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Ohio Animal Advocates
Episode 1225th May 2023 • The Animal Welfare Junction • A. Michelle Gonzalez, DVM, MS
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Vicki Diesner, Esq., Executive Director and one of the founders of Ohio Animal Advocates, joins us to discuss the role of the organization in fighting for animal welfare issues and laws at the state level, and the many programs and resources available in Ohio. Topics include puppy mills and domestic violence.

This episode contains some examples of animal abuse and interpersonal violence that can be hard to listen to, so listener discretion is advised.

For more information on the programs, including the Real Ohio Tours, visit their website at https://www.ohioanimaladvocates.org/

Transcripts

Dr. G:

Welcome to the Animal Welfare Junction.

Dr. G:

This is your host, Dr.

Dr. G:

G.

Dr. G:

And our music is written and produced by Mike Sullivan.

Dr. G:

Today we have an awesome guest.

Dr. G:

We have Vicki Deisner from the Ohio Animal Advocates.

Dr. G:

Welcome Vicki, and thank you for

Vicki Deisner:

being here.

Vicki Deisner:

Good evening.

Vicki Deisner:

Thank you for having me.

Dr. G:

Vicky is part of Ohio Animal Advocates, and she's going to

Dr. G:

talk about it here in a second.

Dr. G:

It's an organization that I'm involved with as a board member, and we do a

Dr. G:

lot of great things for animal welfare.

Dr. G:

So first to, to start things off, how about you tell us about the path

Dr. G:

that has taken you to where you are

Vicki Deisner:

today?

Vicki Deisner:

Um, well, personally, um, I spent the first 15 years of my

Vicki Deisner:

career in the medical profession.

Vicki Deisner:

I have a undergrad degree in zoology, a graduate degree from the University of

Vicki Deisner:

Cincinnati Medical Center in physiology and a clinical degree from the University

Vicki Deisner:

of Chicago in respiratory therapy.

Vicki Deisner:

So I spent many, many years, working with pulmonary patients, uh, because

Vicki Deisner:

I am one myself, I have asthma.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, what kind of made me start looking outside that world is actually doing

Vicki Deisner:

animal research in my master's degree.

Vicki Deisner:

And I started seeing what I felt were some of the cruel situations that animals were

Vicki Deisner:

put into in our current, uh, you might say political and um, cultural system.

Vicki Deisner:

And started really like looking outside of what was going on.

Vicki Deisner:

And it happened one Christmas, my ex-husband got me a book called Seal

Vicki Deisner:

Song, and he knew how much I loved animals and it had a nice furry seal on the

Vicki Deisner:

outside, but he never opened it up to see they were being clubbed on the inside.

Vicki Deisner:

Wow.

Vicki Deisner:

And at that point, I, I wrote to the producers of that book, international

Vicki Deisner:

Fund for Animal Welfare and wanted information, and pretty soon I

Vicki Deisner:

was on everybody's mailing list and starting to be a backseat, uh,

Vicki Deisner:

weekend activist and sending money.

Vicki Deisner:

And finally it hit me at one point that I needed to make the change

Vicki Deisner:

and figure out how to get in the environmental animal welfare world.

Vicki Deisner:

At that point I was in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Vicki Deisner:

I remember driving up and having an interview with the Nature Conservancy

Vicki Deisner:

and showing them that I had a business background at that point

Vicki Deisner:

cuz I was a hospital administrator running home care companies.

Vicki Deisner:

And I had a marketing background and I had all the science background and they told

Vicki Deisner:

me that I had no transferrable skills.

Vicki Deisner:

And so on the way back to Cincinnati, I said, what now do I need to do to get

Vicki Deisner:

skills to make this transfer in my life?

Vicki Deisner:

And I started looking at the magazines I get and everybody seemed

Vicki Deisner:

to have a JD behind their name.

Vicki Deisner:

So I thought, okay, well I'll go to law school.

Vicki Deisner:

And um, and with no more thought than that, I went to law school and , Worked

Vicki Deisner:

my way through and ended up in Columbus, um, in the Attorney General's office

Vicki Deisner:

doing environmental enforcement.

Vicki Deisner:

After a while I ended up going over to Ohio Environmental Council

Vicki Deisner:

and being their director and

Vicki Deisner:

working on a variety of environmental issues, which actually included things

Vicki Deisner:

like factory farms and other issues.

Vicki Deisner:

So started getting exposed to actually the intersection between animal

Vicki Deisner:

welfare and environmental work.

Vicki Deisner:

And oddly enough, um, we moved our offices and the building that

Vicki Deisner:

the Nature Conservancy used to be in became our offices and the

Vicki Deisner:

office where I was told I had no transferrable skills, became my office.

Vicki Deisner:

So you never know sometimes how karma happens and after 15 or more years,

Vicki Deisner:

basically in doing environmental work, including going to DC and working on

Vicki Deisner:

the hill, uh, for National Wildlife Federation, I had the opportunity

Vicki Deisner:

because there were so many animal welfare conferences going on there to go and

Vicki Deisner:

see that actually it was becoming, you know, a professional culture that was

Vicki Deisner:

moving laws and doing exciting things like, um, the livestock care standards.

Vicki Deisner:

That was moved by Proposition two in California by H S U S, and realized

Vicki Deisner:

that there was finally really an opportunity probably to make headway

Vicki Deisner:

in legal and legislative advancement by moving over to that world.

Vicki Deisner:

And basically came back to Ohio as ASPCA's Midwest, uh, legislative director.

Vicki Deisner:

And after time I realized the importance of actually building it from the ground

Vicki Deisner:

like they did in the environmental community of moving from not just

Vicki Deisner:

national organizations to statewide organizations that understand what's

Vicki Deisner:

needed in the trenches of that state, the political environment and the

Vicki Deisner:

culture, and what needs to be done on a state level and a local level.

Vicki Deisner:

And so actually that's part of the reason that Ohio Animal Advocates

Vicki Deisner:

came to play is because also I was seen around me, in other states, that

Vicki Deisner:

was starting to happen, of building state animal advocacy organizations.

Vicki Deisner:

In fact, myself, on behalf of O A A and a number of other state animal advocacy

Vicki Deisner:

groups, have formed the coalition of state animal Advocacy groups, and we're

Vicki Deisner:

up to about 20 states now and want to grow eventually to 50 because we

Vicki Deisner:

need to help each other do the work we need to do, you know, on the ground.

Vicki Deisner:

That's

Dr. G:

amazing.

Dr. G:

I'm, I'm really glad that we get to have this conversation and do

Dr. G:

this interview because I didn't know that background about you.

Dr. G:

I didn't know that you were in the medical field, and it's such a,

Dr. G:

an amazing story of transition.

Dr. G:

Just seeing, you know, thinking that you have that, that career, that call,

Dr. G:

and then actually finding your call and then finding what you are meant

Dr. G:

to do for animal welfare and animals.

Dr. G:

So I'm really glad that all of that brought you to where you're at.

Dr. G:

So what is Ohio Animal Advocates and what is the goal of Ohio Animal Advocates?

Dr. G:

Why was it created?

Vicki Deisner:

Well, you know, looking at that idea of needing somebody on the

Vicki Deisner:

ground, we wanted to be an advocate that actually worked for animals by affecting

Vicki Deisner:

systematic change, really, and working toward humane treatment of animals.

Vicki Deisner:

Now, this includes active support of local and state legislation for the

Vicki Deisner:

prevention of animal cruelty, as well as public awareness campaigns designed

Vicki Deisner:

to teach communities across Ohio about the ongoing threats to animals.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, we began as a small, dedicated group of Ohioans concerned about this issue.

Vicki Deisner:

Basically the unmet needs of Ohio animals that weren't totally being

Vicki Deisner:

served by national organizations.

Vicki Deisner:

So, Our board members, committee members, founders, volunteers, have been

Vicki Deisner:

working on animal welfare issues on the ground and local communities throughout

Vicki Deisner:

Ohio, as well as statewide policy at the State House for years and years.

