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Gas chambers at animal shelter to be outlawed under Ohio bill

The Ohio Senate unanimously passed a bill that would prohibit animal shelters from using gas chambers as a way to euthanize animals.

The bill, Senate Bill 164, sponsored by Sens. Jay Hottinger, R-Newark, and Kenny Yuko, D-Richmond Heights, still needs to be voted on in the House. 

The bill would change current law to prohibit animal shelters from destroying animals using carbon monoxide gas. It also increases penalties in animal cruelty cases.

The bill lowers the mental state of the violator from knowingly to recklessly in cases where caregivers do not provide food or water, making it easier to prosecute these case.

It would also classify causing physical harm to a pet, which is already a fifth-degree felony, as a “violent crime.”

Hottinger said animal abuse can be indicative of future crimes, such as domestic violence or murder. With the crime being called a violent offense, the judge can impose prison time and the charge would not be expungable from the violator’s record.