Coalition to Ban
Ohio's Proposal to Regulate Puppy Mills and Dog Auctions
With hundreds of kennel registrations in Ohio, there is great disparity in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) licensing and inspecting the appropriate number of kennels. Laws are on the books to provide minimum-care standards for animals, but enforcement has historically been spotty at best.
The state of Ohio has seven USDA-APHIS inspectors, which include Vet Medical Officers, Animal Care Inspectors and one Compliance Specialist. Enforcement of the AWA is handled by Investigative and Enforcement Services (IES). But puppy mills can successfully navigate around these laws, either by selling directly to consumers (thereby avoiding USDA licensing requirements) or by simply avoiding the reach of law enforcement - with so few USDA inspectors and minor fines, it's easy to stay in business.
A 2013 report issued by the USDA has confirmed Ohio ranks fifth among the top 10 states with the largest number of USDA licensed commercial dog breeders ('Class A') and dealers ('Class B'):
1. MO - 678 (ranked 1st in 2012)
6. AR - 146 (ranked 5th in 2012)7. IN - 129 (ranked 7th in 2012)
8. NE - 74 (ranked 9th in 2012)
9. SD - 62 (NEW! Not ranked among top 10 states in 2012)
10. TX - 58 (ranked 10th in 2012)
*To view copies of USDA Animal Welfare Inspection Reports, click here.
*To view copies of USDA Animal Care Enforcement Actions (Complaints, Decision and Orders, Official Warnings and Stipulations), click here.
High volume dog breeders and dog retailers will be required to obtain a license from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Applications for licensure must be received by the department no later than June 13, 2013.
Animal rescues for dogs will be required to register their establishment with the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
The department will maintain a database of all persons registered to operate an animal rescue for dogs in Ohio.
A. HIGH VOLUME DOG BREEDERS
High volume breeder means any establishment that keeps, houses, and maintains adult breeding dogs that produce at least nine litters of puppies in any given calendar year and sells 60 or more adult dogs or puppies per calendar year.
The law generally prohibits a person from operating as a high volume breeder in Ohio without a license issued by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA).
Anyone issued a license to operate as a high-volume dog breeder must adhere to standards of care developed and enforced by ODA and submit to regular (at least annual) inspections.
Veterinary care must be provided through an established veterinary-client-patient relationship.
Application fees for a high volume breeder license:
1. $150 sells 9 to 15 litters
Liability insurance or surety bond requirement:
1. $5,000 for keeping, housing and maintaining not more than 25 adult dogs
B. DOG RETAILERS
Dog retailer means a person who buys, sells, or offers to sell dogs at wholesale for resale to another or who sells or gives one or more dogs to a pet store annually.
The law generally prohibits a person from acting as a dog retailer in Ohio without a dog retailer license issued by ODA.
Anyone issued a license to operate as a dog retailer must adhere to requirements and procedures developed and enforced by ODA and submit to inspections as deemed necessary.
The application fee for a dog retailer license is $500 regardless of the number of dogs kept or sold.
C. ANIMAL RESCUE FOR DOGS
Animal rescue for dogs means any individual or organization recognized by ODA that keeps, houses, and maintains dogs and that is dedicated to the welfare, health, safety, and protection of dogs.
An animal rescue for dogs will not be recognized by ODA if the individual or organization operates for profit, sells dogs for a profit (see next bullet), breeds dogs, or purchases more than nine dogs in any given calendar year unless the dogs are purchased from a dog warden, a humane society, or another animal rescue for dogs.
An animal rescue for dogs may offer spayed or neutered dogs for adoption and charge reasonable adoption fees to cover the costs such as costs related to spaying or neutering dogs.
To be recognized as an animal rescue for dogs, an individual or organization must register the rescue with ODA.
1. An animal rescue for dogs is not required to adhere to care and caging standards.
D. EXEMPTIONS (From Registration and Licensing Requirements)
1. Medical kennels for dogs
More information will be provided and posted to the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) website as it becomes available.
USDA-APHIS and the Animal Welfare Act
For more information on USDA minimum requirements, Animal Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) and the Animal Welfare Act regulations, read the article, "The USDA and Puppy Mills" published by Best Friends Animal Society.
On February 28, 2011, U.S. Representative Jim Gerlach (R-PA6) introduced the Puppy Uniform Protection Safety (PUPS) Act (H.R. 835). Representatives Lois Capps (D-CA23), Sam Farr (D-CA17) and Bill Young (R-FL10) are co-sponsors.