COLUMBUS - State Rep. Sara Carruthers (R-Hamilton) and State Rep. Laura Lanese (R-Grove City) today announced the House passage of House Bill 33, legislation that requires professionals who encounter abused animals to report those suspected cases.
The legislation implements cross-reporting mechanisms and procedures to ensure law enforcement is notified of suspected abuse against a companion animal. Under H.B. 33, veterinarians and social service professionals are required to report suspected animal abuse to law enforcement officers or humane agents.
On the House floor, Carruthers explained that there is a significant link between animal abuse and domestic violence.
“One study found that over 70% of people charged with cruelty to animals were known by police for other violent behavior, including homicide,” said Carruthers. “These alarming statistics emphasize the need for this legislation.”
The bill also adds animal control officers to the list of those mandated to report suspected cases of child abuse.
“I’m proud to sponsor legislation that not only protects companion animals, but also creates another tool for identifying and preventing family violence,” said Lanese. “By increasing communication between law enforcement officers and social service professionals, this bill will help keep Ohioans safer.”
H.B. 33 now heads to the Ohio Senate, where it awaits committee assignment.