refuse to extend or retract, or could unspool at will.

Renowned dog-training expert Cesar Millan has a strong opinion on use of retractable leashes, and says “Retractable leashes have a specific purpose. They were designed for certain types of tracking and recall training with dogs. You should NEVER use such a lead for just walking your dog.”

For your own safety, and that of your best canine friend, please dispose of that retractable leash and switch to a conventional one.
Read the full article at http://dogtime.com/uncategorized/33069-retractable-leashes-dangerous-deadly-dogs-humans#OO3jP3Qjuomtkcfw.99