Vicki Deisner:

So these are kind of the folks that have seen it, they've

Vicki Deisner:

done it, and they saw the need.

Vicki Deisner:

And that need they felt was basically taking this dedicated group of people

Vicki Deisner:

bringing us all together in 2018 to form Ohio Animal advocates with that goal of

Vicki Deisner:

raising visibility of issues on Ohio's animal population with a regular face

Vicki Deisner:

at the State House in city councils and throughout the state, and our mission is

Vicki Deisner:

to make Ohio a place where all animals are protected from cruelty, abuse and neglect.

Dr. G:

That's part of what is important for me and what kind of attracted me

Dr. G:

to your group is just that I practice as a veterinarian, but my real interest

Dr. G:

lies within veterinary forensics and animal welfare, that kind of stuff.

Dr. G:

One thing that I always said, I have always said is I hate politics.

Dr. G:

I hate anything that has to do with politicians and laws

Dr. G:

and, and all of that stuff.

Dr. G:

I don't wanna get involved.

Dr. G:

But then the more I have learned about animal welfare, the more I have realized

Dr. G:

that that's how you effect change.

Dr. G:

Right.

Dr. G:

It's by

Vicki Deisner:

changing trust in the root causes.

Dr. G:

Exactly.

Dr. G:

So I cannot, I cannot complain about something if I am not trying

Dr. G:

to challenge it and change the way that, that those laws are written.

Dr. G:

Right.

Dr. G:

If you disagree with something and you're passionate about it, then you wanna

Dr. G:

find ways to, to do something about it.

Dr. G:

It has been an interesting journey for me and really informative, being

Dr. G:

able to go up with you guys and then in some of the other times that I

Dr. G:

have gone into to speak in front of different organizations, uh, governmental

Dr. G:

organizations in, in favor of animals.

Dr. G:

And I have a long way to go, but I'm sure that you all are

Dr. G:

going to help push me forward.

Dr. G:

What is the vision for Ohio Animal Advocates, what are the

Dr. G:

values of the organization?

Vicki Deisner:

Well, we would love to make Ohio, uh, basically the national

Vicki Deisner:

model for the humane treatment of animals.

Vicki Deisner:

Now, as I say that, when I started , at A S P C A in 2012, we were 45th at

Vicki Deisner:

the nation, ranked by animal legal defense fund for basically having,

Vicki Deisner:

you know, laws to protect animals.

Vicki Deisner:

So we had a long ways to go.

Vicki Deisner:

Now we're basically.

Vicki Deisner:

11 years down the pike, and, um, especially with the cross

Vicki Deisner:

reporting bill that we just got passed, we're now up to 24.

Vicki Deisner:

So we're halfway to getting to the top.

Vicki Deisner:

But, you know, um, it's our effort to really make, uh, Us a model

Vicki Deisner:

for the rest of the nation and our values of, what do we base it on?

Vicki Deisner:

How do we do this?

Vicki Deisner:

We want to champion the advancement of animal welfare in Ohio by

Vicki Deisner:

initiating and implementing effective humane policies and programs.

Vicki Deisner:

And we do that by building diverse partnerships and, and basically

Vicki Deisner:

leading collaborative efforts.

Vicki Deisner:

We can't do it alone, and we can't do it just with humane

Vicki Deisner:

professionals, we need to do it with other groups.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, for example, with the issue of cross reporting, you know, if we're

Vicki Deisner:

gonna mandate animal abuse reporting, we need to bring in social workers.

Vicki Deisner:

We need to bring in therapists and counselors, people who are basically

Vicki Deisner:

first responders, law enforcement, you know, home health aids.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, We need to bring in everybody to the table to make this happen.

Vicki Deisner:

We have to look to achieve positive, innovative solutions.

Vicki Deisner:

We need to apply the best available resource and information, be

Vicki Deisner:

professional and involve all citizens and stakeholders across the state.

Vicki Deisner:

Because, you know, basically, almost everyone has a pet

Vicki Deisner:

in the home, if not many.

Vicki Deisner:

And most of those pets are in our beds.

Vicki Deisner:

They're part of our families.

Vicki Deisner:

And so it's a bipartisan issue.

Vicki Deisner:

Everyone cares.

Vicki Deisner:

. Dr. G: I was speaking with, uh,

Vicki Deisner:

previous podcasts about the importance of these laws, and again, like

Vicki Deisner:

these are the ways to, to do things.

Vicki Deisner:

We were talking about how even like bestiality was not illegal up to 2017,

Vicki Deisner:

I believe it was, that that passed.

Vicki Deisner:

So, We, we know about the link.

Vicki Deisner:

You know, we have talked about the link between animal cruelty and interpersonal

Vicki Deisner:

violence and the importance of, as veterinarians to recognize animal

Vicki Deisner:

abuse as a way to protect individuals.

Vicki Deisner:

Like so many cases of domestic violence, people are abusing, um,

Vicki Deisner:

the, the individuals in the house or using the animals as leverage to

Vicki Deisner:

control the, the people in the house.

Vicki Deisner:

Uh, and then we were also talking about the cross reporting bill, because I've

Vicki Deisner:

always been strong about reporting any kind of suspected animal cruelty.

Vicki Deisner:

But I know that a lot of my peers and other, other veterinarians have

Vicki Deisner:

not wanted to do that because of concerns about retaliation, because

Vicki Deisner:

of concerns about getting involved.

Vicki Deisner:

What's gonna happen?

Vicki Deisner:

What if I'm wrong?

Vicki Deisner:

And all of that on all of those things.

Vicki Deisner:

And one of the reasons when representative Lanese was pursuing

Vicki Deisner:

that bill, and you all asked me to come and speak in favor of it, I was

Vicki Deisner:

very honored and very happy to do so.

Vicki Deisner:

Right.

Vicki Deisner:

Because I feel that as veterinarians, it is our duty to help our patients

Vicki Deisner:

and not just in providing vaccines and providing general care,

Vicki Deisner:

just in general animal welfare.

Vicki Deisner:

So that was something, something great.

Vicki Deisner:

And we were talking about trying to educate through our podcast episode to

Vicki Deisner:

veterinarians about the consequences of not doing so because now we have to.

Vicki Deisner:

Now it, it is important.

Vicki Deisner:

Now, it's not a, it's not a choice.

Vicki Deisner:

Now if we don't do it, we can have penalties.

Vicki Deisner:

So with HB 33, can you discuss basically what it means to cross report and what,

Vicki Deisner:

what services have to report to who?

Vicki Deisner:

Absolutely.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, and I will share with you, we actually have one of the most comprehensive

Vicki Deisner:

bills across the nation and many states are looking to us for help with

Vicki Deisner:

strategy and how to consider, how to do all the training that we did because

Vicki Deisner:

it was a parallel track of training and working on the bill so that.

Vicki Deisner:

As professions got trained and understood the link between animal, human violence

Vicki Deisner:

and actually that animal abuse is the first, you might say, uh, red flag.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, the sentinel warning that actually will the rest of the

Vicki Deisner:

family violence, uh, will go up.

Vicki Deisner:

I mean, it's actually a way for humane services, um, to

Vicki Deisner:

help human services to actually

Vicki Deisner:

solve a family violence situation.

Vicki Deisner:

So it's, you know, a partnership situation.

Vicki Deisner:

And as many professions learned, they felt a lot more comfortable and actually

Vicki Deisner:

turned around and came and actually were proponents of our bill, which made a big

Vicki Deisner:

difference, including the O V M A, which that has not happened in other states.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, as you know, now, they teach the issue of the link at the Midwest

Vicki Deisner:

Veterinarian Conference and they have a guide out, and articles and they are in

Vicki Deisner:

favor of it because actually, I mean, you really are serving your clients

Vicki Deisner:

that come in not only the animal, but if that animal's been abused.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, I mean, there's times when actually a woman has used, a woman victim

Vicki Deisner:

has come in and used the animal.

