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Reps. Brown, Weinstein Introduce Legislation to Strengthen Puppy Mill Inspections

May 14, 2024
Richard D. Brown News

COLUMBUS – State Reps. Richard Brown (D-Canal Winchester) and Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) Monday introduced legislation that revises the law governing high volume dog breeders so that puppy mills are not enabled to continue harmful practices in Ohio. According to the Human Society’s “The Horrible Hundred 2023” report, Ohio was ranked 2nd highest in the nation for “problem puppy mills.”

“Our mission with this legislation is to enact commonsense changes that will prevent animal suffering, improve living conditions, and catch reckless breeders in their tracks,” said Rep. Brown. “While protecting these animals is our top priority, Ohio families deserve to know if they are purchasing a healthy puppy.” 

“Last month, 70 dogs died in a fire at a puppy mill in Morrow County. This is unacceptable and the result of the lax regulations high volume dog breeders have enjoyed for far too long here in Ohio,” said Rep. Weinstein. “This legislation will ensure that the dogs being bred in our state are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

This legislation, if enacted, will do the following:

  • Eliminate the two-day notice employed by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) to high volume dog breeders prior to an inspection and require the ODA to conduct its inspections without notice to the dog breeders. This commonsense change will prevent “problem puppy mills” from being notified so that they can’t hide violations or evade sanctions by the ODA.
  • Require that all surgical or euthanasia procedures are performed by a licensed and qualified veterinarian, including medically necessary surgical procedures and all cosmetic surgical procedures like ear cropping, tail docking, and dew claw removal.
  • Modify the definition of “high volume breeder” so that it includes any establishment that keeps, houses, and maintains six or more breeding dogs and sells adult dogs or puppies to dog brokers, pet stores, or the public. 

The bill now awaits assignment to a committee and first hearing for further consideration.