OVCA Animal Legislation Update: 131st Ohio General Assembly


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!


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)!


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

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.

Comments are closed.