Archive for the ‘Dog Auctions’ Category

Ohio House Passes Critical Puppy Mill Bill: SB130

Posted on November 15th, 2012

ASPCA encouraged by passage of SB 130,
Requires commercial dog breeding facilities to be licensed, inspected

The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) yesterday applauded the Ohio House of Representatives for passing Senate Bill 130 by a vote of 89-5. This bill is crucial and something that I have talked about multiple times before on the blog, requiring commercial dog breeding facilities to be licensed and inspected for the first time in the state’s history.

The ASPCA had worked to strengthen the bill, recommending that critical provisions which had previously been removed from the bill, be reinstated.

“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.

The ASPCA is not the only group concerned with what is going on here in Ohio, my home state (I live on the lake in Cleveland, about two hours north of Columbus.)

Several other groups have slaved for years on petitions, awareness, etc doing very honorable work to ensure Ohio citizens are aware. And though their work may not specifically be about SB 130, we Ohio animal welfare groups support one another, helping each other to spread each other’s work, “liking” things on Facebook, and writing, Tweeting, and Pinning where ever asked.

The Humane Society of the United States was also applauding Ohio yesterday; they were involved in the passage of this SB130 as well – their heavy lobbying efforts undoubtedly had an effect. They noted in a press release yesterday that Ohio is one of 22 states with no regulation or oversight of commercial high volume breeding kennels.

“S.B. 130 is the product of careful consideration, intense labor and a spirit of cooperation,” said State Rep. Dave Hall, Chairman of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. “Thanks to Senator Hughes, we had a good base. I’m pleased to say that the House Agriculture Committee was able to work with both sides of this issue to clarify and strengthen certain aspects that were critical for its passage. We were able to find that elusive ‘middle ground.’ As someone whose family has taken care of several rescue pets, I can say with confidence that this bill’s passage is a major victory for all Ohio dog lovers.”

Other local groups involved include Columbus Top Dogs, which works on many fundraisers and local issues, the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions, which works tirelessly on banning the awful auctions which purport the puppy mill problem, and the Nitro Foundation, which is currently working assiduously to amend legislation and make a first-time offense of animal cruelty a felony in Ohio. Currently, Ohio is one of only 4 states where a first count of animal cruelty is a misdemeanor. Offenders rarely get more than a measly slap on the wrist, fine and warning for doing things like beating, burning and killing dogs and cats.

If I missed your organization, please share in the comments. But A HUGE CONGRATS goes out from ThoughtsFurPaws to ALL involved in the passing of SB130 in both the Senate and the House finally. A rousing “thank you” also goes out to my legislators – now please listen to us animal welfare advocates on the other issues we’ve been writing and calling about, ie HB 108!

We have been waiting for years as you will see from the old blog posts (search Puppy Mills, or Animal Welfare Ohio SB 130).

I will soon be writing another post on this because many small time breeders and rescues feel this bill is a burden.

Stay tuned to read their perspective…

About the ASPCA®

Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Make Legislators Aware of Ohio Dog Auctions Act: Let’s Learn About & Ban Ohio Dog Auctions… Keep Reading!

Posted on March 9th, 2012
All 99 legislatures in the House of Representative and all 33 Senators should now be aware of the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions. So today, or this weekend, or this week, please take a few moments of your day to remind Senators to support the ban of Ohio Dog Auctions.
The atrocities continue while we wait…

On January 27, more than 118,000 signatures from all 88 Ohio counties were certified by Secretary of State, Jon Husted for the Ohio Dog Auctions Act. The proposed law is now in Ohio General Assembly for passage by May 1 — so the Senators have three months. We still desperately need, however, the ballot initiative to move through the 129th Ohio General Assembly.

Go to the bottom left where it says “Find Your Senator” and fill in your information. You can then send an email to them quite easily. All you have to say is:
“My name is xxxx from xxxx County. I consider you an esteemed public official; and I’m writing with great news!On January 27, more than 118,000 signatures from all 88 Ohio counties were certified by Secretary of State, Jon Husted for the Ohio Dog Auctions Act. The proposed law has now moved to the Ohio General Assembly for passage by May 1.

I am respectfully asking your support in moving this ballot initiative through the 129th Ohio General Assembly.

