COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKRC) - A bill that was recently introduced into the Ohio Senate seeks to toughen penalties for abusing or killing "companion animals."
"Companion animals" are defined as any animal kept inside a home, but also includes cats and dogs no matter where they are.
Senate Bill 205 seeks to make killing a pet or committing animal cruelty to be a third-degree felony. Right now the offense of killing a pet "knowingly and needlessly" is usually a first-degree misdemeanor, especially for first-time offenders.
The proposed tougher penalties would increase the chances that those who have been convicted of killing an animal or animal cruelty will face jail time.
The bill also seeks to create a new crime meant to apply to those who assist someone else commit animal cruelty.