Ohio - The cruel, senseless death of a beloved dog named Nitro is the driving force behind supporters of Nitro's Law HB70. Nitro was a dog that was starved to death back in October 2008 while in the care of High Caliber K-9 in Youngstown, Ohio.
Nitro, a family's beloved Rottweiler, was one of 19 dogs that grievously suffered at this boarding and training facility.
Nitro had been sent to High Caliber K-9 for a board and train "summer camp" after his owners thoroughly researched the facility. The kennel owner, Steve Croley, came highly recommended - there was nothing that would have led Nitro's owners to be concerned for his welfare.
But the facility's failure to return a dog to an owner caused law enforcement and animal welfare agencies to conduct a raid on the kennel in late October. What authorities found was stomach turning.
Dehydrated, emaciated and deceased dogs were found in the kennels at High Caliber K-9. Fifteen of the dogs discovered were being boarded there, 4 others,belonging to the owner, were also in horrifying condition.
Of the 19 dogs discovered on the property, 7 were dead, the remaining were in terrible condition. Among the dead was the emaciated body of Nitro.
When Croley was questioned, he told officials that times were hard and there was no money for food for the dogs. Why this man could not reach out to the dog's owners to ask them to retrieve their dogs, or to the community for help - is an entirely different topic.
Nitro's Law HB70 has stemmed from this devastating incident. Animal welfare laws in Ohio are terribly outdated. Nitro's Law HB 70 seeks to amend section 959.99 of the Revised Code to increase the penalty for violation of the prohibition against cruel treatment of a companion animal by the animal's custodian or caretaker to a felony of the fifth degree.
The law passed the House of Representatives in February 2010, but it has stalled. Supporters of the bill are concerned because it has been sitting in the Criminal Justice Committee since that time - if it does not get to the Senate floor for a vote by year's end, it will die and more animals will suffer as a result.
The Nitro Foundation is encouraging individuals to reach out to law makers and ask them to move forward on this crucial legislation.