Thank you for serving as a strong voice for Ohio’s companion animals!

Sincerely,”

And that’s your email.

The Ohio Dog Auctions Act is a measure with many a mission; it will improve the lives of dogs in commercial breeding operations in Ohio; it will make it illegal for anyone to auction or raffle a dog in Ohio; finally, it will prohibit others from bringing dogs into the state for sale or trade that were acquired by auction or raffle elsewhere. These are just a few of the things the 2011 statute requires.

But to give you some more information on dog auctions in Ohio and how they support puppy mills – here are some facts:

* Listed below are the buyers at dog auctions.

Many breeders have websites, sell over the internet or a use a broker.

1. Class A license breeders sell puppies/dogs they breed and raise. Sales tax must be collected if puppies/dogs stay in Ohio. Class A breeders are not required to have a USDA license. They are not regulated.

2. Class B license breeders must hold a USDA license, are exempt from sales tax and cannot sell retail. Sales tax is collected and stays in the state the retail transaction takes place. A kennel cannot hold both an A and B USDA kennel license.

3. Pet shops purchase dogs at Ohio Dog Auctions. Sales tax is collected when the puppy/dog is sold and is considered retail sales. Sales tax stays in the state of the retail transaction. (Check out this I-team investigation about the Buckeye Dog Auction and pet shops buying puppy mill dogs and lying to customers about it…you know who you are pet shops… {see second to last paragraph}).

Hope is From a Puppy Mill

4. Brokers purchase puppies/dogs at Ohio Dog Auctions. Sales tax is collected and stays in the state when the dog is sold. The sale is considered retail.

Please Help Our Cause

5. Commercial kennels that purchase dogs at an Ohio Dog Auction are exempt from sales tax.

Over the past 8 years, approximately half of the 300-400 dogs sold at an Ohio dog auction were from out of state. Many of the recent sales were entirely from out of state commercial breeders.

Infectious diseases, poor breeding standards, non-vetted dogs, lack of DNA testing for genetic defects produce unhealthy puppies/adult dogs which costs the consumers unnecessary veterinarian costs.

Many of these puppies bought in pet shops are taken to our shelters, rescuers or advertised on the internet because the consumer cannot afford the high costs associated with an unhealthy puppy.

If you MUST buy a dog from a breeder, please read here about finding a responsible breeder!

The auctions serve as a major distribution channel for buyers and sellers from 15 states including Ohio Many of these buyers and sellers have a long history of repeated violations of the Animal Welfare Act and/or have been convicted of animal cruelty.

Please support the ban to eliminate Ohio dog auctions.

Dogs are companion animals, not livestock.

Top Ten Most Thorough Tips for Advocating for Area Animals

Posted on December 20th, 2011

*** This is my second official post on the fabulous and fantastic We Are Pet Nation. Please guys, come and check it out: awesome site, no bull**it, real news, funny stories, and lots of great animal welfare updates via, who else… ME?! *** Here goes….

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Animal welfare advocates should pick a passion when it comes to fighting for our favorite four-legged friends… I guess a better way of saying “pick a passion” is, “choose your battles.”

Yes, I mean battles– plural.

Fellow bloggers and I (on right) at BlogPaws, learning to advocate!

One step at a time, you can do it.

Whether you are waging a campaign to overturn BSL, are arguing with Council for stiffer animal cruelty penalties, or are going to a state /national level with a fight like the one I discussed about puppy mill legislation, you have to focus on one thing; it’s imperative to do this first. As much as we want to run out and change all the laws, save all the animals, get every pet “fixed,” and put every cat and dog into a home, we must take small steps if we want to change the world. (And I firmly believe that one person can change the world because I have seen it.)

Call me a believer; call me an optimist. But if you’re going out there to fight the “fat cats” (no pun intended), particularly ones with deep pockets, you should be, too. Otherwise, you may get knocked down the first week… So – hone in on one thing to achieve first. Also – set realistic goals, even if you take baby steps.