Vicki Deisner:

As you might say, a cover to slip, a note to, uh, you know, someone else

Vicki Deisner:

in the office to say, I am being abused, please call the police.

Vicki Deisner:

So it's really looking at it from the whole, you might say, a holistic

Vicki Deisner:

perspective that you're helping if you can save an animal, can save a family.

Vicki Deisner:

And indeed, um, you know, their mandatory reporting is not only mandatory reporting

Vicki Deisner:

in the fact that there's penalties, but you get civil and criminal immunity.

Vicki Deisner:

So professions are able, you might say, to go over that hump of having

Vicki Deisner:

confidentiality, holding them back and start to work with other professions.

Vicki Deisner:

And indeed, just a year ago, In fall, well, not even a year ago,

Vicki Deisner:

I guess we're not quite there yet, but about six months ago, uh, Dr.

Vicki Deisner:

Janet, uh, Hoy Glock, who is a professor of social worker professor

Vicki Deisner:

at the University of Toledo, she was doing a presentation at Toledo Humane

Vicki Deisner:

and the humane officer shared what a difference that bill made because

Vicki Deisner:

they're now working hand in hand with veterinarians in the community.

Vicki Deisner:

That are able to give notes, are able to give pictures, are able to give

Vicki Deisner:

the evidence that was always needed to build cruelty cases that didn't

Vicki Deisner:

happen before, and building those cruelty cases will not only help that

Vicki Deisner:

animal, but that will help the family.

Vicki Deisner:

Yeah.

Dr. G:

We were discussing about the importance of having those

Dr. G:

things on people's records, right?

Dr. G:

Like when, when somebody is abusing an animal, Especially when

Dr. G:

there is severe serious injuries.

Dr. G:

We were discussing a case that, that I was working on, that the

Dr. G:

prosecutor decided not to pursue charges for the animal abuse.

Dr. G:

The animal was starved to death in their basement, and there was proof

Dr. G:

that they did it on purpose just to get back at each other, and the prosecutor

Dr. G:

just chose not to pursue that because there were other felonies that they

Dr. G:

were already charging these people with.

Dr. G:

And it is so important to add those animal cruelty charges to, at the

Dr. G:

very least, keep these people from being able to own an animal ever

Dr. G:

again, but there's children involved.

Dr. G:

So the link is, is just so, I don't know.

Dr. G:

I, I think that we have a, we still have a long way to go, so it's good that

Dr. G:

some of these laws are in effect to kind of push us forward, but we definitely

Dr. G:

still have, have a long way to go.

Vicki Deisner:

Well, I was gonna share with you a case that happened

Vicki Deisner:

that lays it out as boy as shall we say, visually as you can.

Vicki Deisner:

But it, it, it, dr it really drives the point home.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, there's a detective that I co-present with a lot in regard to law enforcement

Vicki Deisner:

training and he's in wood County.

Vicki Deisner:

Lucas County is the county in Ohio that has the highest amount of

Vicki Deisner:

domestic violence, could be related to human trafficking and other

Vicki Deisner:

issues, but it just does in that area.

Vicki Deisner:

Also has the highest amount of bestiality in the state.

Vicki Deisner:

But at any rate, um, there was a case that started in Lucas County where

Vicki Deisner:

um, an abuser came home, a perpetual abuser, and was mad at his wife and

Vicki Deisner:

her daughter, and basically grabbed the favorite shihtzu and slit its throat.

Vicki Deisner:

Took the daughter's favorite scarf, tied it around the Shih Tzu's neck,

Vicki Deisner:

hung it from a tree in the front yard for days to teach them both a lesson.

Vicki Deisner:

The neighbors called and so the police came and interviewed the wife and the

Vicki Deisner:

daughter, and what they chose to do is they brought the guy in, they put an

Vicki Deisner:

ankle monitor on him, but basically let him go and said, get outta Lucas County.

Vicki Deisner:

He ended up in Wood County where his sister was.

Vicki Deisner:

He then contacted his wife and said, I'm going to commit suicide.

Vicki Deisner:

Come and get my property for you, and you know, your daughter.

Vicki Deisner:

Well, she, you know, ran down.

Vicki Deisner:

She was scared to death.

Vicki Deisner:

He was gonna commit suicide.

Vicki Deisner:

What he did was kidnap her, beat her for two and a half days, strangle her.

Vicki Deisner:

And only when his sister came home did he shove the wife in a car and take

Vicki Deisner:

off to another county, Henry County, and was going to take her to his

Vicki Deisner:

favorite fishing ground and kill her.

Vicki Deisner:

She remembered there was a pen knife in the glove compartment.

Vicki Deisner:

She got at it, she stabbed him in the leg, um, distracted him enough that she opened

Vicki Deisner:

the door, rolled out and the car behind her picked her up, got her to a hospital.

Vicki Deisner:

And when Detective Curtis got there, he said it was the worst

Vicki Deisner:

case of strangulation they ever saw of a woman that she lived.

Vicki Deisner:

And, you know, thank goodness she is speaking to people about this and

Vicki Deisner:

trying to, you know, draw the point home that we have to take the link between

Vicki Deisner:

animal and human violence seriously.

Vicki Deisner:

And when Toledo, when, when it was looked back into his history, he's in jail now,

Vicki Deisner:

but when looked into his history, he had been a previous abuser of both previous

Vicki Deisner:

wives, previous girlfriends and animals.

Vicki Deisner:

So why wasn't that discovered?

Vicki Deisner:

But I mean, the connection is there.

Vicki Deisner:

And you know, we have to pay attention to it.

Vicki Deisner:

And I would bring up, we finally passed in Ohio last year, a

Vicki Deisner:

felony strangulation bill.

Vicki Deisner:

We were the second last state in the nation to pass

Vicki Deisner:

a felony strangulation bill.

Vicki Deisner:

So before that it was just a misdemeanor?

Vicki Deisner:

Yeah.

Vicki Deisner:

South Carolina finally did too.

Vicki Deisner:

But we and South Carolina, we were the last, we're the

Dr. G:

last ones.

Dr. G:

Yeah.

Dr. G:

Yeah.

Dr. G:

I, yeah, it's, we have to take crimes more seriously because there

Dr. G:

is with, with things like, even when we look at like dog fighting, right?

Dr. G:

What dog fighting is a crime in itself and now it's a, and it's a felony, but

Dr. G:

dog fighting is linked to other crimes.

Dr. G:

It's linked to drugs, it's linked to weapons, it's linked to, uh, gambling,

Dr. G:

human trafficking, uh, child abuse.

Dr. G:

I know that prostitution.

Dr. G:

Yeah.

Dr. G:

People that, that abuse.

Dr. G:

Animals.

Dr. G:

Animals are defenseless victims.

Dr. G:

So somebody that's gonna abuse a defenseless victim, an animal, a human,

Dr. G:

a child, and an elderly, it's all potentially going to going to be the same.

Dr. G:

Gonna present the same as far as I, the way I

Vicki Deisner:

see it.

Vicki Deisner:

Well, uh, an abuser starts with the most defenseless member of

Vicki Deisner:

the family that has no voice.

Vicki Deisner:

And actually they say that abusers that go after animals end up being definitely

Vicki Deisner:

control issues and actually become more, more dangerous than other abusers.

Vicki Deisner:

But you find animal abuse behind school shootings, mass shootings,

Vicki Deisner:

terrorism, um, serial killers, you know, I could go on and on.

Vicki Deisner:

Unfortunately, it shows up everywhere because people choose the most

Vicki Deisner:

defenseless, uh, species and they, you know, they start there.

Vicki Deisner:

Phil

Dr. G:

Arkow with the link.

Dr. G:

I know that in one of his, uh, newsletters, he released information

Dr. G:

about some of the shootings that happened last year, and he reviewed

Dr. G:

the backgrounds of the individuals that committed these mass shootings

Dr. G:

and he found, uh, Elements of animal abuse in those, and they were ignored.

