Make Animal Cruelty a Felony

Target: Ohio Governor John Kasich

Goal: Make animal abuse a felony for first-time offenders.

Animal abusers will no longer be able to escape with minor punishments if a new law in Ohio is approved. Under the new law, any knowing harm inflicted on a pet would be classified as a fifth-degree felony, even for first-time offenders.

A bipartisan effort sponsored by Reps. Bill Patmon and Dave Hall, House Bill 60 is known as “Goddard’s Law” in honor of Cleveland weatherman and long-time animal rights activist Dick Goddard. The bill passed unanimously through the state Senate and now heads to Governor John Kasich.

Ohio is one of the only states that does not have a felony provision for first offenses, and because of this countless abusers have gone unpunished. In a recent case, a man was given a simple misdemeanor for throwing a puppy off a cliff twice. Sign the petition below and urge Governor Kasich to approve this important bill and protect pets across the state.


Dear Mr. Kasich,

I am writing to call your attention to House Bill 60, also known as Goddard’s Law. If approved, this bill would categorize any knowing harm inflicted on a pet as a fifth-degree felony. even for first-time offenders. Ohio is one of the only states that does not issue felonies for first offenses, and because of this a number of horrific abuse cases have concluded with misdemeanors.

Goddard’s Law enjoys strong bipartisan support, as it passed unanimously through the state Senate and is co-sponsored by a Republican and a Democrat. I urge you to protect innocent animals across the state and sign this bill into law.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Andrea Schaffer

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  1. must make all animal cruelty a felony in all states now.

  2. THIS IS IMPERATIVE! Abusers always walk free setting the scene for further abuse,a proven fact. Do what’s right, the laws are weak and need to be updated NOW, not passed “off the table until next year” Why can’t legislators do their job?

  3. Animal cruelty laws should be the same as child cruelty. Both have no voice and must be protected in every country. China needs this too.

  4. I thought it had already been declared a felony for abuse nationwide this past year! I also thought FBI was keeping a registry, as well as individual states, so that animal abusers could be tracked and punished accordingly? It is so frustrating to worry, stress,cry, and try to fight for something so important, and still feel like nothing has changed. This isn’t an option, or something you’ll get to someday. These are lives we are talking about, lives that do not deserve to be abused, neglected, or treated with such cruelty and inhumanity that you can’t even wrap your mind around it. Obviously the legal system is not getting their point across because the unbelievable treatment of animals from the public, the shelters, cops, kids videotaping, it’s beyond tragic. How did it get to the point that we are so cruel and destructive to the living, and the Earth? Where is the humanity?

  5. Could some one organise to throw that person off the same cliff twice please.

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