Posted by DanaMarie Pannella on April 26, 2022 | Comments Off on Ohio charities now permitted to auction or raffle alcohol
Fun legislation news just in time for summer!
Several Ohio liquor laws changed as a result of Senate Bill 102. The changes went into effect March 23, 2022. Most importantly, charities can now legally auction or raffle alcoholic beverages at fundraising events!
Previously, awarding alcohol as a prize was not permitted, even for charities. Receiving a call from Liquor Control was an unpleasant surprise for many charities that were not aware of this archaic Ohio law.
The basic details of the new law:
IRC Section 527 political organizations or 501(c)(3) charitable organizations are allowed to award alcohol without a permit as a prize in a raffle, silent auction, or door prize, as those terms are defined, at a fundraising event.
Beer, wine, and mixed low-proof pre-packaged beverages must be purchased from a liquor permit holder, while high-proof spirituous liquor must be purchased from a state liquor agency store in this state.
Alcoholic beverages may be donated to the organization holding the event, but may not be donated by a liquor permit holder or state liquor agency.
The organization must keep spirituous liquor receipts to prove where the purchase occurred.
Information regarding the purchase of spirituous liquor must be provided to ODC Liquor Control prior to the event.
As always, you should consult with legal counsel regarding policies and waivers prior to raffling any legally restricted item.
Posted by DanaMarie Pannella on December 31, 2020 | Comments Off on House Bill 24 Establishes Care Bond & Restitution for Livestock Cruelty Cases
House Bill 24 was signed by Governor DeWine on December 29, 2020. This lengthy bill goes into effect in 90 days. Most critically, HB 24 creates “care bond” hearings for livestock and allows courts to order convicted offenders to pay restitution for the care of those animals.
Care bond/cost of care laws help prevent humane societies and other law enforcement from incurring debilitating costs in animal cruelty cases and can help rescued animals find their new homes sooner, saving both money and animal lives.
Under current Ohio law, the seizure of a companion animal (generally cats, dogs, and some other animals kept in a residential dwelling) results in a judicial hearing within 10 days of seizure to determine whether the officer had probable cause to seize the companion animal, and if so, the amount of money (bond) necessary for the animal owner to pay for that companion animal’s care while it is impounded pending trial. If the owner does not pay the care bond, the animal may be forfeited to the impounding agency.
Livestock are not currently subject to the same care bond hearings and are held for an indefinite period of time pending trial. Restitution to the impending agency has not been upheld in these cases, causing the impounding agency to bear all costs of rescuing a neglected or abused livestock animal. Thus, under current law, it is an extreme burden for impounding agencies to rescue/care for livestock and livestock often endure long holds in a facility when they could otherwise be placed in a new home. HB 24 now ensures quick due process for the livestock owner, that livestock will not be held needlessly, and that the impounding agency may be justly compensated for care provided.
Here are some additional highlights:
Reenacts current law provisions governing animal fighting, bestiality, and humane agent residency requirements, which were struck down in the Ohio Sixth Appellate District; thus making those provisions now enforceable in that district again Allows dog wardens to use chemical capture on companion animals Clarifies that a dog warden can “donate” or “adopt” out dogs that are not redeemed by their owner and may charge an adoption fee Codifies humane society procedures for appointment and removal of humane agents, nonprosecution agreements, and public records that were previously only determined by case law Creates a yearly report of humane society activity that is submitted to the county sheriff Removes the antiquated “Ohio Humane Society” and provisions regarding humane society enforcement of crimes related to children Specifies that a humane agent is a public servant for the purposes of bribery law Increases the minimum monthly salary of humane agents to $150 a month
Posted by DanaMarie Pannella on December 3, 2020 | Comments Off on Flying with an Emotional Support Animal? Airlines no longer required to give ESAs in-cabin access.
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced revisions to the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) rule on the transportation of “emotional support” and service animals on airplanes. This decision comes after years of tension surrounding emotional support animals being allowed to fly in plane cabins for free.
Unlike service animals, there is no requirement that emotional support animals have any kind of training. There is also no restriction on the type of animal that provides emotional support, while service animals are dogs or, in limited cases, miniature horses. In recent years, individuals have attempted to bring a range of animals, including turtles, a pig, a squirrel, and even a peacock, onto flights as emotional support animals.
The new rule is in keeping with the Americans with Disabilities Act in that airlines can treat emotional support animals as pets and do not need to give such animals public access rights. Now, airlines must only allow task-trained service dogs to fly for free in plane cabins. Airlines are also permitted to require that the service dog fit within the handler’s foot space, which means they can preclude service miniature horses.
