Cleveland, Ohio — According to the current law of the state of Ohio, people found guilty of killing or abusing a domestic animal do not get imprisoned. However, animal activists, in collaboration with lawmakers, are seeking a more severe punishment for animal abusers. The legislation that has recently been introduced may change the situation.
Due to overcrowding in jails of Ohio, severe acts of cruelty toward animals are categorized as felonies of the fourth and fifth degree, which do not have jail time as a consequence.
According to the CEO of the Animal Protective League, Sharon Harvey, the new bill categorizes any avoidable, inexcusable, cruel beating, injuring, or maiming of a companion animal as severe acts of cruelty toward animals.
Provided that the bill passes, the charge will be increased to the level of a felony of the third degree. Such felonies can result in serving jail time.
As stated by Harvey, the association feels that the nature of the crime requires a penalty that suits it.
Harvey claims that people inclined toward harming animals represent a serious peril to public safety.
She continues to explain that according to research, the association is familiar with the connection between well-known mass murderers, serial killers, and animal abusers. Harvey states that the first two had been torturing and mistreating small animals before they committed crimes they are now famous for. She concludes by saying that animal abusers do not pose a threat to animals alone but to the entire society.
The organization, as well as animal lovers, think that a citation or a slap on the wrist is not nearly enough.
Kaleb Pinkard says that the passing of the introduced legislation would be fantastic as animals cannot defend themselves, which is why the issue calls for more serious penalties. He states that he really disapproves of people abusing animals.
Senate Bill 205 concerns only “companion animals,” commonly referred to as domestic pets, suggesting punishment for people harming them. It does not, however, regard livestock and wild animals, which remain unprotected.