130th Ohio General Assembly
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Sub. H. B. No. 70  As Passed by the House
As Passed by the House

128th General Assembly
Regular Session
2009-2010
Sub. H. B. No. 70


Representatives Gerberry, Hagan 

Cosponsors: Representatives Boyd, Chandler, Domenick, Dyer, Garland, Harris, Heard, Letson, Luckie, Lundy, Mallory, Stewart, Szollosi, Ujvagi, Weddington, Williams, B., Yuko 



A BILL
To amend sections 959.131 and 959.99 of the Revised Code to specifically prohibit an owner of a kennel of dogs from committing cruel treatment of a companion animal by the animal's custodian or caretaker and to give a prosecutor who prosecutes an owner of a kennel of dogs who commits cruel treatment of a companion animal discretion in prosecuting the owner for the offense.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That sections 959.131 and 959.99 of the Revised Code be amended to read as follows:
Sec. 959.131. (A) As used in this section:
(1) "Companion animal" means any animal that is kept inside a residential dwelling and any dog or cat regardless of where it is kept. "Companion animal" does not include livestock or any wild animal.
(2) "Cruelty," "torment," and "torture" have the same meanings as in section 1717.01 of the Revised Code.
(3) "Residential dwelling" means a structure or shelter or the portion of a structure or shelter that is used by one or more humans for the purpose of a habitation.
(4) "Practice of veterinary medicine" has the same meaning as in section 4741.01 of the Revised Code.
(5) "Wild animal" has the same meaning as in section 1531.01 of the Revised Code.
(6) "Federal animal welfare act" means the "Laboratory Animal Act of 1966," Pub. L. No. 89-544, 80 Stat. 350 (1966), 7 U.S.C.A. 2131 et seq., as amended by the "Animal Welfare Act of 1970," Pub. L. No. 91-579, 84 Stat. 1560 (1970), the "Animal Welfare Act Amendments of 1976," Pub. L. No. 94-279, 90 Stat. 417 (1976), and the "Food Security Act of 1985," Pub. L. No. 99-198, 99 Stat. 1354 (1985), and as it may be subsequently amended.
(7) "Prosecutor" has the same meaning as in section 2935.01 of the Revised Code.
(B) No person shall knowingly torture, torment, needlessly mutilate or maim, cruelly beat, poison, needlessly kill, or commit an act of cruelty against a companion animal.
(C) No person who confines or who is the custodian or caretaker of a companion animal shall negligently do any of the following:
(1) Torture, torment, needlessly mutilate or maim, cruelly beat, poison, needlessly kill, or commit an act of cruelty against the companion animal;
(2) Deprive the companion animal of necessary sustenance, confine the companion animal without supplying it during the confinement with sufficient quantities of good, wholesome food and water, or impound or confine the companion animal without affording it, during the impoundment or confinement, with access to shelter from heat, cold, wind, rain, snow, or excessive direct sunlight, if it can reasonably be expected that the companion animal would become sick or suffer in any other way as a result of or due to the deprivation, confinement, or impoundment or confinement in any of those specified manners.
(D) No owner of a kennel of dogs that is registered under section 955.04 of the Revised Code and that confines or is the custodian or caretaker of a companion animal shall negligently do any of the following:
(1) Torture, torment, needlessly mutilate or maim, cruelly beat, poison, needlessly kill, or commit an act of cruelty against the companion animal;
(2) Deprive the companion animal of necessary sustenance, confine the companion animal without supplying it during the confinement with sufficient quantities of good, wholesome food and water, or impound or confine the companion animal without affording it, during the impoundment or confinement, with access to shelter from heat, cold, wind, rain, snow, or excessive direct sunlight, if it can reasonably be expected that the companion animal would become sick or suffer in any other way as a result of or due to the deprivation, confinement, or impoundment or confinement in any of those specified manners.
(E) If the owner of a kennel of dogs that is registered under section 955.04 of the Revised Code violates divisions (C) and (D) of this section, the prosecutor in the case, in the prosecutor's discretion, may prosecute the owner of a kennel of dogs for a violation of either division (C) or (D) of this section.
(F) Divisions (B) and, (C), and (D) of this section do not apply to any of the following:
(1) A companion animal used in scientific research conducted by an institution in accordance with the federal animal welfare act and related regulations;
(2) The lawful practice of veterinary medicine by a person who has been issued a license, temporary permit, or registration certificate to do so under Chapter 4741. of the Revised Code;
(3) Dogs being used or intended for use for hunting or field trial purposes, provided that the dogs are being treated in accordance with usual and commonly accepted practices for the care of hunting dogs;
