Wednesday, May 12, 2010

COMBS: Bill Addressing Animal Cruelty Wins Passage in Key Committee

COLUMBUS-- State Representative Courtney Combs (R-Hamilton) announced today the Ohio House Criminal Justice Committee voted to pass his legislation, House Bill 55, which is aimed at addressing animal cruelty.

“The current penalties for animal abuse in Ohio are no more than a slap on the wrist and do nothing to punish the abuser or prevent future acts,” Combs said. “In addition, current law does not connect the dots between children abusing animals and the potential for future violence."
House Bill 55 would increase the penalties of cruelty to animals, require mandatory evaluation and possible therapy for minors who torture or abuse animals, and allow judges to include pets in court protection orders issued in domestic violence cases.
Last February, a three-month-old baby alpaca named Masterpiece was stolen from a farm in Butler County by two teens and one adult. According to police reports, Masterpiece was suspended in the air and severely beaten and tortured until it died. The story received national attention and was a driving force for this reform.
“Public outcry and calls for increased penalties from officials across the state have led to this demand for change. This bill will go a long way towards reducing and preventing cases of animal abuse here in Ohio,” said Combs.
Combs’ bill now moves onto the House floor for a full vote.