Best Friends Animal Society is a nonprofit organization building no-kill programs and partnerships that will bring about a day when there are No More Homeless Pets®.  The society's leading initiatives in animal care and community programs are coordinated from our Kanab, Utah headquarters, the country's largest no-kill sanctuary.  Best Friends works with their members -- and with humane groups, individuals and entire communities -- to set up spay/neuter, shelter, foster and adoption programs in neighborhoods, cities, and states throughout the country.  Through this work, Best Friends is helping to save and rehabilitate tens of thousands of animals each year. 

 

Lori worked with senior legislative staff at Best Friends on legislation to end breed discrimination in Ohio. Prior to the passage of House Bill 14, dog wardens were given the authority to deem any dog a “pit bull”, so any short-haired muscular mutt could be seized and killed simply because of his or her appearance.  HB 14 helped create safe, humane communities by protecting Ohioans from any dangerous dog, no matter what its appearance.  It set forth different definitions and penalties for “Vicious”, “Dangerous” and “Nuisance” dogs in Ohio code.

 

House Bill 14 is proactive and prevents convicted felons from owning unsterilized dogs and requires their dogs to be micro-chipped for permanent identification.  Lori helped lawmakers understand that prior Ohio law not only was expensive and ineffective but that it infringed on property rights.  This approach helped bridge the gap between the political parties garnering support from both sides of the aisle. Lori worked closely not only with lawmakers, but numerous interested parties, including the County Commissioners Association of Ohio, the Dog Wardens Association, the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association and the Humane Society of the United States; Ohio Chapter. By gathering the appropriate parties around the table, we were able to come to a mutually acceptable agreement that prevented opposition from certain organizations for the first time in many years. Lori also worked with Best Friends on grassroots advocacy and earned celebrity media support from Willie Nelson, Maggie Q and actor Ian Somerhalder.

 

HB 14 was signed into law on February 21, 2012.