And remember – always, always believe in yourself. Do not yield. To anyone. To any statement made against you. To anything. Carry courage in conviction everywhere you go. Now read on and then you’re ready to roll…

To be successful in advocating for animals in your city or area:

  1. Find supporters who are willing to walk the line… find some who are super-intelligent and can talk politics, some who have connections (and, if you’re indeed trying to pass/overturn legislation, find some who are willing to strongly voice opinions to ANY audience). You’ll need volunteers and campaign coordinators willing to stand in the snow carrying signs, getting signature on petitions, and some to “pester” locals by handing out brochures, getting more signatures on petitions, and approaching people who are attending pet shows, conferences, & gatherings or going into pet stores/malls.  (Please see number 4 before completing this.)

To read the other nine tips, and some more great information about animal welfare advocacy and how to achieve success in doing it locally where you live, check out this link.

 

Columbus Top Dogs/BODA Move to Put Dog Auction Ban on Ohio’s 2012 State Ballot

Posted on November 4th, 2011

Ohio has no laws preventing dog auctions. Ohio, according to multiple reports, one from us here, has the third weakest protections for animal welfare of any type in the entire nation…

This HAS to stop. Between dog auctions, puppy mills, and other animal cruelty issues like abuse (i.e. Nitro’s Law), Ohio has been hesitant, to put it mildly, in the Senate at least, to pass any type of animal welfare legislation that stiffens penalties for animal abusers or similar offenders.

Why? No one is quite sure. But what is known is that your help is needed to move along an imperative piece of legislation that could be the starting point of a new outlook by legislators toward animal welfare in Ohio.

Many concerned, fed-up and caring Ohio citizens – from breeders to rescuers to shelter volunteers – firmly believe that dog auctions, which have historic roots in Holmes County, Ohio as well as the central and southcentral parts of the state, serve not reputable breeders but the other kind… those large commercial facilities where dogs are bred to produce as many puppies as possible in conditions ranging from unsanitary to inhumane. In other words, dog auctions are where puppy millers sell and buy their “wares.”

The Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions (BODA) is spearheading a citizen-backed ballot initiative – “The Ohio Dog Auctions Act.”

Click here to download a copy of the Ohio Dog Auctions Act.

The measure (similar in language to Pennsylvania’s Statute 459-603) will establish a statute to the Ohio Dog Law making it illegal for anyone to auction or raffle a dog in Ohio. It also would prohibit bringing dogs into the state for sale or trade that were acquired by auction or raffle elsewhere.

Voters from all over The Buckeye State are communicating with fellow citizens and are well on the way to completing a goal to gain 120,700 (minimum) signatures by Thursday, December 1, 2011 to place a crucial measure on the November 2012 ballot.

WE HAVE ONLY 30 DAYS REMAINING UNTIL DECEMBER 1!

BODA and its supporters need your help to end a major distribution channel that serves puppy mill breeders from 15 states, many of whom have repeated, long standing violations of the Animal Welfare Act (the Federal Law passed in 1966 {and amended several times since}, that provides regulations for research facilities, state and private run shelters and pounds, transportation of animals, and stolen animals) and/or have been convicted of animal cruelty!

Please help the organization, which is the only of its kind in Ohio, reach a critical ‘STRETCH’ GOAL of 140,000 signatures by Dec. 1! (As of October 23, there are over 130,000 signatures from registered voters across 88 counties!) The stretch goal will ensure that any signatures collected that cannot be used for some reason (improper voter registration, etc.) will have “back-ups” that can be counted.

BODA asks that you take a pledge to collect 41 signatures from registered voters (they must be registered voters) – which is ONE completed PETITION. Then, ask three friends to do the same!

Below are the eight (8) counties in which signatures are desperately needed for the 2012 ballot initiative (Ohio Dog Auctions Act) in November.  If you can help, please contact the volunteer team leader listed (below) next to the county!

Wayne (Barbara McK. – barbaramckelvey@roadrunner.com)

Darke (Garri G. – gguecking@yahoo.com

Harrison (Barbara McK. – barbaramckelvey@roadrunner.com)

Delaware (Mary O’C-S. – mshaver_0462@columbustopdogs.com)

Logan (Laurie C-W. – SCraigLWright@netzero.com)

Sandusky (Barbara McK. – barbaramckelvey@roadrunner.com)

Hardin ((Laurie C-W. – SCraigLWright@netzero.com)

Franklin (Mary O’C-S. – mshaver_0462@columbustopdogs.com)

** Volunteer petitioners are needed to make the ballot initiative (Ohio Dog Auctions Act) a reality in Ohio. Remember —the deadline is December 1, 2011! BODA needs participation from as many as possible to make this vital effort a success! **

Click here to download a copy of the Ohio Dog Auctions Act.

