A bill that would make pet cruelty a felony — known as Goddard’s Law — passed the Ohio House and Senate. The bill is named after Cleveland’s own Dick Goddard and his effort to protect pets, the bill is sponsored by Democrat Bill Patmon and Republican David Hall.


On Wednesday, House Bill 60 passed through the state Senate unanimously with a 33-0 vote, and the House approved of new amendments by a 92-1 vote.


House Bill 60 makes knowingly causing physical harm to a companion animal a fifth-degree felony, punishable by six months to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. That includes depriving a pet of food, water or shelter.


The bill also:

  • Imposes mandatory time in prison for assaulting a police dog or horse that dies as a result of its injuries.  This addition was inspired by the killing of Canton, Ohio police K-9 dog Jethro in January.
  • Requires state officials to develop resources to help veterinarians identify situations where owners use their pets to get opioids.