Animal rights advocates raise awareness for Ohio Senate Bill that criminalizes bestiality

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Animal rights supporters protested in Warren Thursday to raise awareness to the fact that the state of Ohio has no law against a person having sex with animals.

The group’s demonstration coincided with a court appearance of Salvador Rendon, 61, of Warren, who is charged with animal cruelty after police say he committed sexual acts with two dogs over a period of six years.

Rendon was arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in front of Warren Municipal Court Judge Thomas Gysegem. The demonstration took place at the Warren Muncipal Building, before and during Rendon’s court appearance.

Ohio does not have a specific law banning human-animal intercourse. Ohio Senator Jim Hughes, R-Columbus, wants to change that by putting a specific law on the books banning bestiality in the state.

Senate Bill 195 is currently pending approval in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. The bill, in part, would prohibit a person from engaging in sexual conduct with an animal and related acts, to provide for the seizure and impoundment of an animal that is the subject of a violation, and to authorize a sentencing court to require an offender to undergo psychological evaluation or counseling.

ASPCA Bestiality April 2014
ASPCA Bestiality April 2014

According to SB 195 testimony, Ohio remains one of only 11 states that does not have an anti-bestiality law. Several other states who previously were without such a law have recently taken affirmative measures to address the issue.

“Not too many people know that it is legal to have sex with animals. It’s bestiality. It does run rampant in Ohio,” said Beverly Spicer, who organized Thursday’s rally.

In addition to raising public awareness, the group trying to change the law.

“It’s important that as citizens of Ohio, that we pass Senate Bill 195 to ban bestiality and make it a felony or misdemeanor,” said Linda Hernandez, of Solon.

On Thursday, a $1,500 bond was set in the case, and Rendon was ordered to electronically monitored house arrest. He was ordered to have no contact with the home where the animals are housed.

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