On Ohio man was was accused of having intercourse with two dogs, but bestiality was not a crime in the state, so authorities were limited to charging him with animal cruelty, a misdemeanor. The case prompted the city of Warren to pass Ohio’s first local bestiality ban, and a statewide anti-bestiality law is effective this month, reports the Associated Press. Eight states and the District of Columbia lack anti-bestiality laws. Some states inadvertently lifted prohibitions on human-animal sex when they were updating their laws to remove sodomy as a crime. The Humane Society of the United States led the lobbying effort to outlaw bestiality, but a much larger coalition, including domestic violence shelters, conservative Christians, law enforcers and psychologists, got behind the Ohio law.
“We were able to explain that this is not just an animal issue,” said Corey Roscoe, the society’s Ohio director. “This did have ramifications for human violence. Sexually deviant acts are a red flag to other acts of sexual violence.” Since 2005, arrests for animal sex abuse and exploitation in the U.S. have risen dramatically. The number of arrests in 2014 was more than double the total number of arrests in the 30 years between 1970 and 2000. The rise has been driven by the internet. Online forums behind firewalls allow like-minded people to communicate and share animals for breeding and sexual experiences. The FBI singled out animal cruelty offenses in its national crime statistics for the first time last year, in an effort to begin to quantify the problem.