Wednesday, February 27, 2013

We Must Make Laws Tougher in 2013

From Amy Beichler, Director
PAWS Ohio (Public Animal Welfare Society)

Dear volunteers, friends, family, fellow animal welfare advocates,

I am requesting strongly that those of you who have a Facebook Page, please post the flyer image (below) by our volunteer Tricia Ringholtz concerning Forrest, the beautiful Mastiff that was chained to a tree in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, and shot 2 times and left to die.

Forrest was shot on Sunday afternoon of November 25, 2012, Forrest lay bleeding all night long.  Forrest was discovered by a dog walker the following morning and rescued. Please know, unfortunately HB 108, otherwise known as Nitro’s Law, WOULD NOT protect a situation like Forrest, and make it a felony to shot him. The individual that has been arrested in conjunction with the Forrest shooting has been charged with a second degree misdemeanor.   Herbie, the dog in Lorain Ohio, neglected and tossed aside, unfortunately HB 108 WOULD NOT make it a felony for the neglect and abuse this helpless dog suffered. We need HB108, but we also  need more.  Someone shot a dog, left him to die, and under Ohio law could only be charged with a second degree misdemeanor.  Please see below the focus of HB 108:

Two Democratic lawmakers say they will reintroduce legislation allowing increased criminal penalties against kennel owners who abuse or neglect pets.

State Rep. Ronald V. Gerberry, from Austintown, and Rep. Bob Hagan, from Youngstown, offered comparable legislation last session after an incident at a Youngstown kennel.

“If you are the owner of a kennel and you mistreat an animal, the county prosecutor or the city prosecutor should have the right to charge you with a felony,” Gerberry said. “[I’m] not saying they have to but saying they should have that option.”

The proposed legislation would have enabled prosecutors to seek felony charges against kennel owners who abuse animals in their care. About 45 other states already rank some animal- cruelty charges as felonies.

“The abuse of someone’s pet is deplorable and disgusting,” Gerberry said in a released statement.

Hagan added in the statement: “Every time you pick up the paper or turn on the news you hear about another case of animal abuse. This bill will give local prosecutors the necessary tools to punish those inflicting cruel and unusual punishment on pets.”

The two lawmakers offered the legislation in response to an October 2008 incident in which humane agents found 15 dogs dead or dying at the High Caliber K-9 on Coitsville-Hubbard Road near Youngstown.

The kennel operator initially faced 19 counts of cruelty to animals, but those charges were later reduced to four with misdemeanor penalties.

The bill is being called Nitro’s Law, after one of the dogs that died at the Kennel. Comparable legislation cleared the Ohio House last session on a split vote but died in the Ohio Senate.

As a community that values our companion animals we need to work together to support not only HB 108, but also the other 6 below:

ACTION ALERT!  It's important for Ohioans to recognize that SEVEN companion animal bills languished in the 129th General Assembly! All of these bills dealt with companion animal cruelty - three of which recommended prosecution of criminal offenses as a felony of the fifth degree - in one form or another:

1. Ohio Dog Auctions Act (would have banned Ohio ‘puppy mill’ dog auctions)

2. HB 25 (would have included companion animals in domestic violence/stalking protection orders)

3. HB 108 - Nitro’s Law (would have provided discretion in prosecuting kennel owners, managers and employees who knowingly committed an act of animal cruelty as a felony of the fifth degree)

4. HB 138 (would have required a person to file proof of successful completion of training with the county recorder prior to being appointed as a humane society agent)

5. HB 289 (would have made bestiality a felony of the fifth degree)

6. HB 290 (would have made an assault against a dog warden, deputy dog warden, humane agent, or animal control officer a felony of the fifth degree)

7. HB 300 (would have provided protections for search and rescue dogs)

Cruelty to animals and violence towards people share common characteristics. Until recently, however, violence towards children and the elderly, and other domestic violence had been considered to be unrelated to violence towards animals. A correlation has now been established between animal abuse, family violence, and other forms of community violence. A growing body of research indicates that people who commit acts of cruelty towards animals rarely stop there. People who abuse animals are not only dangerous to their animal victims but may also be dangerous to people.

2013 must be a year of new beginnings – for every aspect of companion animal cruelty in Ohio. It is my firm belief that until our legislators reorder their concerns, those atop the food chain will continue to be the victim of violent crimes as long as Ohio continues to have some of the weakest animal protection laws in the nation.


