Dog Rescuers will be Regulated Under New Ohio Puppy Mill Law

| by Phyllis M Daugherty

Animal rescuers--whether groups or individuals--will be subject to regulations statewide under the new dog-breeder/puppy-mill law (Sub SB 130), which was signed by Ohio Governor John Kasich on December 11.

“This is a great disappointment,” reports The Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions (CBODA). The new law becomes effective in 90 days from the date signed. 

A quote by Ervin Raber, a USDS-licensed breeder and cofounder of the Buckeye Dog Auction, clearly signals that Sub SB 130, as amended, also will not assure the improvements in the lives of puppy-mill dogs as intended by humane advocates.  Mr. Raber states, "We got what we wanted, dogs are now under agriculture. I can live with this law because it will allow me to stay in business." 

The CBODA Alert provides this advisory:  “Mr. Raber was cited in a May 23, 2011 USDA inspection report for removal of 93 dogs from his kennel due to an outbreak of brucellosis infection, a potentially devastating zoonotic disease which can be transferred to humans. All dogs were “put down” by a licensed veterinarian.”

Mary Shaver of adds that the Coalition continues to receive many concerns regarding the passage of this new law, in particular language under Sec. 956.10 (3) (E), which permits (upon receiving a complaint) an inspection of an animal rescue for dogs by the Ohio Department of Agriculture Director or the Director’s authorized representative. 

The Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auction has invited everyone to visit their Face Book page for updates on issues and campaigns addressing Ohio dog auctions, puppy mills and the entities that support and keep them in business. 

Here are the pertinent sections of Sub SB 130 for rescuers.  The entire bill can be viewed at the link below.

Sec. 956.01. As used in this chapter:

(A) "Adult dog" means a dog that is twelve months of age or older.

(B) "Animal rescue for dogs" means an individual or organization recognized by the director of agriculture that keeps, houses, and maintains dogs and that is dedicated to the welfare, health, safety, and protection of dogs, provided that the individual or organization does not operate for profit, does not sell dogs for a profit, does not breed dogs, and does not purchase more than nine dogs in any given calendar year unless the dogs are purchased from a dog warden appointed under Chapter 955. of the Revised Code, a humane society, or another animal rescue for dogs. "Animal rescue for dogs" includes an individual or organization that offers spayed or neutered dogs for adoption and charges reasonable adoption fees to cover the costs of the individual or organization, including, but not limited to, costs related to spaying or neutering dogs.

Sec. 956.10.

(B) The director or the director's authorized representative may do any of the following:

 (3) Upon receiving a complaint, inspect an animal rescue for dogs to ensure compliance with section 956.06 of the Revised Code and applicable rules adopted under section 956.03 of the Revised Code;

(4) Conduct an inspection under this section during regular business hours without providing notice in advance.

(C) Inspections shall be conducted in accordance with rules adopted under section 956.03 of the Revised Code. A record of each inspection shall be made by the director or the director's authorized representative who is responsible for the inspection in accordance with those rules.

(D) The director or the director's authorized representative, upon proper identification and upon stating the purpose and necessity of an inspection, may enter at reasonable times on any public or private property, real or personal, to inspect or investigate and to examine or copy records in order to determine compliance with this chapter and rules adopted under it. The director, the director's authorized representative, or the attorney general upon the request of the director may apply to the appropriate court in the county in which inspection will occur for an appropriate court order or search warrant as necessary to achieve the purposes of this chapter and rules adopted under it.

Click here to view Sub SB 130 as passed by the House and Senate.  


Mary O'Connor-Shaver
Columbus Top Dogs