Animal rights group petitions against abuse, bestiality

Nitro's Army will be collecting signatures again on Sunday at Pet Supplies Plus in Niles after 12 p.m.

The animal rights group collected signatures to stand against animal abuse and bestiality.

NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – One animal rights group says Ohio pets need more protections and they are helping make the change.

Nitro’s Army mobilized after high-profile animal abuse cases in the Mahoning Valley surfaced. The group changed state laws after a dog died in a kennel in 2008.

Beverly Spicer leads the local chapter of Nitro’s Army. They collected signatures for two causes on Saturday.

The first was to punish the owner who punched a dog in Girard in February.

“It was on tape, we have it. We’ve seen the guy beating this dog,” Spicer said. “We don’t want him to get the dog back. We want him to be prosecuted to the maximum penalty.”

The group also wants to see bestiality, which is not a crime in Ohio, outlawed in the state.

This comes after a Warren man was charged with animal cruelty after having sex with his pet dogs.

“We are even surprised to hear it’s legal in Ohio. Who would even think it? Who would even think that anybody would want to be arguing about this?” Spicer said. “It’s just ridiculous, so we have a petition that we’re asking for people to sign to take to the lawmakers and make it illegal in Ohio.”

The proposal to make bestiality a crime is called Senate Bill 195.

Peggy Padis volunteered with Nitro’s Army for the first time on Saturday.

“It’s just going on from one thing to another. It’s either dog fighting, or it’s somebody pounding their dog or not taking care of them,” she said. “It’s a no-brainer. If you love an animal and it’s just like family, it’s hard to see this go on.”

Nitro’s Army will be collecting signatures again on Sunday at Pet Supplies Plus in Niles from noon to 6 p.m.

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