Nitro's Law (HB108), Ohio's first felony animal abuse law, is being held hostage by Ohio Senate President Niehaus. As of Dec. 31, this will be the fourth time that Nitro's Law will have died and the second time at the hands of the Ohio Senate president. All animal abuse in Ohio is a misdemeanor with 90-day jail sentence, but most get probation no matter what the abuse, no matter how heinous or horrific or violent. You might ask yourself why bother with a felony animal abuse law. Here's why:
Violent acts toward animals have long been recognized as indicators of a dangerous psychopathy that does not confine itself to animals. "Murderers very often start out by killing and torturing animals as kids," according to Robert K. Ressler, who developed profiles of serial killers for the FBI. Studies have now convinced sociologists, lawmakers and the courts that acts of cruelty toward animals deserve our attention. They can be the first sign of a violent pathology that includes human victims.
Animal abuse is not just the result of a minor personality flaw in the abuser but rather a symptom of a deep mental disturbance. Research in psychology and criminology shows that people who commit acts of cruelty toward animals don't stop there; many of them move on to their fellow humans.
The FBI has found a history of cruelty to animals is one of the traits that regularly appear in its computer records of serial rapists and murderers, and the standard diagnostic and treatment manual for psychiatric and emotional disorders lists cruelty to animals as a diagnostic criterion for conduct disorders.
A study conducted by Northeastern University and the Massachusetts SPCA found people who abuse animals are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against humans. The majority of inmates scheduled to be executed for murder at California's San Quentin penitentiary "practiced" their crimes on animals, according to the warden.
Call and e-mail, Sen. Niehaus and respectfully request he move Nitro's Law HB 108 to the Senate floor for a vote. Also call your Ohio state senator and ask that they request Sen. Niehaus to move this bill to the Senate floor for a vote on behalf of their constituents.