Nitroâ??s Law on animal abuse may not survive

Last month, WNWO ran a feature story about Nitro's Law, a bill aimed at increasing criminal penalties against animal abusers.

The legislation failed the year it was introduced in 2009, but passed the Ohio House overwhelmingly this past February. For ten months, the bill sat in the Senate without approval, and as the Dec. 31 deadline quickly approaches, it seems the legislation will die once again.

"I have concerns with the bill," Republican Senate President Tom Niehaus told The (Youngstown) Vindicator. "I continue to look at it, but I donâ??t expect it to come up. . We appear to treat abuse of animals and penalize people more for that than we do for the abuse of children. And I think that just doesnâ??t make any sense."

Nitro's Law was named for one of the eight dogs starved to death at Youngstown dog training facility High Caliber K9. Steven Croley, the kennel's owner and trainer, faced misdemeanor convictions and spent four months in jail, a punishment that Nitro's Law founders didn't think fit the crime.

The bill would make it illegal for kennel owners, managers or employees to abuse or neglect pets in their care, according to The Vindicator. Offenders would also face felony charges for the crime.

â??Although I think the chances of passage will be very difficult,â?? said Rep. Ronald Gerberry, sponsor of Nitro's Law, to The Vindicator . â??I was told that some senators think weâ??re doing too many animal bills. ... This is a real practical approach. This is a good bill. Itâ??s been vetted very well."

Gerberry told the paper he would reintroduce the bill next year.

Anyone interested in taking action can visit or the Nitro's Law Facebook page.