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Ohio Dog Auctions: Distribution Channel for Puppy-Mill Cruelty

On December 22, 2011, the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions announced that 940 passionate and tireless volunteer Petition Circulators raised voters’ awareness of the Ohio Dog Auctions Act (initiated statute) and collected 154,082 signatures from across all 88 Ohio counties.

“The opposition (stakeholders who profit from Ohio dog auctions and puppy mill breeding) are betting that we (as a humane community) will become discouraged and defeated by the obstacles to meeting our goal.

“The Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions remains steadfast in its commitment to send a strong message to state legislators that dog auctions serve as a major distribution channel for buyers and sellers from 15 states, many of whom have long standing repeated violations of the Animal Welfare Act and/or have been convicted of animal cruelty.” – Committee for the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions

The Coalition reminds us of the cruel existence of puppy-mill dogs and the emotional driving force generated by such candid and heart-wrenching admissions as that of a breeder (who asked not to be identified) in a 2006 interview with Channel 4 Action News regarding dogs placed on consignment at Ohio dog auctions: 

"There was one puppy in the auction when they said all of her pups died. Is that common?" Ingram asked. "Yes. It's very common," the breeder said. "They're fearful, and a lot of times, they will eat their babies. It's very common."

“As Ohio voters and taxpayers, we are committed to supporting a 2012 ballot initiative to ban these events from our community,” declares Mary O’Connor-Shaver of Columbus Top Dogs.

The Coalition motto is: "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal." (Henry Ford)

A suggested motto for all of us:  No companion animal in human care should feel so threatened and fearful for the future of its offspring that it eats them as its only way to protect them from suffering.


Support for this ballot initiative has often come from unexpected sources, as allies stepped forward in local media, Ohio Farm Bureau members, dog fanciers, civic leaders and elected officials and helped volunteers coordinate over 250 signature gathering events.

Here’s the endorsement and support from noted author and lecturer, Dr. Nancy Kay, DVM, selected as 2011 Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year. Click here to read Dr. Kay’s article, Spot Speaks, Dog Auctions

Dr. Kay takes us directly into the dog auction in words and photos that lend stark reality to the tragedy that compels Mary O’Connor-Shaver and the Coalition, as she writes:

“In case you are unfamiliar with dog auctions let me fill you in.  Envision rooms filled floor to ceiling with crates and cages, each housing dogs whose sole purpose in life is to make puppies…There are purebreds of multiple varieties although some might not be recognizable as such given their lack of health care and horrifically overgrown hair coats…One would think these rooms filled with dogs would be chaotic and noisy.  In fact the quiet is eerie; these are dogs with broken spirits- too scared to vocally protest and too disassociated from their miserable existences to invite attention from the humans peering into their cages…The dogs bringing the highest prices will be those with proven fertility records; already pregnant bitches are highly valued.”

Here’s important coverage of the 2011 Ohio Companion Animal Lobby Day. Click here to read the NBC4i news article, Animal Advocates Lobby Bills Against Animal Cruelty


Out of the total 154,082 signatures collected from registered Ohio voters, a minimum of 115,570 signatures (67%) must certified by the Secretary of State (expected by January 6.)

Once the requisite signatures are certified, the Ohio Dog Auctions Act will be presented to the Ohio General Assembly in 2012. Once introduced, Senators and State Representatives have four months to act on the proposed law.

If the Ohio General Assembly fails to pass the Ohio Dog Auctions Act, “CBODA will move forward with plans to present the initiated statute to voters during the November General Election,” declares Mary O’Connor-Shaver.

If you want to add your voice and stay informed with timely updates on issues and campaigns addressing Ohio dog auctions, the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions invites new members to the Ohio Voters Against Puppy Mills and Dog Auctions group on Facebook. For more information, click here.



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