Humane Society to host roundtable discussion

First Posted: 3/28/2014

LIMA — While many think of the Humane Society of Allen County as mainly a place to go to adopt a new family pet, the nonprofit organization also advocates strongly against animal cruelty and abuse. To that end, the society will host a legal seminar and roundtable discussion from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday on responding to animal cruelty and learning the legal process involved in prosecuting offenders.

Presented by Ohio Voters for Companion Animals, or OVCA, the seminar, titled “Prosecuting Animal Abuse in Ohio: Recognizing Animal Cruelty and Knowing What to Do About It,” will begin at 10 a.m. with a discussion on recognizing animal cruelty. Three topics that will be included in the discussion are clarifying the definition of animal cruelty under Ohio law, how animals are used as evidence during investigations and the importance of connecting with law enforcement.

After an hour lunch, catered by Milano’s Cafe, the second half of the seminar will focus on courtroom proceedings for prosecuting animal abusers. Included in the discussion will be how prosecutors build their cases against offenders and how animal advocates can have a significant impact on the process.

The roundtable will be made up of Steffen Evan Baldwin, director of Animal Cruelty Task Force Ohio, John Bell, legal counsel for the Ohio Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Stephanie Gonzalez and Christine Shepard, co-founders of Rescue Me Ohio, Julie Shellhammer, Allen County Dog Warden and Nicole M. Smith, assistant prosectuor of Lima Municipal Court.

The public is invited to register for seating at the seminar. The fee is $40 and that includes both lunch and a program booklet. To register, visit the Events page at

Representatives from the Humane Society could not be reached for comment.

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