WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – Ohio is one of 11 states in the country that has no legislation making bestiality illegal. On Wednesday, Warren City Council passed a law making sex with animals a crime by a 10-0 vote.
Animal advocate Jason Cooke is one of two people who helped draft the law to Council, and sat in the front row at the city council meeting.
He says in most cases, a veterinarian has to prove that the animal has unnecessary injuries in order to charge someone. Now, proving the act will be easier.
“With this ordinance, that takes a little bit of onus away from them because we can go off of witness testimony, which is a huge help,” Cooke said. “I want this to serve as a deterrent and I want this to serve as a notice that if you’re going to commit these types of acts, you’re going to be held accountable and you’re going to be punished to the full extent of the law.”
The law stems from Salvador Rendon, who investigators say had sex with two dogs multiple times for six years. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, 60 of which were suspended in April.
Despite the law passing unanimously, there was some discussion.
Councilwoman Helen Rucker says she doesn’t want people thinking Warren has a widespread animal abuse issue.
“It is not an epidemic in our city and it’s not something that we’ve ever had to deal with in our 200-year history.”
City Councilman John Brown sponsored the city ordinance. He says no one likes to talk about it, but it has to be brought to the forefront.
“I think it’s important that we protect the animals. I hope this never has to be used as legislation in the courts but if there is a problem with bestiality, this gives them a tool to correct the problem.”
The legislation would also allow a judge to order the removal of the animals from the person suspected of abuse until the end of an investigation or trial.
Cooke says Warren’s ordinance is based off of Senate Bill 195, which Ohio legislation is still undecided on.