CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Two Ohio legislators proposed a bill that would toughen penalties for cruelty to or killing a pet.
If passed, Senate Bill 205 would make needlessly killing a companion animal a third-degree felony, which could be punishable by jail time.
The bill would also now make cruelty to animals a third-degree felony.
Current law classifies the act as a first-degree misdemeanor for first-time offenders.
Senate Bill 205 was introduced on Monday by Ohio Republican Sen. Jay Hottinger and Democratic Sen. Sean O’Brien.
“People who commit heinous and unthinkable acts of violence against animals should face serious consequences,” Hottinger said.
Lawmakers hope that the increase in penalties would deter violents acts directed towards both animals and people.
“Numerous studies have found a link between animal abuse and violence against people,” added Hottinger.