Animal advocate, dog trainer and author Nikki Moustaki has promised to eat dog food for one meal every day in an effort to gain awareness for and the passage of an anti-animal cruelty bill called Nitro's Law.
The Ohio-based law, formerly known as House Bill 70, would increase the penalty to a fifth degree felony for egregious acts of animal cruelty by the animal's caretaker, punishable by a year in jail per count. The bill is named after Nitro, a Rottweiler who was left in the care of High Caliber K-9 boarding kennel in October 2008. His human family came back to find seven dead and 12 starving dogs at the facility. The facility owner, Steve Croley, was sentenced to four months in jail and a fine after four misdemeanor charges were pursued. He also had his American Kennel Club privileges revoked for 10 years, and the AKC fined him $2,000.
"This isn't just a local issue, it's a national issue," said Moustaki. "This didn't happen in my home state, but as someone who speaks up for animals, I consider them all in my backyard. Animals don't vote, but their owners do. If this can happen in Ohio, it can happen anywhere, and it's important for people to be aware of the laws in their state."
Moustaki said she hopes to get pet lovers from all 50 states involved in her campaign, which includes eating on-camera and posting the videos on YouTube. "Ideally, other dog owners will join in on this with me," said Moustaki. "If we can create a movement, no matter how 'doggone crazy' eating dog food might seem, we might be able to make a positive change."