Dr. G:

I believe in one of them, the parents were recommended that the child seek

Dr. G:

professional help and the parents didn't.

Dr. G:

And then this kid ends up shooting up other people, murdering other people.

Dr. G:

It starts at a young age, and we have to recognize that as a young age, especially

Dr. G:

as parents, you know, I have a 17 year old, so to me it's really important to

Dr. G:

make sure that he has good morals, he has good values, and that he can respect

Dr. G:

all life.

Dr. G:

He can respect animals and, and everything else.

Dr. G:

So I think it's really important for parents to understand and if they see

Dr. G:

something, to not just brush it out, to take it seriously, because yeah,

Dr. G:

sometimes kids are experimenting and they don't know what they're doing

Dr. G:

or, or whatever the, the case may be.

Dr. G:

But if something, if something is not okay, we have to do something about it.

Dr. G:

Um, absolutely.

Dr. G:

I had a, I had a case of a 13 year old that sexually assaulted their dog and.

Dr. G:

As far as we know, that was the first time that that child had done something.

Dr. G:

The family members, they had children in the house.

Dr. G:

If I had not reported it, if I had not done something about

Dr. G:

it, what would've happened then?

Dr. G:

Then this kid would've gone home and potentially escalated to

Dr. G:

assault the children in the house.

Dr. G:

Grown up to be, he was only 13 at the time, so he could have grown up to be a,

Dr. G:

a serial killer or be a serial rapist.

Dr. G:

So That's right.

Dr. G:

Really important.

Dr. G:

Really important for, for everybody to recognize , and to do their part.

Dr. G:

And the cross reporting is not just for veterinarians to report, but then

Dr. G:

other groups have to report as well.

Dr. G:

Is that correct?

Vicki Deisner:

Correct.

Vicki Deisner:

Social workers, counselors, therapists, and in a cross situation, law

Vicki Deisner:

enforcement, dog wardens, animal control officers, and humane agents have to

Vicki Deisner:

report child and uh, elder abuse.

Dr. G:

What other rules on legislations have you worked on

Dr. G:

that are related to animal welfare?

Dr. G:

Um,

Vicki Deisner:

when I first got back here to Ohio, I got pulled into the

Vicki Deisner:

throes of finalizing the first puppy mill regulations that were passed, uh, the

Vicki Deisner:

livestock care standards, uh, the exotics ban, uh, because the Zanesville massacre

Vicki Deisner:

had just happened, and that was where, um, a man had shot himself but opened up cages

Vicki Deisner:

of close to I think 50 animals, lions, and tigers and bears, and they were running

Vicki Deisner:

crazy around, uh, Zanesville and no one was prepared for that.

Vicki Deisner:

And unfortunately, law enforcement, uh, killed them.

Vicki Deisner:

All but a few that ended up going to the zoo.

Vicki Deisner:

But, um, that woke, that definitely woke the state government up that it

Vicki Deisner:

was time to really look at doing that.

Vicki Deisner:

I personally have taken a route down the issue of domestic and

Vicki Deisner:

family violence and passed the pet protective orders, the bestiality

Vicki Deisner:

laws, the felony cruelty worked on, uh, felony cockfighting.

Vicki Deisner:

At the same time, you know, before this cross reporting we worked on,

Vicki Deisner:

um, you know, animals in hot cars.

Vicki Deisner:

We'd gotten, issues of, well, actually this was actually because my dog got

Vicki Deisner:

kicked off of a restaurant patio, I, we should have called it Dotty's Law.

Vicki Deisner:

But at any rate, um, you know, animals are allowed on restaurant patios now,

Vicki Deisner:

um, there's, you know, animals can be addressed by emergency, um, like med

Vicki Deisner:

techs and that, that are out in an ambulance if an animal's been hurt as

Vicki Deisner:

well as a person on a disaster, um, scene.

Vicki Deisner:

Just so many different laws we have dealt with.

Vicki Deisner:

There's been about 10 that have been passed in Ohio in the last

Vicki Deisner:

10 years that I've been here, and in other states I've worked in.

Vicki Deisner:

We've worked on Ag gag bills, which actually was gonna make it a felony

Vicki Deisner:

for somebody to report felony cruelty.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, you know, document it.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, issues of trying to, uh, change state constitutions and create rights

Vicki Deisner:

to farm and rights to hunt and fish.

Vicki Deisner:

And that sounds innocent enough until you realize that means

Vicki Deisner:

that elevates the rights of those categories of people above others.

Vicki Deisner:

An example would be in Indiana, they did pass.

Vicki Deisner:

Uh, right to farm and what's happened is that if a factory farm moves next to

Vicki Deisner:

someone in a rural community, someone that's been there for years, even though

Vicki Deisner:

you might say the nuisance came to them, they have no right anymore under tort law.

Vicki Deisner:

To sue for that nuisance.

Vicki Deisner:

So they have to tolerate the loss of property value, the loss of clean air

Vicki Deisner:

and clean water around their property.

Vicki Deisner:

The flies and everything.

Vicki Deisner:

The smells.

Vicki Deisner:

And because basically the rights of farmers are above everything else.

Vicki Deisner:

If you look at the rights of hunters and fishermen, you don't

Vicki Deisner:

need fishing license or hunting license cuz you could hunt and fish

Vicki Deisner:

to the point that you exterminate the populations.

Vicki Deisner:

So, you know, those are dangerous things that we have to look at.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, right now we're looking at issues of ODNR is getting ready to

Vicki Deisner:

release a Bobcat management plan.

Vicki Deisner:

Now that's not really management.

Vicki Deisner:

What that basically is, is looking at doing a, a harvest of the

Vicki Deisner:

animals, even though they just got off the state endangered list.

Vicki Deisner:

And, you know, our, our very secretive animals, and a lot of 'em are, you

Vicki Deisner:

know, do get hit at this roadkill.

Vicki Deisner:

But you know, there's a part of the population that wants to trap 'em

Vicki Deisner:

and, you know, sell their skins.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, but what will that do for the whole ecosystem?

Vicki Deisner:

So, you know, issues like that, or I don't know if you've heard of, uh, wildlife

Vicki Deisner:

killing contests, that is something that has escalated in the last five

Vicki Deisner:

to eight years where, , there will be these weekend tournaments for prizes.

Vicki Deisner:

Could be cash, could be other things that, you know, people will go out and

Vicki Deisner:

kill as many, say in Ohio tends to be coyotes, as many animals as you can kill.

Vicki Deisner:

The biggest, the smallest, the prettiest, , you know, whatever.

Vicki Deisner:

And, um, you may kill hundreds of animals in a weekend, but for what?

Vicki Deisner:

It's not for wildlife management, it's for the sake of killing.

Vicki Deisner:

And, you know, certainly these are things that we need to

Vicki Deisner:

address and we need to look at.

Dr. G:

There is a difference between, like, I, I don't hunt, I don't like

Dr. G:

the idea of hunting, but I somewhat understand why some people hunt and

Dr. G:

especially when they hunt for food.

Dr. G:

The idea of somebody killing something for fun or for price, that to me, there,

Dr. G:

there is something wrong with getting an enjoyment out of just killing for fun.

Dr. G:

It.

Dr. G:

You know, it, it's just, I don't know.

Dr. G:

It's just not right and it's not like I was raised to, to think that way

Dr. G:

because I grew up in Puerto Rico.

Dr. G:

Cock fighting was like, it's a normal thing.

Dr. G:

It's part of the culture.

Dr. G:

And I, and still I knew within me that it was not okay.

Dr. G:

I didn't like the, the idea of it.

Dr. G:

Um, so, so yeah, it's, it's kind of sad that we encourage people

Dr. G:

to exterminate wildlife without thinking about their repercussions.

Dr. G:

We start thinking about some of the animals that are taking over and

Dr. G:

we're taking away their predators.