1. Write to to learn more about plans for a 2013 Ohio Companion Animal Legislative Summit!

2. Read the Animal League Defense Fund (ALDF), 2012 U.S. Animal Protection Laws Rankings™ - Ohio ranks 34th!

Thank you for supporting and advocating for animals,

Amy Beichler, Executive Director
Public Animal Welfare Society of Ohio (PAWS Ohio)
A Nonprofit Humane Society Serving the Animals & People of Greater Cleveland and Cuyahoga County Since 1976
Follow us on
Twitter: @PAWSOhio

Dog uses the toilet and flushes it

Now I have seen it all!


Dog Thoughts

How to Choose a Kid-Friendly Family Dog

I have been invited to share with my blog readers this very good article by

In the age-old “cat people versus dog people” debate, the votes have been tabulated and the results show that your household is a “dog family.” The only problem is that you don’t actually have a family dog. Remedying the situation provides everyone in the household with companionship and entertainment, helps to teach kids about the responsibility of caring for another living thing and puts a stop to the endless begging, cajoling and whining for a dog. The only thing left to do is choose your dog, but how do you make such a big decision?

Do Your Research

Before you make a selection, you’ll need to have a bit of basic knowledge at your disposal. Purebred dogs purchased from a breeder may have a genetic disposition for certain health problems, but their personalities can be predicted more precisely when they’re still puppies. Mixed breed dogs tend to be healthier than their purebred counterparts, but may be a bit more difficult in terms of personality and predictability.

Visit a Shelter or Breeder

Choosing to adopt from a shelter rescues a dog that may otherwise be euthanized, allows you to brag about making a socially-conscious choice and gives you the option of adopting an adult animal, rather than a rambunctious youngster in need of training. Purchasing a puppy from a reputable breeder allows you to select a particular breed and bring home a young animal that you can train to suit the needs of your family. Whichever route you choose, you should make a few kid-free visits before making a decision so you can observe the environment the dog is accustomed to, learn more about their individual personalities and make an informed decision before the younger members of your family become attached to a dog that’s ultimately a bad fit with your collective lifestyle.

Think About Your Family Routine

Choosing the right dog for your family will require you to carefully examine the routine of your household. If everyone is away from the house for hours on end, you may want to select a more independent animal that requires less affection and dedicated play time. If you homeschool, have kids that haven’t yet reached school age and one parent stays home, you can comfortably select a dog that requires more attention.

Consider the Age of Your Youngest Child

If you have a toddler or infant that doesn’t yet respond well to verbal direction, you’ll need to make sure that the dog you bring into your home is patient and mature. In these situations, an adult dog may be more suitable than a puppy. Breeds that are known to be anxious, like Chihuahuas, will almost certainly be too nervous when the boisterous attention of a very young child is focused on the dog.

Realize That Babies and Puppies Don’t “Grow Up Together”

The idea that your baby and your puppy will “grow up together” is a charming one, but it’s just not feasible most of the time. Juggling the demands of an infant with those of an untrained, excitable puppy can easily prove to be overwhelming, which is why so many great dogs find themselves in a shelter. An adult dog may be a better choice for families with very young children, while a charming puppy is fine for households with older kids that can understand the proper handling and treatment of a fragile, high-energy puppy.

Keep Size in Mind
The adorable pup that fits in the palm of your hand will one day grow up, and its size will have an impact on how you care for it. Remember that even Saint Bernards start off relatively small, but they grow quickly and can be too much for a small household with young children. Before you fall in love with a puppy at the shelter, try to determine how big it will be when it reaches adulthood. A Great Dane-sized animal simply won’t fit in a small apartment.

Choosing a dog is an exciting milestone, but it’s not a trial-and-error situation. Surrendering a dog because he isn’t right for your family will almost always endanger his life, a situation that simply isn’t fair to the defenseless dog in your care. Rather than making an impulsive choice that you later discover was a bad one, take your time and determine exactly what sort of dog will be best for your family. When you’re patient and committed to making the right choice the first time, you’re making a wonderful addition to your family and are not risking the life of an innocent animal.

Surfin´ Bulldog

Former first dog Barney Bush dies

Yahoo! News
Published February 1, 2013

Former first dog Barney Bush, the black Scottish terrier who romped on the White House grounds in George W. Bush’s time there, has died at age 12, the former president said in a statement. The playful pooch had been suffering from lymphoma.

Barney played a starring role in the presidential mansion, notably in “BarneyCam” holiday specials featuring footage from a camera that caught a dog’s eye view of senior aides like Karl Rove. He was also a reliable fixture on the White House website.

Read the full story on Yahoo! News.