♥To receive “Instructions for Collecting Signatures” in support of the Ohio Dog Auctions Act, please email me at thoughtsfurpaws@gmail.com.

♥To receive the AWESOME Campaign Flyer for our ballot initiative (Ohio Dog Auctions Act), please email me at thoughtsfurpaws@gmail.com.

Please send any completed petitions you have to:

Mary O’Connor-Shaver

347 Meadow Ash Dr.

Lewis Center, OH 43035

Amish-Run Mill in Holmes County

Here are some other ways that you can help; these are events in which BODA has petition tables set-up:

1. SIGNATURE GATHERING at GENERAL ELECTION DAY (NOVEMBER 8)!

General Election Day is November 8 – this is a fantastic opportunity to meet and collect signatures from Ohio voters!  Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Volunteer petitioners are permitted to set-up booths 150 feet from precinct polling places as measured from all parts of the building containing the voting place. ** If you are interested in collecting signatures at a nearby precinct on General Election Day, please contact Mary at info@banohiodogauctions.com **

2. OHIO VOTERS AGAINST PUPPY MILLS AND DOG AUCTIONS!

We invite you to join the over 2,000 voices who have become members of our Facebook group, Ohio Voters against Puppy Mills and Dog Auctions. Membership is FREE, and this portal serves as a great vehicle where you can receive timely updates on issues and campaigns addressing Ohio dog auctions, puppy mills and the entities that support and keep them in business.

 

ACTION NEEDED! For more information on how you can become a member, please click here.

To find your state legislators, click here.

Below, please read to see what has happened over the last month to move this campaign forward:

1. CIRCLEVILLE PUMPKIN SHOW (OCTOBER 19-22) 

BODA would like to offer a HUGE thanks to an incredible team of 14 volunteers (Susan D., Barbara McK., Jody B., Diane K., Sandy S., Signe S., Jeanie McD., Zaron V., Linda S., Marilyn T., Jon G., Helene G., Barbara S. and Jack McM.) who did an amazing job collecting signatures from registered voters in 32 different counties! No doubt, your efforts are imperative to the success of this campaign and words cannot convey enough gratitude…

A SPECIAL thanks to members of the Pickaway County Farm Bureau and Pickaway County Visitor’s Bureau, who also did an amazing job helping to promote the 2012 ballot initiative during the Show!

2. PEACEFUL RALLY!

HUGE thanks to the 17 supporters from six counties who served as a strong voice for the dogs during the October 8 “Peaceful Rally against Ohio Dog Auctions and Puppy Mills” in Millersburg, OH!

A special thanks to Rachel Lauren of Rachel Lauren Photography who did a fantastic job capturing the essence of our event!  For a look at Rachel’s portfolio, please click here.

Finally, BODA’s founder and, to many, a walking miracle and angel to animals, Mary O’Connor Shaver, is pleased to announce that both the Ohio Secretary of State’s minimum required signature goal and the ‘stretch’ goal for Holmes County!  This is an incredible milestone in the campaign, given that Holmes County, as referenced above, serves as ‘ground zero’ for puppy mill breeding in Ohio!

Mary would also like to thank everyone who serves as a strong voice for the animals!

For more information, please visit:

http://www.ColumbusTopDogs.com or http://www.BanOhioDogAuctions.com

 

 

UPDATE: Ohio Governor Kasich Signs Exotic Pets Bill; Too Little, Too Late?

Posted on October 24th, 2011

On Friday, October 21st, after much prodding from not only animal welfare/animal rights groups, but from his own constituents, supporters and non-supporters, Ohio’s much contested Governor John Kasich signed an Exotic Pets Bill into law.

This was only days after the Zanesville, Ohio massacre (which made national news) of almost 60 wild animals, including rare big cats, bears, monkeys, and more.

Is it too late?

I say yes.