Dr. G:

So we're not, we're not thinking about what our actions are doing to

Dr. G:

our environment and our ecosystem, and then we are looking for solutions

Dr. G:

when we're eliminating our solutions.

Dr. G:

Right.

Vicki Deisner:

That, that was well said.

Vicki Deisner:

Absolutely.

Dr. G:

Yeah.

Dr. G:

Recently we were dealing with the problem of allowing breeders to perform surgeries.

Dr. G:

So that was, uh, kind of disappointing.

Dr. G:

But do you wanna Yes.

Dr. G:

Explain people what, what the, what, what was going on with that?

Dr. G:

Well

Vicki Deisner:

first I'll start by sharing the sad fact that Ohio is

Vicki Deisner:

number two in the nation for being the worst regarding cruelty in puppy

Vicki Deisner:

mills only right behind Missouri.

Vicki Deisner:

And, um, in that we have continued to fight ever since the first puppy mill

Vicki Deisner:

regulation bill was passed for, um, better bills, um, better implementation,

Vicki Deisner:

you might say, of the bill that was on the table, the legislation and,

Vicki Deisner:

um, you know, Ohio Department of Ag is the, um, Yeah, the agency with the

Vicki Deisner:

authority to implement and enforce.

Vicki Deisner:

Now, mind you, uh, even in the first bill, there are penalties for recalcitrant

Vicki Deisner:

breeders and that violate the laws.

Vicki Deisner:

There's the option to take away permits.

Vicki Deisner:

That's never ever happened either penalties or the repeal of a permit.

Vicki Deisner:

But, um, in 2018, a number of, uh, our groups worked together

Vicki Deisner:

to basically improve the first bill that passed in 2013.

Vicki Deisner:

One of the issues that we had problem with in the 2013 bill was that it

Vicki Deisner:

allowed breeders to still do surgery.

Vicki Deisner:

And so that was changed.

Vicki Deisner:

And actually, um, the statement as it read was basically that, in 2018,

Vicki Deisner:

what the rule says is if a surgery or euthanasia procedure is required, use a

Vicki Deisner:

veterinarian to perform the procedure.

Vicki Deisner:

Now, to me sounds pretty clear cut.

Vicki Deisner:

But what has happened is, I mean, first of all, in 2018 that passed.

Vicki Deisner:

The agency had the responsibility to pass rules within the next year.

Vicki Deisner:

They did not pass rules for four years till 2022.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, when they could finally come up with a way you might say, to

Vicki Deisner:

try to figure out how to skirt that and what they claim is that.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, tail docking, which is going, as you will explain, going through

Vicki Deisner:

tissue, going through bone, going through arteries, going through skin.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, it's clear cut surgery, but, um, and it's not light, uh, that basically

Vicki Deisner:

no reason a breeder can't do that.

Vicki Deisner:

No reason they can't pull, dew claws.

Vicki Deisner:

And why, how do they get around what the law says?

Vicki Deisner:

Will they, hang on that word required.

Vicki Deisner:

And they say that that's supposed to be defined as medically required.

Vicki Deisner:

And since those procedures are not medically required, but required by

Vicki Deisner:

the A K C breeding standards that.

Vicki Deisner:

It's not really medically required, so they can still keep doing it because

Vicki Deisner:

the breeders still want to, they wanna save money if animals are hurt, if

Vicki Deisner:

they die, they're expendable to them.

Vicki Deisner:

And , you know, basically what seems very odd is when we originally challenged

Vicki Deisner:

this in April, at JCARR, and I will explain that cuz people go JCARR?

Vicki Deisner:

What's that?

Vicki Deisner:

It's the Joint Commission on Agency Rule Review.

Vicki Deisner:

And in Ohio, since we have a full-time legislature, since most states do

Vicki Deisner:

not, you know, we can give legislators other things to do, including having a

Vicki Deisner:

JCARR panel, a committee of legislators that review every agency rule that's

Vicki Deisner:

proposed and the public has a right

Vicki Deisner:

to challenge those rules if they are in conflict with the law.

Vicki Deisner:

So we indeed did challenge those rules because we feel it is a

Vicki Deisner:

direct conflict with the law.

Vicki Deisner:

And gee, the JCARR staff, all the JCARR legislative members all

Vicki Deisner:

felt it was and told the agency to go back to the drawing board.

Vicki Deisner:

Come December in 2022, we're back because O D A is again

Vicki Deisner:

offering rules and regulations.

Vicki Deisner:

But this time they came up with a new angle.

Vicki Deisner:

They stuck in that they were gonna give the breeders a how-to manual.

Vicki Deisner:

Well, this isn't a toaster.

Vicki Deisner:

It's, it's live animals.

Vicki Deisner:

And indeed, for whatever reason or whatever money was exchanged, you had

Vicki Deisner:

a situation where all of a sudden the staff of JCARR and the legislators

Vicki Deisner:

turned upside down and said, oh, we think there's no conflict with the rule, with

Vicki Deisner:

the law because there's a how-to manual.

Vicki Deisner:

And, um, we would disagree with that.

Vicki Deisner:

And they may have won that battle, but they have not won the war.

Vicki Deisner:

And we need to work on this to improve the lives of the puppies that grow up in

Vicki Deisner:

these puppy mills, and unfortunately, the breeding animals that are left behind.

Vicki Deisner:

One other problem that didn't seem to get as much traction but is just

Vicki Deisner:

as dangerous is the fact that in the new rule, it wasn't there before that

Vicki Deisner:

basically the veterinarians, that their kennels are the clients, the puppy

Vicki Deisner:

mill kennels, always had to see every dog in a kennel once a year, which

Vicki Deisner:

doesn't seem like a lot anyhow, but put together an overall management plan.

Vicki Deisner:

Well, now animals under six months of age are exempted from being seen,

Vicki Deisner:

and they're the animals that are gonna go through these procedures.

Vicki Deisner:

And so this is really disconcerting because they won't be in the records, then

Vicki Deisner:

the discarded animals won't be reported.

Vicki Deisner:

Things are, you might say, um, under the covers.

Vicki Deisner:

. Dr. G: It's kind, it's kind of ridiculous

Vicki Deisner:

things that they are allowed to do are things that if any other person

Vicki Deisner:

was to perform, then we would be able to press charges against them.

Vicki Deisner:

Yes.

Vicki Deisner:

For animal cruelty, because they are doing procedures.

Vicki Deisner:

They're saying that these procedures are required by the A K C, but AKC

Vicki Deisner:

requires that for show animals.

Vicki Deisner:

Well, these animals are not being shown.

Vicki Deisner:

I mean, like, I don't know that people go to a puppy mill to buy a show dog.

Vicki Deisner:

Right.

Vicki Deisner:

If you're gonna.

Vicki Deisner:

If you're going to go through the process of showing a dog, of getting

Vicki Deisner:

a dog of pedigree to breed it, to show it, you're going to go to a reputable

Vicki Deisner:

breeder that has done all the testing, that has done, uh, certification of,

Vicki Deisner:

of hips, eyes, that has evaluated the breed requirements because the whole idea

Vicki Deisner:

of showing and breeding is to have the best of the best of each

Vicki Deisner:

breed, the best representatives.

Vicki Deisner:

We're trying to breed out diseases, breed out defects, and puppy mills

Vicki Deisner:

just do it for the money so they don't care who they're breeding.

Vicki Deisner:

Right?

Vicki Deisner:

I have seen breeders, I have seen puppy mills, breed dogs that are deformed with

Vicki Deisner:

conditions like neospora that causes their knees to not form properly, and they still

Vicki Deisner:

breed those dogs and sell the puppies.

Vicki Deisner:

Uh, and then once the, once the poor dogs that are deformed are done breeding, then

Vicki Deisner:

they just give them to rescues because then sometimes some of the rescues,

Vicki Deisner:

you know, we, we love the rescues and we wanna help the rescues, but

Vicki Deisner:

sometimes the rescues are just helping these people just maintain the cycle.

Vicki Deisner:

They're just, enabling them, by keeping, taking these animals and

Vicki Deisner:

not helping with reporting and.

