In a disappointing show of inaction, legislators in the Ohio Senate failed to toughen up the state's animal cruelty laws.
A measure called Goddard's Law will have to start from scratch after expiring at the feet of the state's Senate.
The prohibition against causing "serious physical harm" to a companion animal would have made such acts a fifth-degree felony. Under current Ohio law, first-time offenders are charged with misdemeanors and subsequent offenders face felony charges. Such misdemeanors included a case in 2013, when an Ohio man was fined $25 for allegedly leaving a German shepherd tied to a tree for four years.
Dick Goddard, 83, an animal advocate and Cleveland meteorologist, had hoped that the legislation he championed would impose harsher penalties on animal abusers.
"We've gotta do it," Goddard told Fox 8 Cleveland in 2013, during the bill's announcement. "We gotta hop into the 21st century as far as animal abuse goes, we've gotta get it into a felony category and with everybody's help, by golly we're gonna do it."