DOT also stood by its earlier decision that prohibits airlines from banning service animals who are of a certain breed. Delta currently bans pit bull service dogs.
Specifically, the new rule, which goes into effect in 30 days:
Defines a service animal as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability (no longer requiring airlines to accommodate miniature horses, cats, rabbits, birds and all other “service animals” that airlines are currently required to transport);
No longer considers an emotional support animal to be a service animal;
Requires airlines to treat psychiatric service animals the same as other service animals;
Allows airlines to require forms developed by DOT attesting to a service animal’s health, behavior and training, and if taking a long flight attesting that the service animal can either not relieve itself, or can relieve itself in a sanitary manner;
Allows airlines to require individuals traveling with a service animal to provide the DOT service animal form(s) up to 48 hours in advance of the date of travel if the passenger’s reservation was made prior to that time;
Prohibits airlines from requiring passengers with a disability who are traveling with a service animal to physically check-in at the airport instead of using the online check-in process;
Allows airlines to require a person with a disability seeking to travel with a service animal to provide the DOT service animal form(s) at the passenger’s departure gate on the date of travel;
Allows airlines to limit the number of service animals traveling with a single passenger with a disability to two service animals;
Allows airlines to require a service animal to fit within its handler’s foot space on the aircraft;
Allows airlines to require that service animals be harnessed, leashed, or tethered at all times in the airport and on the aircraft;
Continues to allow airlines to refuse transportation to service animals that exhibit aggressive behavior and that pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others; and
Continues to prohibit airlines from refusing to transport a service animal solely based on breed.
Posted by DanaMarie Pannella on April 28, 2020 | Comments Off on COVID-19: Responsible RestartOhio and Pets
The Ohio Department of Health and Gov. Mike DeWine issued a plan to restart Ohio’s economy during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on April 27, 2020.
How does Responsible RestartOhio pertain to pets and pet-related business? ✔️On May 1, 2020, veterinary services can resume. Yes, this means “non-essential” spay/neuters can be performed! Facilities that plan to resume providing services must adhere to infection control practices and have sufficient PPE.
✔️On May 12, 2020, consumer, retail, and services, may reopen. Consumer, retail, and services are not further defined, but many services that are often essential for pets, including retail grooming shops, dog walkers, and training centers, are NOT included on the continued closure list. Continued closures include: -Schools and daycares -Dine-in restaurants and bars (carry-out is still permitted) -Personal appearance and beauty businesses -Older adult daycare serveries and senior centers -Adult day support or vocational rehabilitation services in group settings -Entertainment, recreation, and gyms The full list of continued business closures is available here: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/…/responsible-restart-ohio/Co…/
Thus, previously closed pet-related businesses such as retail grooming shops and doggie daycares are likely not prohibited from re-opening on May 12. Pet-related businesses that plan to resume providing services must adhere to the Sector Specific Operating Requirements, which include protocols such as ensuring a minimum of 6 ft between people and/or having barriers, employee symptom checks, handwashing, accessible sanitizer, cleaning protocols, and maximum occupancy limits. As of April 28, 2020, face coverings are recommended for employees and guests. The full list of Sector Specific Operating requirements can be found here: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/…/Sector-Specific-Operating-R…/
Businesses with questions about operating procedures can contact the ODH COVID-19 hotline (1-833-4-ASK-ODH) and/or an attorney for guidance.
Posted by DanaMarie Pannella on March 31, 2020 | Comments Off on COVID-19: Saving Pets with Special Contracts and Addendums
As a result of the coronavirus
crisis, rescues, shelters, animal control facilities, dog wardens, and humane
societies have an increased need for volunteer foster homes, who are a lifeline
to alleviate overcrowding and economic hardships, as employees and volunteers
are unable to come in and care for pets as they normally do.
Complicating matters is that in
some situations, routine spay/neuter surgeries have been deemed “non-essential”
in order to preserve supplies, such as PPE and oxygen, and to promote staff
safety by encouraging social distancing.
Some rescue and shelter
operations do not release pets into foster homes until they are spayed or
neutered. Most do not release pets into permanent adoptive homes until they are
spayed or neutered. Given the lack of available spay/neuter surgeries, a strong
foster home, foster-to-adopt, or adoption contract with special spay/neuter
provisions can be used to ensure that rescue and shelter operations are able to
continue to place pets into foster and adoptive homes while still safeguarding
their mission of reducing pet overpopulation. Such agreements give the shelter
or rescue the ability to enforce the delayed spay/neuter and reclaim the pet (and/or
its unintended offspring) if necessary.
