Senator Antonio Shares Resources For Pet Owners

Senator Antonio (right) and President of the Cleveland Animal Protective League Sharon Harvey (left) visiting with an APL resident. Photo credit: Mike Petcher, APL Volunteer Photographer

On August 18th, I had the opportunity to attend the ribbon-cutting and tour of the Cleveland Animal Protective League’s new, fully-renovated animal care and resource center in Tremont.

During the tour, I learned how the expansion would allow more pet owners around Cuyahoga County who cannot afford regular veterinary care to receive care for their pets instead of having to surrender them, so animals can stay with the people they love.

Sadly, the Covid-19 pandemic, economic instability, lack of pet-friendly housing options and rising costs have led to an increase in animal surrenders both in our state and nationwide. For pet owners in these situations, many shelters offer diversion programs where they can receive free or subsidized pet food and veterinary care, or where pets can be boarded for short amounts of time to prevent permanent surrenders.

Many organizations across Cuyahoga County offer pet food pantries, low-cost animal wellness clinics and surrender diversion programs. If you or someone you know is in need of resources, do not hesitate to contact my office at 614-466-5123 or, and we will help connect you. Pets are a part of our families, and families must always come first.

Nickie Antonio

State Senator Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) is honored to be serving in the Ohio Senate, representing District 23, and in leadership as the Assistant Minority Leader. Antonio, who was elected to the Senate in 2018, previously spent eight years in the Ohio House of Representatives, where she served District 13 and was also a member of leadership. Antonio has served as a Lakewood City Councilmember, Executive Director of an outpatient drug and alcohol treatment program for women, Adjunct Professor and as a teacher for children with special needs.

Antonio serves as Highest Ranking Member on the Senate Health, Transportation, and Joint Medicaid Oversight Committees. She also serves on the Finance; Ways and Means; Workforce and Higher Education; Rules and Reference; and Joint Legislative Ethics Committees. Additionally, she is a member of the Ohio House Democratic Women's Caucus, previously as chair, and is the State Director for the National Women Legislators’ Lobby.

She has been a dedicated champion of workers’ rights, high-quality education, local governments, equal rights for women and the LGBT community, health care for all and fighting the opioid crisis.

Antonio is recognized as a leader who reaches across the aisle to get things done. As a result, she championed Ohio’s historic adoption open records law (S.B. 23/H.B. 61) and step therapy reform law (S.B. 265/H.B. 72). Last General Assembly, Antonio passed legislation to abolish the shackling of pregnant inmates (S.B. 18/H.B. 1) and to require pharmacist education for dispensing life-saving naloxone (S.B. 59/H.B. 341). During her tenure in the Ohio legislature, Antonio has introduced the Ohio Fairness Act, which would provide civil rights protections for members of the LGBTQ community. She continues to work to remedy and end Ohio’s use of the death penalty, as well as on an array of other bills focused on improving the lives of all Ohioans. Antonio continues to be an established expert in health policy in the General Assembly. 

The first in her family to graduate from college, she holds both an MPA and a B.S. Ed. from Cleveland State University, and she was named a CSU Distinguished Alumni in 2013. She is also an alumnus and Bohnett Fellow of the Kennedy School Harvard Leadership Program (2011) and has been the recipient of numerous awards as legislator of the year from various organizations during her tenure.

Her daughters, Ariel and Stacey, have made Antonio and her wife, Jean Kosmac, very proud as the girls engage in their adult life journeys.

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Volume 14, Issue 10, Posted 8:04 AM, 10.01.2022