“The Ohio General Assembly has been considering various puppy mill bills for over six years,” said Vicki Deisner, state director of ASPCA Government Relations for the Midwest region. “Ohio has taken a critical step today by regulating commercial breeders, which will improve the living conditions of breeding dogs destined to spend their whole lives in these barren, commercial breeding facilities.”
Sponsored by Senator Jim Hughes (R-Columbus), SB 130 unanimously passed in the Ohio Senate last February. While the Senate version of the bill contained many strong provisions, the current version has been stripped of several of the vital requirements that would most improve the lives of Ohio's puppy mill dogs. The ASPCA had recommended to the Ohio House Agriculture and Natural Resource Committee that every breeding dog receive a hands-on veterinary exam once a year, and that facility inspections be performed by state-level inspectors only.
“In order to ensure that all breeding dogs are healthy and safe, each dog should be examined by a veterinarian at least once a year,” said Cori Menkin, senior director of the ASPCA Puppy Mills Campaign. “In its current form, SB 130 does not require this, but the legislation is still a step in the right direction. We look forward to eventually working with the Ohio Department of Agriculture to ensure more humane standards of care are instituted.”
Ohio has become a haven for puppy mill operators, which is why in addition to its legislative work, the ASPCA has focused part of its national “No Pet Store Puppies” campaign on the Columbus area. The campaign aims to reduce the demand for puppy mill puppies by urging consumers to pledge not to buy any items—including food, supplies or toys—from stores or websites that sell puppies. Last year, a poll conducted by Lake Research Partners revealed that while 86 percent of Columbus area residents would not purchase puppies if they knew they came from puppy mills, 74 percent of Columbus area residents are unaware that most puppies sold in pet stores come from them. The ASPCA believes that convincing consumers not to shop for anything, including puppies, at pet stores that sell puppies is a necessary part of stopping the demand for puppy mill dogs. To learn more about the ASPCA’s efforts to eradicate puppy mills, please visit www.NoPetStorePuppies.com.