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

Amended section 505.01, Dogs Running at Large

Last night, the City Council passed the proposed amendment to section 505.01, dogs running at large.  The amendment is limited to animals running at large.  In the simplest case of a dog or cat running at large with no aggravating circumstances, e.g., attacking another dog or person, the proposed amendment sets the violations as follows.  For the first offense, the violation is a minor misdemeanor; for the second offense, the violation is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree, and a misdemeanor of the second degree on the third or subsequent offense.  The Three Strike Rule, designating a dog as a dangerous dog upon the third violation of section 505.01, was dropped from the amendment and is not applicable.   I anticipate that the Three Strike Rule will be given further consideration in the overall review of the dog ordinances.  The amendment also provides for increased misdemeanor levels if the dog bites or seriously injures a person or another cat or dog.

Attached is a copy of the revised section 505.01.

A Committee hearing is scheduled for Oct. 10 at 5:30 p.m. to continue the overall review of the dog ordinances as well as the proposed legislation relating to the state medical marijuana act.  From my attending the meetings to date, I anticipate that the major issues will be whether to add the classification of “nuisance dog” and, if so, how to define a “nuisance dog” as well as the formulation of a Three Strike Rule.

Full Text of the Amended Section is Below

DRAFT 9-15- 16

ORDINANCE NO. INTRODUCED BY:

AN ORDINANCE

AMENDING CODIFIED ORDINANCE SECTION 505.01 DOGS, CATS, AND OTHER

ANIMALS RUNNING AT LARGE AND REPEALING SECTION 505.99 PENALTIES,

AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY

BE IT ORDAINED by the Council of the City of Bay Village, Ohio:

SECTION 1. That Codified Ordinance 505.01 which presently reads as follows:

505.01 DOGS, CATS, AND OTHER ANIMALS RUNNING AT LARGE.

(a) No person, being the owner or in charge or control of any dog, cat, or other animal, shall

permit or allow by any means or in any manner, such dog, cat, or other animal, to go or remain

upon any public Street or place within the City except when accompanied by a responsible

person and upon a leash. The length of a leash shall be no longer than that which is reasonably

necessary to maintain control of a pet and to prevent the pet from trespassing on private property,

or from chasing or attacking any person, animal or vehicle. As against the owner or person in

charge or control of any such dog, cat, or other animal, evidence that such dog, cat, or other

animal, was found at large upon any public street or place within the City shall be prima- facie

evidence of a violation of this section.

(b) No person, being the owner or in charge or control of any dog, cat, or other animal, shall

permit or allow by any means or in any manner, such dog, cat, or other animal, to go or remain

on any city park property without reasonable restraint and leashed and under control. Reasonable

restraint and under control is defined here as restraint which conforms to the animals weight,

size, and strength, being controlled by a person who is of suitable age, size and discretion to

control the animal.

(c) While on private property, it shall be unlawful to allow any dog, cat, or other animal,

outdoors on private property unless the animal is leashed, or contained in a fence or under the

control of a responsible individual. It shall be unlawful for any owner to allow his or her animal

to cross outside the property line of its owner to any extent, including reaching over, under or

through a fence. Any method of pet containment is not considered valid during a period of time

when failure or lack of maintenance renders it non-effective. Visible signage to an electronic pet

containment system must be posted.

(d) Whoever violates or fails to comply with this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor and is

subject to incremental increases in misdemeanor degrees with repeated offenses that occur within

the first twelve (12) months of the first offense.

(Ord. 03-07. Passed 4-7- 03.)

be and the same is amended to read:

505.01 DOGS, CATS, AND OTHER ANIMALS RUNNING AT LARGE.

(a) No person, being the owner or in charge or control of any dog, cat, or other animal, shall

permit or allow by any means or in any manner, such dog, cat, or other animal, to go or remain

upon any public Street or place within the City except when accompanied by a responsible

person and upon a leash. The length of a leash shall be no longer than that which is reasonably

necessary to maintain control of a pet and to prevent the pet from trespassing on private property,

or from chasing or attacking any person, animal or vehicle. As against the owner or person in

charge or control of any such dog, cat, or other animal, evidence that such dog, cat, or other

animal, was found at large upon any public street or place within the City shall be prima- facie

evidence of a violation of this section.

