Make Animal Abuse In Ohio A Felony by Passing Nitro’s Law

Target: All Ohio State Representatives

Goal: To see Nitro’s Law (HB-108) passed, changing animal abuse in Ohio from a misdemeanor to a felony

Animal abuse happens everyday and more often than most of us care to think about. Many states have strict laws when it comes to punishing these abusers, often this punishment consists of the person or people in question being convicted of a felony. However, such is not the case in Ohio. In fact, they consistently rank near the bottom of the list when it comes to animal rights and protections.

Such was the case for poor Nitro. Nitro was a beloved family member along with his furry companion Bella (both were gorgeous Rottweilers). The family had been recommended High Caliber K-9 day care and boarding in Youngstown, by their breeder. They knew Nitro was a higher energy dog and after extensive research on both the facility and the owner, Steven S. Croley, they decided he and his establishment were a perfect fit for their companion. In fact, many trips to the facility left the family pleased.

When a family emergency arose that called for much traveling, they knew they had to find a solution for Nitro, as he could not handle being alone or trapped in a car or plane several times, back and forth. They turned to High Caliber K-9, because Mr. Croley had become a friend, and they trusted him. Little did they know when they left Nitro there, that would be his last visit to High Caliber K-9, and the last time they would see their beloved “Boy” alive.

When Nitro and others were found by Animal Charity Humane agents on October 22 2008, there were 7 canines decaying and 12 others in serious states of malnutrition, dehydration, and illness. The facility was only raided after an owner had called AC and claimed she was unable to get in touch with the owner. Sadly Nitro was among the 7 dead, and all Mr. Croley walked away with was charges that had been dropped from 19 counts to 4 counts, and they were all misdemeanors. Keep in mind, it took over a year for Mr. Croley to serve jail time, and even then it was only 13 days!

Nitro’s family proposed a law that would require animal abuse cases in Ohio to become felonies and not misdemeanors. In 2010, the law lost steam and was dropped off the books. However, in February of this year it was revived by Representative Gerberry, and is now know as Nitro’s Law HB-108. So far, as of the 21st of this month the law passed in the Ohio House Criminal Justice Committee. Now, it must pass the House Floor, Senate Committee, Senate Floor, and the Governor respectively. Ohio animal companions everywhere in the state need this law passed to help ensure Nitro and the others did not die (or suffer) in vain. Contact your local State Representative now, and ask them to support Nitro’s Law HB-108, for animal lovers, and animal companions across the state.


Dear Representative,

As an animal lover, and animal rights defender, I am asking you to support Nitro’s Law HB-108. No animal should have to suffer cruelty and neglect at the hands of people that both they and their family trusts. Such was the case with Nitro, who was a visitor to High Caliber K-9 in Youngstown on several occasions. He and his family trusted Mr. Croley, and he abused that trust the moment he started neglecting Nitro (and the others), which eventually led to Nitro’s death.

Nitro’s family will never again know the sweet gentleness that was Nitro; neither will any of the other families that lost their companions at the hands of Mr. Croley. Nitro and his canine companions will never again play in the yard, take long walks, or spend time with their human family members. Their lives were taken forever, and all Mr. Croley received was 4 counts of animal cruelty as a misdemeanor, and 13 days in jail. At the end of this, he walked away a free person with his whole life yet to live.

Don’t make the deaths of these 7 canines and the 12 others that were in a state of seriously ill health have suffered in vain. Animal abuse is a crime, and it should be treated as seriously as any human crime. After all, these canines were not just pets they were members of someone’s family. I ask you to look at your animal companions and ask what you would do, if you had been in the situation that Nitro’s human parents were. Taking that into consideration, I ask you again to please see justice served, and support the passage of Nitro’s Law HB-108.


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  1. These low life -grubbs should be made to pay for the neglect of these family animals ,they take the money ,why do they go into this business,and just let them die for want of food and care?they are sadistic monsters ,what was their excuse??why has this man walked away -no real punishment for what he has done ,has he been stopped from owning animals or starting up again in the same business??the law and it’s administrators are very hard to understand to make sence of ,we who love our animal friends feel you grief and frustration,Ihope Nitro’s death hasn’s been in vain.

  2. Lara sikora says:

    This is unexceptable this is inhumane on so many levels please make animal abuse a felony PEASE

  3. Anyone who can hurt an innocent, defenseless animal has a mental problem and could easily hurt a human being. If we don’t make these punishments more harsh, then God only knows who they will hurt next. It breaks my heart to see anyone of God’s creatures hurt.

  4. signed and posted the link to the petition so friends can sign it also

  5. Michael Powell says:

    Ohio needs to pass Nitro’s Law, but add some provisions to make this law hard-line, namely in addition to making all forms of animal cruelty a first-degree felony, add mandatory prison sentences of 5-15 years in prison, a lifetime ban from ever owning animals, not just in Ohio, but throughout the rest of the U.S., order the offenders to register as animal offenders and put the offense on the offender’s permanent record, which will prohibit them from ever owning or coming in contact with animals, ever again. Case and point, make a hard-line example out of the animal offenders, once and for all- all animals are entitled to justice and need Nitro’s Law to speak for them.

  6. Kim Wamsley says:

    Ohio needs to take lessons in animal abuse from Florida! We need much stricter laws here in Ohio for animal abuse. They feel pain and suffering just like we do, they ARE flesh and blood too!!!!

  7. I need help to research crime data regarding the relationship between % of domestic violence/sexual abuse and the presence of a tetherned dogs /and dogs kept in “DOG HOUSES”.
    i plan on disclosing this information on media and billboards.
    common tactics of abusers is to force the victim to watch an animal suffer.
    i am forced to watch my neighbors dog suffer.
    this causes me severe distress.
    i would set it free, however, i will then end up watching a new dog take it’s place.

    i’m located in ne ohio, youngstown and am seeking partners/volunteers/ and donations to start up a media watch —including policing the animal police.
    i was threatened with having animal abuse charges brought against myself if i gave food and/or water to a puppy that was left by a tenant who was evicted. it was a thursday and animal charity officers told me by law i was not allowed to give food or water until the following MONDAY. they told me that if i did, then if the dog’s bones still were showing on MONDAY, when they were going to return, i would then be considered the “caregiver” of an emaciated puppy and that i would then lose my dog.
    contact me at 330.623.9246

  8. Whatever anyone does to an animal, should be done to them. Only an emasculated coward abuses those weaker and more vulnerable…whether it be animals, women, children, the elderly. There is no limit to the contempt for these bastards.

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