Ohio makes first-offense pet cruelty a felony with passing of Goddard’s Law

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COLUMBUS, OH – A new law goes into effect in Ohio today that makes first-offense pet cruelty a felony.

Goddard's Law, or House Bill 60, was signed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich on June 13, according to FOX8.

Starting today in Ohio, it is a fifth-degree felony to knowingly cause serious physical harm to a companion animal, punishable by six months to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. This includes depriving a pet of food, water or shelter or inflicting long-term pain.

Additionally, the law imposes mandatory time in prison for assaulting a police dog, police horse, or service animal.

The law also requires state officials to develop resources to help veterinarians identify situations where owners use their pets to get opioids.

Currently in Indiana, animal cruelty is defined as: “Intentionally beating a vertebrate animal,” and a first-offense is a Class A Misdemeanor with a fine up to $5000 and/or imprisonment up to 1 year.

A second conviction is a Class C Felony with a fine up to $10,000 and/or an addition 1 1/2 years imprisonment.

Disclaimer: We initially reported Ohio was the first state to pass this law, but that was inaccurate.