** Previous Governor Ted Strickland noted in an article that he had created legislation for the ban, but was quick to note that the new Governor had let it slide — not uncommon in Ohio, which ranks near last in the US for animal protection/animal welfare laws and legislation. **

Want to see the REAL track record of ALL of Ohio’s lawmakers in helping animals?

Check out this video from the amazing folks at Nitro’s Law… (grab a BOX of Kleenex first)

Parts of the new law are explained here:

ALL EXISTING NATIVE WILD ANIMAL PERMITS WILL BE REVIEWED: The Ohio Department of Natural Resources regulates ownership of dangerous wild animals native to Ohio. ODNR will review existing permits to ensure proper compliance and perform onsite inspections to the fullest extent possible with existing resources, and additional resource needs will be identified for future enforcement efforts.

WILD ANIMAL AUCTIONS WILL BE RESTRICTED AND ANY UNLICENSED AUCTIONS WILL BE SHUT DOWN: The Ohio Department of Agriculture will use its existing authority to regulate auctions to pursue agreements with auction houses that trade in dangerous wild animals to impose a temporary moratorium on their sale. Additionally, the Department will work with the US Department of Agriculture, local law enforcement, veterinarians and humane societies to enforce existing laws and to identify and shut down unlicensed auctions.

OHIO WILL WORK WITH ZOOS TO IDENTIFY SAFE PLACES TO KEEP CONFISCATED OR IMPOUNDED DANGEROUS WILD ANIMALS: A safe and appropriate location to house confiscated or impounded dangerous wild animals is essential to enforcing existing animal cruelty and public health laws, as well as future Ohio laws regulating these animals. Ohio will work with zoos to identify their ability to accept animals that are confiscated or impounded and help meet their needs.

NEW LEGAL POWERS WILL BE PROPOSED BY NOVEMBER 30: A task force including representatives of the Humane Society of the United States, county prosecutors, and veterinarians—led by the Department of Natural Resources—has been crafting a new legal framework for the General Assembly’s consideration that would give Ohio the authority to regulate dangerous wild animals. That task force will complete its work and submit its report by November 30.

OHIO WILL WORK WITH LOCAL AUTHORITIES TO IDENTIFY THE LOCATION OF POTENTIAL PROBLEMS: Ohio will establish toll-free hotline and website and work with local law enforcement agencies, veterinarians, county humane societies, and other stakeholders to identify potential problem locations where dangerous wild animals are kept so that the appropriate authorities can ensure all existing laws and regulations are being followed and enforced.

A COPY OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER CAN BE VIEWED HERE: http://governor.ohio.gov/Portals/0/pdf/executiveOrders/EO%202011-24K.pdf

I personally called the Governor’s office to voice my opinion (Ohio’s legislators are on my speed-dial I swear…) last Thursday and was told a solution was being “worked up.”

But while I had a secretary or office drone on the line, I did pose the question: “will this make the Governor more aware and hence, more apt to voice his support to law-makers on OTHER CRUCIAL pieces of animal welfare legislation for Ohio, i.e. Nitro’s Law (HB 108)?”

The worker bee replied with, “with who’s Law?”

THESE PEOPLE ARE UN- f-in-BELIEVABLE.

It took EVERY SINGLE OUNCE OF SANITY AND GRACE I have to not jump through the phone and strangle this person. Instead, I politely explained Nitro’s Law and was told that the Governor does support the passage of important laws to protect animals, but needs to “focus on unemployment and bringing jobs to Ohio right now.” Also, he “does not have the power necessary to PASS the actual law.” Is this guy a first-year intern or what??

This guy is so fired.

I quickly wrote up and fired off a personal letter — NOT an email — to the Governor. Please email me if you would like to follow suit. I will email you the Word document.

So what do you think? Are Ohio’s politicians playing ostrich when it comes to passing important animal welfare legistation?

Not only on Nitro’s Law, but a Puppy Mill Bill, Ban on Dog Auctions, etc?

I mean, Nitro’s has been around for three years, and a puppy mill bill has been in the works for even longer…

Why can’t they get it done? Is it laziness? Do they not care? Do they not have time? Do not enough Ohioans care? Do we need to throw money at the problem via a lobbyist or something?

Or do they simply not hear from US – their supporters – enough?