Ohio law making it a felony to abuse companion animals goes into effect today

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A new Ohio law making it a felony to abuse a companion animal in the state of Ohio goes into effect Tuesday.

House Bill 60, also known as Dick Goddard’s Law, makes it a fifth degree felony to cause “serious physical harm” to any companion animal, which is defined as any animal kept inside a residential dwelling, and any dog or cat regardless of where it is kept. Serious physical harm includes depriving a pet of food, water or shelter or inflicting long-term pain.

A person found guilty would have to pay a fine and face a prison term of at least six months to a year in prison.

The law would also impose mandatory prison time for anyone who assaults a police dog or horse that dies of its injuries.

The legislation was passed by both Ohio House and Senate members in May.

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