Shockingly, Ohioans may not be aware of abuse, neglect, and untimely deaths of animals held near and dear to their hearts. It’s a sad fact that animal abuse is on the rise, not only in Ohio, but across our country and the world. Our pets have been there to comfort, love us unconditionally, and provide us companionship and therapy. However, some have been tortured, starved, used as bait for dog fighting, suffering horrendous scenarios at the hands of horrible, malicious people. Animal abusers. Nitro’s Law would be the first step in making animal abuse a felony in Ohio.
Nitro was a 110 pound beautiful, loving Rottweiler. He was one of eight dogs that were starved to death by their trusted trainer at an elite K-9 training and boarding facility in Youngstown, OH. Although this happened on October 22, 2008, efforts to stop animal abuse and make it a felony in Ohio continue today. How could something like “that” happen, you say? Unfortunately it does, and in growing cases, according to statistics at the Humane Society of the United States. In this case, trainer Steven S. Croley was prosecuted on four counts of animal abuse, but only had to serve four months in county jail. He starved a total of eighteen dogs, killing eight of them. Unfortunately, Ohio is one of only four states that still believe such travesty is only a misdemeanor. Was four months a fair sentence? Ask the owners of the eighteen dogs who had bright futures and loving families, they would probably strongly disagree.
Ohio continues to rank at the bottom of animal protection legislation. Desperately wanting change, Nitro’s human mother, Elizabeth Raab, launched the Nitro Foundation in his name. The foundation seeks legal change, to make animal abuse a felony in Ohio, instead of current misdemeanor penalties of only 4 months in jail and a $1,000.00 fine.
Animals have no voice and deserve our help. Their safety, happiness and welfare should be important to all of us. Until animal abusers are punished under felony guidelines, animals will continue suffering unacceptable carnage and terrible deaths. This tragedy could have happened to anyone’s pets, even yours. Don’t allow the memory of Nitro and his cage mates to be discarded and forgotten.
You can get involved and be the change needed to help protect companion animals in Ohio and help pass Nitro’s Law HB90. For more information, please visit the Nitro Foundation. To honor the memory of beloved Nitro and learn more about his story and to join in helping with animal abuse legislation in Ohio, please watch “NITRO’S LAW 2010 – A Brave Rottie’s Fight”.
Important Update: Nitro’s Law was signed into law on June 30, 2013!
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