The following sample language
is a volunteer foster home agreement addendum. This is a supplement to a foster home contract and is only as strong
as the foster home contract is itself. This
addendum is not formatted to be used on its own and may not be legally
enforceable on its own. An
effective and enforceable foster home contract will include additional critical
provisions pertaining to the foster program, such as jurisdiction for enforcement
and reimbursement for expenses such as food, transport, and medical care.
This sample addendum is provided for informational use only and should be reviewed by legal counsel in conjunction with the organization’s foster home contract. Rescues and shelters may also consider foster-to-adopt or adoption contracts with special addendums related to spay/neuter and COVID-19.
Posted by DanaMarie Pannella on March 26, 2020 | Comments Off on Animal Care Exemption Letter during Coronavirus
Some animal shelter, rescue, and humane society employees and volunteers have reported that they are uncomfortable traveling during Ohio’s Stay at Home COVID-19 order, effective March 24th, because they fear being pulled over by law enforcement without documentation about their activities.
While most law enforcement agencies do not seem to be aggressively questioning citizens, a letter explaining that animal care activities are exempt may help quell these fears.
Here is a sample which you may wish to review with your own legal counsel:
To Whom It May Concern:
Please be advised that _____________ is a current employee/volunteer at ABC ANIMAL RESCUE (the Rescue) located at ___________________. The Rescue is committed to taking responsible action to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including compliance with all orders from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH.)
The Rescue is aware of the “Director’s Stay at Home Order” issued by ODH requiring all persons to stay at home unless they are engaged in an “essential work or activity.” Paragraph 12(c) of that order specifically exempts “businesses that provide food, shelter, and other necessities of life for animals, including animal shelters, rescues, kennels, and adoption facilities.” Furthermore, Paragraph 7 of the order permits travel for the purpose of providing “veterinary care and all healthcare services provided to animals.” Finally, Paragraph 5(e) permits travel in order to provide care for and the transportation of pets.
The Rescue is an organization described in Paragraph 12(c) and is therefore exempt for the activities described above. The person named above is authorized by the Rescue to travel for the purpose of providing these essential services.
Please call _______________ if you have questions or concerns.
Posted by DanaMarie Pannella on December 11, 2019 | Comments Off on Ohio Nonprofits Beware– “OH Certificate Service”
Nonprofits Beware! This very official-looking letter purports to provide your new Ohio nonprofit organization a Certificate of Good Standing for the fee of $67.50. This letter is NOT from the Ohio Secretary of State and is extremely misleading. Similar letters are being sent to nonprofits across the country with state-matched names such as “MI Certificate Service” (Michigan) and “CA Certificate Service” (California).
The letter suggests that your organization may need this certificate as “official evidence” of your organization’s existence. In reality, when an Ohio nonprofit organization is formed, you receive an approval certificate with your charter number from the Ohio Secretary of State.
Please review solicitations like this carefully before sending funds and when in doubt, reach out directly to the governmental agency rather than using the contact information contained in the letter. OH Certificate Service’s website does not exist and its address is a UPS Shipping Store. The website uses a “.com” domain, rather than “.gov.” In a tiny font in the middle of the letter under “Business Information,” there is a line that reads “This is not a government agency.” Are they referring to the nonprofit organization or “OH Certificate Service”?
Certificates of Good Standing are rarely needed for Ohio nonprofits and are most often used when dealing with financial institutions. If your organization needs a Certificate of Good Standing, it can be obtained online from the Ohio Secretary of State website for $5.00 (https://www.sos.state.oh.us/businesses/business-reports/#gref) or contact an attorney for help (it won’t cost you $67.50!).
Posted by DanaMarie Pannella on November 26, 2019 | Comments Off on PACT Act is now federal law–but what does it really cover?
The PACT Act (Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act) was signed into federal law yesterday! This is a great law that builds on 2010’s Animal Crush Prohibition Act by making any activity defined as “animal crushing” potentially a federal crime, whether or not the act is committed as part of a crush video.