Vicki Deisner:

From the rescue perspective, I understand their concern because they feel that

Vicki Deisner:

the, the rules and the laws are so weak at times that it, that they feel

Vicki Deisner:

that if they say something, nothing's gonna happen to the breeders because

Vicki Deisner:

as you mentioned, they will come in and they will do their inspections and

Vicki Deisner:

they will maybe get a fine or get a slap on the wrist, but nothing happens.

Vicki Deisner:

They don't get shut down, they don't get their licenses is taken away.

Vicki Deisner:

So then these rescues are put in a hard place because if they say something,

Vicki Deisner:

then they're not gonna be able to save the animals that, that they're able to.

Vicki Deisner:

So it's just a, it's just a really sad and unfortunate situation.

Vicki Deisner:

And the more people

Vicki Deisner:

purchase animals from some of these pet stores, chain pet stores and puppy

Vicki Deisner:

mills and backyard breeders, the more they are allowing this business to to go

Vicki Deisner:

on.

Vicki Deisner:

Well, and there's consumer fraud as you started to put the scenario together.

Vicki Deisner:

What ends up happening is people go into stores like Petland and they

Vicki Deisner:

get shown a dog and they get put in a little space and play with the dog,

Vicki Deisner:

and they fall in love, and then pretty soon they find out the dog is thousands

Vicki Deisner:

of dollars and they can't afford it.

Vicki Deisner:

But, oh, there's a, there's an option here.

Vicki Deisner:

There's a loan you can get, um, and you know, People sign these loans

Vicki Deisner:

that have in some states gone up to 187% interest rate, and then they

Vicki Deisner:

end up with animals sometimes that are so sick that they die in a week.

Vicki Deisner:

They die in a month.

Vicki Deisner:

They die in a year, or they carry on congenital issues or other

Vicki Deisner:

issues throughout their life.

Vicki Deisner:

And people lose these animals.

Vicki Deisner:

They have to pay the medical care, and yet they're paying three more years

Vicki Deisner:

in interest rates and high loan fees.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, on a dead dog.

Vicki Deisner:

It, it's a atrocity.

Dr. G:

And, and it is very clear that places like Petland, they do not care

Dr. G:

about the individual animal because they even have those puppy for life type things

Dr. G:

because they don't, they, they barely pay anything for these dogs that are selling

Dr. G:

thousands and thousands of dollars for.

Dr. G:

So if somebody has a dog that dies or, I've even seen dogs that have been like,

Dr. G:

hit by a car, like something that's not related to the health of that animal.

Dr. G:

And then they just go back and they get another one.

Dr. G:

They're, they're just very indispensable.

Dr. G:

They are, don't really care about the individual animal, and they are preying

Dr. G:

on , on the hearts of people and the emotions of people that are going in.

Dr. G:

Like, how many of those are impulse buys?

Dr. G:

How many people just walk in because they wanna see and play with the animals?

Dr. G:

Or they just stop by for another reason.

Dr. G:

They stop by to buy pet food or to buy a collar for somebody, and they end

Dr. G:

up with a $5,000 bill and a and a dog, and not just the payment for the dog.

Dr. G:

Then it's like, here's a bed and here's the collar and here's food, and here's

Dr. G:

vitamins and things that you don't know be sold to you by somebody that doesn't

Dr. G:

have an education in animal care.

Dr. G:

But that's telling you that this is everything that the animal needs.

Dr. G:

And then let's not even go into the diseases that some of these animals bring

Dr. G:

out that are zoonotic, that people can get

Vicki Deisner:

Campylobacterium.

Dr. G:

Yeah, HSUS uh, a couple of years ago brought us a dog that they

Dr. G:

had gotten from a Petland, and they brought it directly to us and the dog

Dr. G:

had horrible diarrhea and we tested it and it had very resistant Campylobacter,

Dr. G:

and it took months to get rid of it.

Dr. G:

Um, so these are, these are problems that, again, the, as long as people are

Dr. G:

purchasing these animals and just promoting these purchases, then

Dr. G:

the problem is not gonna go away.

Dr. G:

Everything is supply and demand.

Dr. G:

So if the demand goes away, the supply dwindles and we feel bad for the

Dr. G:

animals that are kind of gonna get stuck in the middle in the process.

Dr. G:

But something has to get done because, I mean, has to change it.

Dr. G:

It's just, it's just animal cruelty.

Dr. G:

I'm very passionate about hoarders like looking into hoarders, and one

Dr. G:

of the types of hoarders are the exploiter hoarders, and I just fail

Dr. G:

to find a difference between an exploiter hoarder and a puppy miller.

Dr. G:

I.

Dr. G:

But yet we take exploiter hoarders to jail, or at least give them

Dr. G:

fines and give them probation and make 'em not have animals.

Dr. G:

But then puppy mills, which are exploiter hoarders, get to benefit

Dr. G:

and make profit and everything else.

Dr. G:

So at some point, somebody has to understand the difference and, and

Dr. G:

understand that that is not okay.

Vicki Deisner:

Well, and Dr.

Vicki Deisner:

G as you point out, you know, what's the difference between those two?

Vicki Deisner:

Why is it that if it was outside a puppy mill, absolutely a veterinarian would

Vicki Deisner:

be required to do these procedures we mentioned, but somehow because it's in a

Vicki Deisner:

puppy mill, the vet licensing board let's, the vet let's basically vets off the hook

Vicki Deisner:

that just oversee the breeders doing this.

Vicki Deisner:

It makes no sense.

Vicki Deisner:

It makes no sense for your profession.

Dr. G:

One of the things that I was discussing with, , Dana Pannella

Dr. G:

was the fact that it's animal cruelty and neglect to not follow

Dr. G:

a veterinarian's recommendation.

Dr. G:

So if an animal is suffering, if an animal is not getting proper medical

Dr. G:

care, then that individual, that owner can be charged with animal neglect.

Dr. G:

Animal cruelty, whether it's a misdemeanor or a felony, but they

Dr. G:

can get charged with one of them.

Dr. G:

But, as you mentioned, those rules do not apply to puppy mills.

Dr. G:

And I mean, I, I just, again, I, it's, it's the same, it's the same

Dr. G:

being, it's still a companion animal.

Dr. G:

It's, they're not livestock and all of a sudden, just because they're

Dr. G:

owned by a high volume breeder, they're just considered livestock

Dr. G:

and they're treated as such.

Dr. G:

Uh, and not that livestock should be treated poorly, correct.

Dr. G:

But there are different laws for livestock management and care, and

Dr. G:

different laws for companion animals.

Dr. G:

And all of a sudden it's like everything gets thrown into the mix.

Dr. G:

Like they're just because they belong to, to certain groups, they can be treated as

Vicki Deisner:

livestock.

Vicki Deisner:

Absolutely.

Vicki Deisner:

Well, in fact, O D A says, you know, basically, they see the commercial dog

Vicki Deisner:

breeding audience as basically they are livestock because now they're trying

Vicki Deisner:

to suggest that they're going to go ahead and because they're finding, uh,

Vicki Deisner:

particularly the Amish breeders are never there when they go to do unscheduled

Vicki Deisner:

visits, that they want to start thinking about doing scheduled visits.

Vicki Deisner:

So certainly everybody can clean up their act before they get there, but,

Vicki Deisner:

um, that way, you know, maybe they're looking at trying to save money.

Vicki Deisner:

And instead of having inspectors that are trained to really look at these kennels,

Vicki Deisner:

they're gonna have an inspector that may go look at a slaughterhouse or a dairy

Vicki Deisner:

farm or whatever in an area and, and then, you know, also schedule a commercial

Vicki Deisner:

dog breeding visit, because after all, like ODA A says it's all livestock.

Vicki Deisner:

Yeah.

Vicki Deisner:

That's, that's one

Dr. G:

problem.

Dr. G:

Yeah.

