Animal Welfare


Animal welfare begins with education. We can begin to see less and less instances of animal abuse when we teach people how to properly care for animals. This starts with Spaying and Neutering.  We could drastically cut down on the number of stray cats and dogs and, in turn, the number of abused and euthanized animals, simply by spaying and neutering our pets.  In the U.S., there are an estimated 6-8 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year. Barely half of these animals are adopted. Tragically, the rest are euthanized. 

Before you and your family adopt a dog or cat, take time to read about the proper way to train, manage and care for your pet. Make sure that you have the time, patience and temperament to take on the responsibility. Learn all you can about the breed, and make sure your new pet will fit into your home and your environment. The more you know up front, the better chance your adopted pet will have a forever home.
Animal Abuse

As you read this, another innocent animal is being deliberately abused, neglected or forced into fighting. Every day, helpless dogs, cats, kittens and puppies are subject to the cruelest of treatment. The shocking number of animal cruelty cases reported every day is just the tip of the iceberg as most cases are never reported. At PAWS, we take our commitment to rescuing these voiceless victims very seriously and do everything within our power to treat them for injuries and illness, and find them safe, loving forever homes.

Animal abuse and cruelty are not only the actions of an individual or small group. They can be widespread and carried out by businesses and large corporations. Countless puppy mills are still in operation across the world, many right here in Ohio. Filthy, overcrowded, inhumane conditions are the norm for these businesses, and death and disease run rampant all in the name of profit. Some corporations still use animals for testing, subjecting them to cruel, painful punishment to test products before selling them to the public.

PAWS recognizes that there is more than just a need to rescue these animals, there is a need to expose these business and change the laws that govern those who would abuse them. 

Goddard's Law

Up until June, 2016, anyone in Ohio could literally kill a companion animal right in broad daylight, in the middle of the street, and only be charged with a misdemeanor. House Bill 60, also known as "Goddard's Law" changed all that. The new law, protecting companion animals and punishing animal abusers, was signed into law in June 2016 by Ohio governor John Kasich, and went into effect in September 2016.

The new legislation makes knowingly causing serious physical harm to a companion animal a 5th degree felony. Depriving a pet of food, water or shelter or inflicting long-term pain is also a violation of this law. The law also mandates prison time for anyone who assaults and kills a service animal such as a police dog or police horse.

The new law is named for northeast Ohio meteorologist, Dick Goddard of Fox8 Cleveland. Goddard has long been an advocate for animals. But, Dick Goddard was not the only reason this law was passed. For four years, PAWS Executive Director, Amy Beichler, led the fight to get this piece of legislation passed by making countless visits to Columbus to plead her case to anyone who would listen.

Amy found two allies in Republican David Hall and Democrat Bill Patmon who sponsored the bill. Patmon was quoted as saying that the bill was "the toughest piece of legislation he's ever had to get through the legislature."All of us who support animal welfare should be greatly appreciative of the hard work put forth by Amy and Dick, as well as Representatives Hall and Patmon. All of us at PAWS are very proud to have been a part of this historic piece of legislature.

Our mission is far from done on this front. We will fight to put all puppy mills out of business. We will fight to stop animal testing. We will fight to change or add laws to protect animals, and punish those who abuse them. We will not stop fighting.

How to Report Animal Abuse

Animal abuse is an epidemic that is not going away without people doing the right thing and speaking up. The only way we can start to correct the problem is by deciding to take a stand and let people know that it’s not OK to mistreat or neglect animals. If you suspect a neighbor is abusing their dog, start by offering to take it on walks or to the park. This way, you can subtly communicate that the owner is doing something wrong without accusing them. If they don’t take the hint, then there are other options for helping the pet out of harm’s way.
  • If an animal is in immediate danger, contact your local police department and report the situation.
  • Call PAWS. We'll take action and get the right parties involved.
  • If you see something, speak up! Animals need strong people to have a voice for them and to tell people the abuse needs to stop.
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