Unfortunately, there are lots of misleading and confusing headlines on this law, including that the PACT Act: “makes animal cruelty a federal felony” “Mak[es] Cruelty To Animals A Federal Crime” “Bans Cruelty” “Make[s] Animal Abuse a Federal Offense” is a “Sweeping Federal Ban on Animal Cruelty” covers “Most animal cruelty”
The PACT Act does make some animal cruelty a federal offense, but it isn’t that simple! Here are the basics:
✏️ What is “Animal Crushing”? ➡️ Animal crushing commonly refers to extreme fetish videos depicting animal abuse—where small animals are crushed, ripped apart, burned, or otherwise tortured to death. Usually, this is designed for the sexual gratification of the viewer. In 2010, a federal law was passed that banned the creation or depiction of such videos/acts, but NOT the actual underlying act of animal cruelty.
✏️ What does the PACT Act cover? ➡️ It outlaws purposeful crushing, burning, drowning, suffocation, impalement and other purposeful acts that cause “serious bodily injury” to animals other than fish. It also prohibits some acts of sexual abuse against animals other than fish, but this particular provision seems to have a qualifier that such acts are only prohibited if committed in the “special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States” (federal property). The rest of the PACT Act applies to acts “in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce,” in addition to federal property. This limitation on the jurisdiction of animal sexual abuse crimes seems to negatively affect the federal prosecution of, for example, bestiality videos that are distributed online. ➡️ It outlines exemptions for humane euthanasia; slaughter for food; recreational activities such as hunting, trapping, and fishing; medical and scientific research; normal veterinary, agricultural husbandry, or other animal management practice; unintentional acts; and acts that are necessary to protect the life or property of a person. ➡️ It does not apply to anything other than the specific acts of cruelty listed above. ➡️ It does not cover all acts of animal cruelty. ➡️ It does not cover acts of neglect, abandonment, extreme weather, filthy conditions, or tethering issues. ➡️ It does not cover “puppy mill” issues.
✏️ Does the PACT Act change state and local law? ➡️ No. An offender can only be prosecuted pursuant to the PACT Act if the criminal act occurs on federal property (ex: national parks, military bases) or “in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce.” Federal property (“special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States”) is defined in 8 subsections of 18 U.S.C. § 7: maritime jurisdiction, 18 U.S.C. §§ 7(1), 7(2); lands and buildings, 18 U.S.C. § 7(3); Guano Islands, 18 U.S.C. §7(4); aircraft, 18 U.S.C. § 7(5); spacecraft, 18 U.S.C. § 7(6); places outside the jurisdiction of any nation, 18 U.S.C. § 7(7); and foreign vessels en route to and from the United States, 18 U.S.C. § 7(8)). ➡️ The PACT Act was designed not to preempt or interfere with local/state animal cruelty laws or enforcement. The PACT Act is merely a federal overlay, exactly like the federal animal fighting law(s).
✏️ Who enforces the PACT Act? ➡️ Federal law enforcement in federal courts.
✏️ What are the possible punishments for violation of the PACT Act? ➡️ Violations could result in a fine and up to seven years’ imprisonment.
✏️ Does the PACT Act make all animal cruelty a felony? ➡️ No. As noted above, the PACT Act only applies in a narrow set of circumstances. State and local legislation to strengthen animal cruelty and neglect laws are still needed and very much necessary.
Posted by DanaMarie Pannella on July 31, 2015 | Comments Off on Sisters to complete 1000 hours of community service for starving their dog to death
State of Ohio v. Christina Davis and Delores Davis, a case prosecuted for the Cleveland Animal Protective League.
Delores and Christina Davis, sisters, were charged with one second degree misdemeanor count related to the starvation death of their dog. The dog was found deceased and emaciated in their yard. The sisters stated they relied on neighbors to provide them with free dog food. The dog’s bowls contained only filth and leaves.
Each defendant pleaded no contest to the charge. They must each complete 500 hours of community service and 5 years of active probation, during which time they cannot own animals and are subject to the APL’s monitoring. 90 days in jail were imposed, and suspended. They will pay court costs.
Posted by DanaMarie Pannella on May 12, 2015 | Comments Off on Ohio House Bill 198 Reduces Humane Societies’ Power to Protect Animals
ANIMAL LEGISLATION UPDATE:
HB 198, which abolishes Ohio Humane Societies’ ability to appoint prosecutors to prosecute crimes against animals, was introduced in the Ohio House on 5/11/15. This is the first legislative effort to REDUCE a Humane Society’s ability to protect animals.
Primary Sponsors: Reps. Steve Hambley (R-69) and Greta Johnson (D-35)
Summary: To repeal section 2931.18 of the Revised Code to abolish the humane society’s authority to employ an attorney to prosecute certain violations of law dealing with animal cruelty.