Dr. G:

And that's one of my hopes is that, you know, that's, Again, one of the

Dr. G:

reasons why, why I feel that I wanted to get involved is that I'm not gonna do

Dr. G:

anything from, from inside of a clinic.

Dr. G:

You know, I'm helping animals by doing high volume sterilization, and

Dr. G:

I'm helping control over population.

Dr. G:

And I'm helping control the, the health of the community,

Dr. G:

animals and that kind of stuff.

Dr. G:

But these animals that are kind of ignored and neglected.

Dr. G:

Somebody needs to do something for them, somebody needs to fight for them.

Dr. G:

So I suppose I, I got some fight in me, so it is,

Vicki Deisner:

it's something that I we're so glad to have you.

Vicki Deisner:

We need, we need people who are willing to get up there and advocate

Vicki Deisner:

and, um, you know, look at, look at the cruelty and look past it

Vicki Deisner:

and what we can do to change it.

Vicki Deisner:

Get to the root of it.

Vicki Deisner:

Right, exactly.

Dr. G:

So what are, so what are the overall, the areas of

Dr. G:

work for Ohio Animal advocates?

Dr. G:

Like what are the, the key

Vicki Deisner:

areas of work?

Vicki Deisner:

Um, well, I mean besides, you know, policy work we do, we

Vicki Deisner:

have a number of program areas.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, one of the things is eliminating breed discrimination in Ohio communities

Vicki Deisner:

because we did get rid of that state law and in fact we did some lawsuits

Vicki Deisner:

and, um, in a number of appellate districts we're not even allowed to

Vicki Deisner:

have breed discrimination like in the central Ohio appellate district.

Vicki Deisner:

But, um, you know, there's still some towns and there's still

Vicki Deisner:

landlords that are trying to do that.

Vicki Deisner:

And in particular, Now using it as an excuse for evicting people.

Vicki Deisner:

And part of this ties into also the pet assistance we do

Vicki Deisner:

for homeless and low income.

Vicki Deisner:

And I bring this up cuz this is a big area that's growing in Ohio.

Vicki Deisner:

Unfortunately, it's growing everywhere because post pandemic, finally

Vicki Deisner:

the eviction bans have ended.

Vicki Deisner:

And so for tenants who didn't pay, maybe weren't able to pay, they

Vicki Deisner:

lost their jobs for a long time.

Vicki Deisner:

They can be evicted now.

Vicki Deisner:

And there can be reasons used for because they have, um, animal that

Vicki Deisner:

they consider as breed, , dangerous or just because they have an animal.

Vicki Deisner:

And actually under the Fair Housing Act, you absolutely are allowed

Vicki Deisner:

to bring in a service animal or emotional support animal w long as

Vicki Deisner:

you have the appropriate paperwork.

Vicki Deisner:

And there are situations now where landlords are ignoring them.

Vicki Deisner:

But definitely the issue of challenges of low-income families is growing and

Vicki Deisner:

we wanted to provide assistance in this.

Vicki Deisner:

So one of the things, we have a statewide resource list that actually

Vicki Deisner:

one of the big lists we have is pet food pantries around the state.

Vicki Deisner:

So that will help people in those situations along with where there's low

Vicki Deisner:

cost bay neuter, um, trap neuter release, um, to help with um, C community cats.

Vicki Deisner:

Where to report cruelty, because that can be very confusing in every county.

Vicki Deisner:

Safe havens to get animals out of domestic violence and wildlife.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, rehabers.

Vicki Deisner:

So we provide that.

Vicki Deisner:

We, um, work on issues of, you know, the cross reporting was part of that whole

Vicki Deisner:

issue of family and domestic violence, but we're looking at doing, um, Identifying

Vicki Deisner:

safe haven deserts in Ohio where there is domestic violence shelters, but there's

Vicki Deisner:

no safe havens to take the animal to.

Vicki Deisner:

And that is so critical because, um, both national statistics and

Vicki Deisner:

state statistics show that the majority of women will not leave.

Vicki Deisner:

An abusive situation unless they can get their animal out.

Vicki Deisner:

So we need to have more safe havens, and indeed, there's a lot more

Vicki Deisner:

grants out there, and we're gonna go out and market, um, and try to get

Vicki Deisner:

people applying for those grants.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, we protect wildlife.

Vicki Deisner:

You know, part of the issue I mentioned to you about Bobcats.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, you know, we, we'll fight there regarding the regulations that D N

Vicki Deisner:

R is proposing and also on wildlife, uh, killing contests and other issues.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, we address the cruelty and puppy mills.

Vicki Deisner:

As we've discussed.

Vicki Deisner:

We aid on community cats issues.

Vicki Deisner:

We've been doing community cats summits, uh, for the last several years.

Vicki Deisner:

We've done 'em virtually because of the pandemic and actually been able to

Vicki Deisner:

include regional areas, states around Ohio and on this and just released this

Vicki Deisner:

year a state of the state report that is the most comprehensive list in Ohio

Vicki Deisner:

of all the spay neuter and T N R resources there are identifying where

Vicki Deisner:

those deserts are and actually looking to help get funding for Mobile spay

Vicki Deisner:

and neuter units to, um, actually get into these areas and help out the

Vicki Deisner:

community cats and also pass ordinances in towns about protecting those cats.

Vicki Deisner:

We also, um, want to assure there's adequate shelter for animals, um, that

Vicki Deisner:

are out either in hot weather or cold.

Vicki Deisner:

And indeed, um, we need to look at that because, um, back to the issue of low

Vicki Deisner:

income, sometimes landlords, I mean, if there isn't an option to get an animal

Vicki Deisner:

inside and people need a home, they may need to keep their animal outside.

Vicki Deisner:

So we need to help them with options about how to create that adequate shelter.

Vicki Deisner:

And then lastly, we wanna build.

Vicki Deisner:

Compassionate communities through humane education, which includes alternatives

Vicki Deisner:

to dissection in school, alternatives to animal testing and cosmetics.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, and also, um, education at an elementary school level.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, we've had a number of programs we have run with the librarians

Vicki Deisner:

and school teachers because indeed it has been found that children

Vicki Deisner:

between third grade and sixth grade, their minds are just more able to

Vicki Deisner:

absorb the whole idea of compassion.

Vicki Deisner:

And if you bring stories to them of com learning compassion for

Vicki Deisner:

animals, you actually build.

Vicki Deisner:

You might say an ability for that person to have compassion

Vicki Deisner:

toward their family, toward their neighbors, toward their community.

Vicki Deisner:

And so it really helps build a responsible citizen.

Vicki Deisner:

And one of the things we did create last year was real Ohio tours.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, that actually it was a time when a lot of people wanted to get out

Vicki Deisner:

after, you know, the pandemic was ending and wanted to be somewhere,

Vicki Deisner:

but it was still safer outside.

Vicki Deisner:

And we wanted to get people out.

Vicki Deisner:

To see what animal sanctuaries there are in Ohio that, you know,

Vicki Deisner:

what are people doing in the trenches on the ground to help these

Vicki Deisner:

animals, whether they be companion animals, wildlife, or farm animals.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, it was a hit.

Vicki Deisner:

A lot of people thoroughly enjoyed it.

Vicki Deisner:

Were repeating it this year.

Vicki Deisner:

We shared with you the brochure.

Vicki Deisner:

If there's a way for you to get it to your podcast members, but we

Vicki Deisner:

would say, please just go to OA a's website, Ohio Animal a advocates.org.

Vicki Deisner:

And under Humane education, um, look for the real Ohio tours.

Vicki Deisner:

Look for the brochures.

Vicki Deisner:

We just did one, um, the middle of April to last Chance Corral in Athens.

Vicki Deisner:

That is a wonderful sanctuary that takes in nursing foals.

Vicki Deisner:

Now, what nursing folds is, are unfortunately a byproduct of the racing

Vicki Deisner:

industry where, um, basically the, um, racehorse are bred, um, but they do not

Vicki Deisner:

want the, the mares to nurse those foals.