(b) No person, being the owner or in charge or control of any dog, cat, or other animal, shall

permit or allow by any means or in any manner, such dog, cat, or other animal, to go or remain

on any city park property without reasonable restraint and leashed and under control. Reasonable

restraint and under control is defined here as restraint which conforms to the animals weight,

size, and strength, being controlled by a person who is of suitable age, size and discretion to

control the animal.

(c) While on private property, it shall be unlawful to allow any dog, cat, or other animal,

outdoors on private property unless the animal is leashed, or contained in a fence or under the

control of a responsible individual. It shall be unlawful for any owner to allow his or her animal

to cross outside the property line of its owner to any extent, including reaching over, under or

through a fence. Any method of pet containment is not considered valid during a period of time

when failure or lack of maintenance renders it non-effective. Visible signage to an electronic pet

containment system must be posted.

(d) Whoever violates or fails to comply with this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor and is

subject to incremental increases in misdemeanor degrees with repeated offenses that occur within

the first twelve (12) months of the first offense.

(Ord. 03-07. Passed 4-7- 03.)

(d) Penalties.

(1) Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor on the first offense, a

misdemeanor of the forth degree on the second offense, and a misdemeanor of the second degree

on the third or any subsequent offense.

(2) Notwithstanding division (d)(1) of this section, if the animal bites a domestic animal without

provocation as a result of violation of this section, then whoever violates this section is guilty of

a misdemeanor of the third degree.

(3) Notwithstanding division of this section, if the animal bites a human without provocation as a

result of a violation of this section, then whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor

of the second degree.

(4) Notwithstanding division (d)(1) of this section, where the animal bites a human or domestic

animal without provocation and causes serious injury as defined by Ohio R.C. 955.11(A)(5), as a

result of a violation of this section, then whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor

of the first degree.

and present Sections 505.01 and 505.99 are hereby repealed.

SECTION 2. That this Council finds and determines that all formal actions of this Council

concerning and relating to the passage of this ordinance were taken in an open meeting of this

Council, and that all deliberations of this Council and of any committee that resulted in those

formal actions were in meetings open to the public in compliance with law.

SECTION 3. That this ordinance is hereby declared to be an emergency measure immediately

necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, safety and welfare, wherefore this

ordinance shall be in full force and take effect immediately upon its passage and approval by the

Mayor.

P ASSED:

_____________________________ CLERK OF COUNCIL

APPROVED:

_____________________________ MAYOR

9-15- 16

____________

NOTICE OF COMMITTEE MEETING

ENVIRONMENT, SAFETY, AND
COMMUNITY SERVICES COMMITTEE

Councilman Paul Vincent, Chair
Councilman Dwight Clark
Councilman David L. Tadych

Monday, September 12, 2016

6:00 p.m.

Conference Room
Bay Village City Hall

Agenda

Dog Ordinances and related issues

July Fourth Fireworks: Awesome for Humans, Terrifying for Pets

Loud noises can terrify pets, so don't include them when celebrations will include fireworks. The HSUS.

Loud noises can terrify pets, so don’t include them when celebrations will include fireworks. The HSUS.

Many people enjoy the booming sounds and flashing lights of fireworks, but they can be terrifying and overwhelming for pets, and possibly hazardous.

On the Fourth of July, so many pets are frightened and try to escape the sights and sounds that animal shelters around the nation report a dramatic increase in lost pets during the holiday.

Help your pets keep their cool: Follow our four steps for making them safe during loud—and hot—warm weather festivities.

1. Keep your pet safely away from fireworks

Our pets are more sensitive to loud noises, flashing lights and strong smells, so on the Fourth of July (and the days around it when people are likely to set off fireworks), it’s best to leave your pets safely indoors, preferably with a radio or TV turned on to hide jarring noises.

