Good morning everyone. First of all I'd like to tell you the people of Ohio are tired of animal cruelty. They are raging over the low life's in their state who suddenly have the idea it's OK to abuse companion animals. I've joined their fight, even tho I live 1000 miles away.
I realize this is another dog story, but this law will affect dogs and cats. I believe there are many more cases of animal cruelty against cats than we hear of in the news. Probably because cats by nature tend to go off and die alone. Or the abuser disposes of the cat and no one is the wiser.
I'm going to break my own rules and put my two cents in right at the start. Not only is it inconceivable to me for a supposedly civilized society to abuse animals, the punishment these abusers receive is almost always a slap on the wrist for the pain they cause to these animals and the people who care deeply for them.
I'm still fighting mad and I'm still ready to go choke the next person who says "it's only an animal." My answer to that is READ THIS - Kids Killing Cats. Better yet, send a copy of it to your senators. Many people just don't get it. The next victim could be human.
Ohio is one of only seven states that doesn't consider first offense animal cruelty a felony. Unfortunately, until the law is changed, cruelty to animals is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine and little or no jail time.
Nitro's Law HB 70 has passed the first round in becoming a law. However, it now sits dead in government red tape awaiting approval by the senate. This law really needs to be pushed thru before any more animals such as Sarge and Tyson have to suffer abuse at the hands of us humans. For more on Sarge and Tyson here are their links.
By the way, Tyson's family is still needing help with the vet bills. See their Facebook page listed in the linked pages above on how you can help.
Until this Ohio law passes I'm afraid more animals are going to die because the law is so weak.
There is also another case that didn't get as much attention. That dog is Darby and she had caustic chemicals poured on her fur. Darby is recovering under the care of her foster mom Mona Guinaugh of South Toledo. Thank you Mona, for being part of a non-profit agency that rescues dogs.
Now for Nitro's story.
Nitro's Law is named after Liz Raab and Tom Siesto's dog Nitro, who was sent for a summer camp run by Steve Croley, owner of High Caliber K-9 located in Youngstown, Ohio. They unknowingly sent their dog to the facility for dog training with the belief he would have a great summer, receive some training, and basically enjoy the whole experience. Liz and Tom even had dinner with Steve Croley and his wife and had no clue they were sending Nitro to his death. Test showed Nitro probably died from a combination of starvation and dehydration.
In October of 2008 a humane agent saw several dogs on the High Caliber K-9 property that appeared malnourished and weak. Seven were found dead and many others were staggering from lack of care. Croley was originally charged with 19 county of animal cruelty and neglect, but Youngstown City Prosecutor Jay Macejko said the Humane Agents with Animal Charity entered the property without proper warrants. Therefore, Croley was only charged with the death of the four dogs the agents saw OUTSIDE in Croley's yard.
Croley was sentenced on January 22, 2009 to serve 4 months in jail. That comes out to one month per dog found dead on his property. There were many more dogs seriously injured under his care. He was placed on probation for three years and fined $1000 and ordered to pay $1796 in restitution. He will again be allowed to keep animals after the three years of probation are up.
He gave his reason for allowing the animals to starve as "no money". Yet many clients paid him from $400-$2000 for him to care for their dogs.
One change this law will bring is to enable prosecutors to charge kennel owner's with 5th degree felony for failing to provide companion animals with necessities such as food, water and shelter. This is now only a misdemeanor in Ohio. The new law will enable first offenders to be prosecuted as felony cases. Which will hopefully deter those who enjoy harming animals.
Ohio Representatives Ronald V. Gerberry and Robert F. Hagan introduced Ohio HB 70.
The problem with the first draft of the bill was it only affected those who breed dogs for sale or own kennels. It has since been amended.
Under the current law it's only a misdemeanor for to commit an act of cruelty against an animal. A felony charge is only enforced for repeat offenders. If the animal cruelty cases involving Tyson and Sarge had happened in any of the 43 states that consider abuse a felony, those charged would be looking at some serious charges.
Toldedo Municipal Judge Frances Gorman stated that animal cruelty cases are treated as second degree misdemeanors with jail time not to exceed 90 days in jail. This has got to change NOW.
John Dinon, director of the Toledo Area Humane Society believes weak laws and economic hardships have contributed to the problem.
I've been following the cases of Sarge and Tyson since the beginning. Sarge is now in the custody of the Toledo Area Humane Society where he is hopefully at the beginning of a new and happy life. Look at the two pictures of Sarge at the beginning of this article. The first was made not long after he was shot and the second was made a few days ago at the Toledo Area Humane Society. He's SMILING!! He still has a long way to go before he can be adopted out. Tyson is undergoing surgery on Monday to remove the bullet and his eye where he was injured back in June. His vet had to wait until he was stable enough to handle the surgery.
I've made a lot of new friends in Ohio and I know I speak for all of them that this type of abuse is not going to be allowed to continue. Residents there are becoming angrier with each shooting. Animal lovers have had enough. The residents in Ohio need help in getting Ohio HB70 passed as soon as possible. Before another animal has to suffer abuse at the hands of us humans. Here is a list of all of the Ohio senators and how to contact them.