Vicki Deisner:

So instead they have regular horses have foals that they eventually

Vicki Deisner:

move the racing horse foal to that mare, but then that nurse foal is

Vicki Deisner:

discardable and 90% of them die.

Vicki Deisner:

They're either sent to slaughter, they're left to die because they're

Vicki Deisner:

not fed and they don't get to milk.

Vicki Deisner:

It's a very sad situation, and so last Chance Corral is one of the

Vicki Deisner:

rescues that takes some of the animals in, but most do not make it.

Vicki Deisner:

Yeah, I did

Dr. G:

not know about, I did not know about that whole issue until

Dr. G:

this came, you know, until this happened, this real Ohio tour.

Dr. G:

So it's.

Dr. G:

It's amazing not just being able to go, you know, everybody feels about,

Dr. G:

okay, I wanna go and I wanna pet the, you know, play with the, with the

Dr. G:

foals and everything else, but just the education that goes along with it.

Dr. G:

All of these sanctuaries have a reason for being right, not absolutely just not

Dr. G:

just being kind of a petting zoo of sorts.

Dr. G:

They are actually sanctuaries that are taken in these animals

Dr. G:

because of certain reason.

Dr. G:

So what are the other, uh, Ohio tours that are planned for the rest of

Vicki Deisner:

the year?

Vicki Deisner:

Yes, and we, we invite everyone to come on them and, and please go on and register,

Vicki Deisner:

and register early on the website because sometimes there is capacity

Vicki Deisner:

limit when we go places on June 3rd, we're gonna be going to Homeless to Home

Vicki Deisner:

C at Sanctuary in Marion, and they do a wonderful job of taking in a lot of cats

Vicki Deisner:

that have nowhere else to go, um, on.

Vicki Deisner:

June 24th, we're going to be going to Butternut Wildcat Sanctuary.

Vicki Deisner:

And there's a man there.

Vicki Deisner:

He got our, um, animal Sanctuary Award of the year last year for 40 plus years.

Vicki Deisner:

He's been taken in, uh, Wildcats of all sorts, wolves and, you know, other

Vicki Deisner:

animals that really wouldn't have a place to go And, um, You know, he,

Vicki Deisner:

he's down to some bobcats and um, he knows he kind of needs to maybe.

Vicki Deisner:

Uh, fade out from what he's doing.

Vicki Deisner:

And we didn't want him to fade out without him being acknowledged for

Vicki Deisner:

the wonderful work that he does.

Vicki Deisner:

And it, it's just a wonderful place.

Vicki Deisner:

And his stories are wonderful.

Vicki Deisner:

On, uh, July 15th, we're going to Walking Wild, which, um, is a Fox

Vicki Deisner:

sanctuary and it's actually the largest one in the United States.

Vicki Deisner:

They have over 100 foxes there.

Vicki Deisner:

They actually have some wolf dogs too.

Vicki Deisner:

And I think they've taken in some coyotes last year.

Vicki Deisner:

But indeed, they really do a great job in working with the industry to

Vicki Deisner:

take what animals they will give up sometimes because the fur isn't what's

Vicki Deisner:

wanted or for whatever reasons, but they're getting the animals that

Vicki Deisner:

they can and trying to rehab them and really bringing attention to the issue.

Vicki Deisner:

And in fact, we're gonna be working to see if we can convince the

Vicki Deisner:

Columbus City Council to look at a band an an ordinance on banning

Vicki Deisner:

for sales in the city of Columbus.

Vicki Deisner:

And we'd like to take them out to walking wild to see what's really going on.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, we also then, um, in August we're still looking to schedule, uh, a tour, but

Vicki Deisner:

in September on the 15th, we're going to, uh, sunrise Farm Sanctuary in Marysville,

Vicki Deisner:

which is one of the biggest in Ohio.

Vicki Deisner:

And they have cows and they have draft horses, and they have.

Vicki Deisner:

Pigs and they have goats and they have chickens, and they have

Vicki Deisner:

ducks, and they have geese, and they have dogs, they have cats.

Vicki Deisner:

So they all live together in peace.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, so that says something that is, you know, we could learn from.

Vicki Deisner:

And then in October we're going to Glen Helen's Raptor Center, down in Yellow

Vicki Deisner:

Springs, on the 14th that they have a number of birds that they've taken in.

Vicki Deisner:

They tried to rehab them when they can and, and let them go back out in the wild,

Vicki Deisner:

but when they can't, they have a home.

Vicki Deisner:

We just really encourage everyone to come.

Vicki Deisner:

They're wonderful, wonderful trips.

Dr. G:

We'll be sharing the information and the flyer on our

Dr. G:

website on forensics.vet, that's forensics dot v e t, and on our

Dr. G:

animal welfare Junction Facebook page.

Dr. G:

Um, and then also, how can people support Ohio Animal Advocates?

Vicki Deisner:

Thank you so much for asking.

Vicki Deisner:

I mean, if you go to the o A A website, um, there's a donate button

Vicki Deisner:

right on the homepage, but indeed, um, we are looking at the end of

Vicki Deisner:

June of having our giving week.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, actually, Columbus Foundation helped a number of central Ohio nonprofits

Vicki Deisner:

like do this during the pandemic because funds were down and we've continued as

Vicki Deisner:

well as a number of other organizations.

Vicki Deisner:

And our board has actually put up a match of $4,000 for folks when they give, so

Vicki Deisner:

you can really double your efforts and we will be advertising it on the website.

Vicki Deisner:

And please go in and join.

Vicki Deisner:

Um, and, and we'd love to have you as members.

Vicki Deisner:

We'd love for you to be part of the backbone of this organization that

Vicki Deisner:

helps support getting to the root causes of animal cruelty in Ohio.

Dr. G:

And then for those people that may be listening later in the year,

Dr. G:

giving Tuesday is also going to be an opportunity to, to be raising funds and

Dr. G:

to be supporting the, the organization.

Dr. G:

So Ohio Animal advocates.org visit, share, like, uh, join, it's uh, what's

Dr. G:

the, what's the fee to be a member?

Vicki Deisner:

$25, but if you're a senior or a student, it's $10 , and you can

Vicki Deisner:

also, if you wanted to give in monthly donations, that's an opportunity too.

Vicki Deisner:

But, you can also spread out your donation over time.

Vicki Deisner:

Uh,

Dr. G:

I'm hoping that people that have listened this, this episode have

Dr. G:

learned about the laws and how everything happens as far as animal welfare,

Dr. G:

where we're at, where we need to go, and I hope that some of it has maybe

Dr. G:

sparked something in, in individuals.

Dr. G:

So I really appreciate you taking the time to join us and go over this.

Dr. G:

So, in closing, what can the community do to support animal welfare?

Dr. G:

Uh, you know, what can they do to, to help improve things?

Dr. G:

, Vicki Deisner: You can join OAA, but

Dr. G:

action alerts, look for what we have.

Dr. G:

Um, there's template letters.

Dr. G:

There's an opportunity to basically reach out, find out who your legislator

Dr. G:

is, who your local councilperson is, and send information, advocate

Dr. G:

and be a voice for the voiceless.

Dr. G:

And also in addition, you know, join the real Ohio tours, find out what's

Dr. G:

going on, and you can also volunteer.

Dr. G:

We have many opportunities and many ways to make a difference

Dr. G:

and be part of our team.

Dr. G:

Fantastic.

Dr. G:

So anybody listening, again, Ohio Animal Advocates, please take

Dr. G:

a look at it and share with your friends, because we all love animals

Dr. G:

and we're all into animal welfare.

Dr. G:

So thank you so much, Vicky, for being here today, and thank you, Dr.

Dr. G:

That you're.

Dr. G:

Thank you for everything that you're doing and hope to be doing

Dr. G:

more stuff with you as we go

Vicki Deisner:

forward.

Vicki Deisner:

Absolutely.

Vicki Deisner:

Thank you and have a good evening everyone.

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