Even pets who are usually kept outdoors should be brought inside. And if you are going to an Independence Day event and cannot leave your pet unattended at home, keep her leashed and under your direct control at all times.

2. If your pet is scared by fireworks, ask a veterinarian for help

There are medications and techniques that might help alleviate your pet’s fear and anxiety. You can also try our suggestions for helping your dog cope with loud noises.

3. Protect your pet from heat stroke during summer festivities

Another reason to keep your pets away from the often noisy celebrations of summer is heat. High temperatures put your pet at risk of heat stroke, which can become deadly very quickly. Keep an eye on your pets and act immediately if you see any signs of heatstroke.

Never leave your pet in a parked car, even if the day doesn’t seem that warm. Even when the temperature outside is a balmy 72 degrees, the temperature inside your car can rocket to a fatal 116 degrees in less than an hour’s time.

4. Safeguard your pet with a collar and I.D. tag

All pets, even those kept indoors full-time, should always wear collars with ID tags. Indoor-only pets can become so frightened during fireworks displays that they may take desperate measures to escape the noise, including breaking through window or door screens. It’s also a good idea to have your pet microchipped.

If your pet does become lost, contact your local animal control and surrounding shelters immediately and follow the rest of The HSUS’s advice for finding your pet.

If you find a lost pet, either take her to the address on her tag or bring her to the local animal shelter so she can be reunited with her family.

Governor Kasich Scheduled to Sign Goddard’s Law

kasichCOLUMBUS – Goddard’s Law was passed by the Ohio House and Senate last month and is one step away from becoming official.
Governor John Kasich is expected to sign the bill into law on Monday, June 13th in Columbus.
Goddard’s Law, or House Bill 60, makes it a felony to knowingly cause serious physical harm to a companion animal. Named for Cleveland Fox 8′s Dick Goddard and his effort to protect pets, the bill was sponsored by Democrat Bill Patmon and Republican David Hall and championed by Amy Beichler, Executive Director of The Public Animal Welfare Society (pictured with Governor John Kasich and State Representative Bill Patmon)

Public Animal Welfare Society (PAWS Ohio) is Key Player in Passage of Animal Cruelty Legislation

COLUMBUS, Ohio
May 27, 2016

House Bill 60 or, as it is referred to in Ohio, Goddard’s Law, has passed the Ohio Senate and House and is now awaiting the formal signature of Governor John Kasich. The new law will make it a fifth-degree felony to knowingly cause serious physical harm to a companion animal.

Amy Beichler, Executive Director of The Public Animal Welfare Society (PAWS Ohio), along with Cleveland’s Fox 8 Weatherman, Dick Goddard, for whom the new law is named, have been active for over four years in pursuit of the passage of this bill. “This has been a long and hard road with many obstacles along the way” Beichler stated yesterday. “But, thanks to the efforts of concerned and caring individuals like Dick Goddard, State Representatives Bill Patmon and Dave Hall, and Ohio Senator Larry Obhof, we were able to get this extremely important piece of legislation passed for companion animals.”

The Public Animal Welfare Society (PAWS Ohio), centered in Cleveland, Ohio, is a 40-year-old, nonprofit organization whose mission is to rescue and foster companion animals in an effort to find them permanent homes. Beichler, who has led the organization for over 12 years, has championed the fight for stronger punishment for animal cruelty throughout her tenure.

In addition to Goddard’s Law, which protects companion animals, “Jethro’s Bill,” which increases the penalties for killing a police dog was also included in the approved legislation. The bill would elevate the assault offense in Ohio and carry a mandatory prison sentence.

Contact:
Rick Zimmerman – Board Chairman
Public Animal Welfare Society of Ohio (PAWS)
A Nonprofit Humane Society Serving the Animals & People of Northern Ohio Since 1976
www.pawsohio.org
Email: rzmarketing13@gmail.com
Cell: 440-669-7088
Fax: 216-206-0954