With unanimous support, the Ohio House of Representatives today passed Amended House Bill 57 to require proof that a humane society agent has successfully completed training to be filed with the county recorder. The legislation strives to protect Ohio’s companion animals and more effectively address cases of animal cruelty and abuse.
The need for Am. H.B. 57 arose when, in 2008, it was discovered that a kennel owner in Youngstown had had starved numerous dogs and other pets after forcing them to live in deplorable conditions. However, because the humane society agents who entered the premises did so without a warrant, the 15 counts of animal abuse could not be prosecuted and the neglect of the animals could not be used as evidence.
“House Bill 57 will ensure that vital evidence against those who abuse animals can be used in court and will hopefully deter abusers in the future,” said Speaker of the Ohio House William G. Batchelder (R-Medina). “Sadly, the need for this legislation came from a tragedy in which numerous beloved family pets suffered slow, painful deaths, and it is my hope that House Bill 57 will help prosecute and eradicate animal abuse cases.”
Am. H.B. 57 ensures that humane society agents receive proper training and are knowledgeable in appropriate procedures. In addition to requiring individuals to file proof of completion of training with the county recorder prior to being appointed as a humane society agent, the legislation also requires the revocation of an appointment if an agent does not complete training within six months after the effective date of the bill.
The legislation will now be sent to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.