Romeo has become quite a celebrity of sorts in the state capital. He's come to two rallies in support of a law's that's named after him.
But last year, the lab was the subject of a severe beating at the hands of his owner. That man was charged with a misdemeanor and sentenced to 4 months in jail. Now...supporters say if Kentucky had a tougher animal abuse law...offenders would serve more time in prison.
“Kentucky seems to be far behind the other states. I think Kentucky endorses cruelty to animals.We hope to get this law passed,” says Betsy Scott of Frankfort.
Romeo's law would change dog or cat torture to a felony on first offense which means one to 5 years in prison for offenders. The bill sailed through the Senate and cleared two committees. It has not been called for a vote in the full house.
“I don't understand the opposition to the bill. Seems like a no brainer. Several editorials are in support of it. They say it makes senses,” says Pam Rogers of the Kentucky District of the Humane Society of the United States.
Romeo's law has made it to the House Orders of the Day several times. .But each time, it has not been called up for a vote.
Some say they worry about cost to corrections. Others say politics is keeping it from being heard. And some question if it's even needed.
“I think under existing law, you can get a felony on the second time you're caught. The debate is on whether that should be a felony,” says Rep. Rob Wilkey,D-Scottsville.