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.
Rick Zimmerman – Board Chairman
Public Animal Welfare Society of Ohio (PAWS)
A Nonprofit Humane Society Serving the Animals & People of Northern Ohio Since 1976