(4) The use of common training devices, if the companion animal is being treated in accordance with usual and commonly accepted practices for the training of animals;
(5) The administering of medicine to a companion animal that was properly prescribed by a person who has been issued a license, temporary permit, or registration certificate under Chapter 4741. of the Revised Code.
(E)(G) Notwithstanding any section of the Revised Code that otherwise provides for the distribution of fine moneys, the clerk of court shall forward all fines the clerk collects that are so imposed for any violation of this section to the treasurer of the political subdivision or the state, whose county humane society or law enforcement agency is to be paid the fine money as determined under this division. The treasurer to whom the fines are forwarded shall pay the fine moneys to the county humane society or the county, township, municipal corporation, or state law enforcement agency in this state that primarily was responsible for or involved in the investigation and prosecution of the violation. If a county humane society receives any fine moneys under this division, the county humane society shall use the fine moneys to provide the training that is required for humane agents under section 1717.06 of the Revised Code.
Sec. 959.99.  (A) Whoever violates section 959.18 or 959.19 of the Revised Code is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.
(B) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates section 959.02 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree. If the value of the animal killed or the injury done amounts to three hundred dollars or more, whoever violates section 959.02 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(C) Whoever violates section 959.03, 959.06, 959.12, 959.15, or 959.17 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.
(D) Whoever violates division (A) of section 959.13 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree. In addition, the court may order the offender to forfeit the animal or livestock and may provide for its disposition, including, but not limited to, the sale of the animal or livestock. If an animal or livestock is forfeited and sold pursuant to this division, the proceeds from the sale first shall be applied to pay the expenses incurred with regard to the care of the animal from the time it was taken from the custody of the former owner. The balance of the proceeds from the sale, if any, shall be paid to the former owner of the animal.
(E)(1) Whoever violates division (B) of section 959.131 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree on a first offense and a felony of the fifth degree on each subsequent offense.
(2) Whoever violates section 959.01 of the Revised Code or division (C) of section 959.131 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree on a first offense and a misdemeanor of the first degree on each subsequent offense.
(3) Whoever violates division (D) of section 959.131 of the Revised Code is guilty of a felony of the fifth degree.
(4)(a) A court may order a person who is convicted of or pleads guilty to a violation of section 959.131 of the Revised Code to forfeit to an impounding agency, as defined in section 959.132 of the Revised Code, any or all of the companion animals in that person's ownership or care. The court also may prohibit or place limitations on the person's ability to own or care for any companion animals for a specified or indefinite period of time.
(b) A court may order a person who is convicted of or pleads guilty to a violation of section 959.131 of the Revised Code to reimburse an impounding agency for the reasonably necessary costs incurred by the agency for the care of a companion animal that the agency impounded as a result of the investigation or prosecution of the violation, provided that the costs were not otherwise paid under section 959.132 of the Revised Code.
(4)(5) If a court has reason to believe that a person who is convicted of or pleads guilty to a violation of section 959.131 of the Revised Code suffers from a mental or emotional disorder that contributed to the violation, the court may impose as a community control sanction or as a condition of probation a requirement that the offender undergo psychological evaluation or counseling. The court shall order the offender to pay the costs of the evaluation or counseling.
(F) Whoever violates section 959.14 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree on a first offense and a misdemeanor of the first degree on each subsequent offense.
(G) Whoever violates section 959.05 or 959.20 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(H) Whoever violates section 959.16 of the Revised Code is guilty of a felony of the fourth degree for a first offense and a felony of the third degree on each subsequent offense.
Section 2. That existing sections 959.131 and 959.99 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.
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