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Nitro's Law Passes Committee

Updated: Tuesday, April 30 2013, 05:10 PM EDT
COLUMBUS -- Nitro`s Law - the bill that would make it more severe for people who
commit animal abuse - passed through the committee without objection Tuesday morning.


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COLUMBUS -- Animal lovers gathered at the statehouse Tuesday to call for
the passage of a bill that would increase penalties for abusive kennel
owners.

The legislation -- called Nitro's Law -- would allow Ohio
prosecutors the option of charging kennel owners with felonies if
cruelty against an animal is proven.

The bill is named for a
three-year-old Rottweiler that starved to death in a Youngstown kennel
five years ago. Nitro's owners were among those at the statehouse
demanding the law's approval.

“When we had left our beautiful
healthy dog at High Caliber, he weighed in at 105 lbs.," Tom Siesto
said. "But the last time we saw our boy, he was dead, only weighing 45
lbs. [and] frozen solid.”

The man held responsible for Nitro's death spent four months in jail. The dog's owners believe the sentence was too lenient.

“Crimes
against defenseless animals are the same types of crimes done to
defenseless children and other humans, and are all one in the same, they
are all victims,” Siesto said.

Nitro's Law has faced an uphill
climb at the statehouse thus far. The bill died in the Senate in 2012,
and has been presented during 3 legislative sessions.

Despite the
setbacks, the legislation's supporters continue to fight for the bill's
passage. Elizabeth Raab, who owned Nitro along with Siesto, believes
the legislation is worth fighting for.

“We don't want what
happened to our family member, Nitro, his kennel mates, and our family
to have to go through this again. If we can just save one life it will
be worth it."

Ohio lawmakers could vote on the bill as early as April 30.

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Reporter: Ashley Yore
Web Producer: Ken HinesNitro's Law Passes Committee


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