Posts Tagged ‘ohio animal welfare’

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.


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. –

Darke (Garri G. –

Harrison (Barbara McK. –

Delaware (Mary O’C-S. –

Logan (Laurie C-W. –

Sandusky (Barbara McK. –

Hardin ((Laurie C-W. –

Franklin (Mary O’C-S. –

** 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

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

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:


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 **


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:


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!


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: or



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.


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?”


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?



Advocate for an Exotic Animal Ban in Ohio: Tell Kasich to Sign the Law

Posted on October 19th, 2011

How many incidents must we catalogue before OHIO legislators take action to crack down on private ownership of dangerous exotic animals?

Since 2003, the Humane Society of the United States has documented 22 incidents in Ohio.

Urge Gov. John Kasich to finally address this issue with an emergency rule that restricts the sale and possession of dangerous exotics»

What’s happening in Zanesville — where about 50 wild animals escaped the private menagerie of a man previously convicted of animal cruelty — could’ve likely been prevented if the

Image Courtesy HSUS

state would stop private citizens from buying and selling big cats, bears, wolves, primates, and other dangerous animals. It is unfortunate that local authorities have had to spend tremendous resources on personnel and equipment to respond to incidents that could’ve easily been prevented.

And it is most certainly tragic that these exotic creatures are being killed in order to protect public safety.

The state can save lives — human and animal — by having strong rules in place to restrict people from acquiring dangerous exotics. Please tell the governor to regulate private ownership of dangerous wild animals»

With some of the weakest exotic pet laws in the nation, Ohio has become a haven for breeders and dealers of wild animals. Keeping exotics in backyards and basements has ended in tragedy time and time again—as we’re sadly witnessing with the recent incident in Zanesville.

Restricting the trade and ownership of wild animals is clearly a benefit to the health and welfare of the animals, and to the safety of all Ohio citizens.

Please make a brief, polite phone call to Gov. John Kasich at (614) 466-3555 and urge him to make the ban on dangerous exotic animals permanent. You can say: “Please restrict the private possession of dangerous wild animals.”

After making your call (please do not skip that crucial step!), fill in and submit the form linked here to send a follow-up message to Gov. Kasich. Be sure to edit your message so it stands out and is personalized. Tell them how you really feel (but be polite, don’t attack anyone, and don’t name-call or threaten or anything).


The ASPCA has just sent an emergency order to Kasich AND the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to restric the sale and possession of exotic pets. On the 6 pm news tonight, they announced that 50 animals, including giraffes, cheetahs, lions, monkeys, wolves and grizzly bears, had been shot to death as they were released (by the owner – who then shot himself) into a highly residential neighborhood.

One of the big cats got hit on the Interstate, and there was even a CAMEL shot because of this debacle.

This is outrageous.

Well-known animal expert and Columbus Zoo director emeritus, Jack Hanna is helping with the hunt. Hanna says he has received a lot of complaints from animal groups, criticizing the police on shooting and killing some of the animals. Hanna says law enforcement had to do what they had to do to protect human life.

Hanna has been very vocal on the state’s animal laws. “I will do anything I can over my dead body to put these people out of business, to shut these auctions down,” said Hanna. He went on to say he doesn’t want to shut everyone down. There are good breeders out there.

Ohio has no rules regulating the sale and ownership of exotic animals. Hanna says he talked with the governor’s office today and plans to meet with Governor John Kasich today and tomorrow to talk about stricter animal laws.

According to the ASPCA, the exotic pet trade is a multi-billion dollar industry that contributes to the suffering of millions of animals, often threatening public health and safety, disrupting ecosystems and driving species to endangerment and extinction. Each year across the nation, countless numbers of exotic animals are purchased as pets at retail stores and from private breeders and dealers at auctions or over the Internet. Since the vast majority of people who keep exotic animals cannot meet their needs, the animals often become the victims of abuse and neglect—they are caged, chained, tranquilized or even beaten into submission.

Thanks to the Humane Society of the United States for portions of information in this post.

Organized, Large-Scale Dogfighting Declining According to HSI

Posted on October 11th, 2011

Organized, large-scale dogfighting operations have declined in recent years… however, street dogfighting is on the rise in urban areas (many of us are well-aware of this).

** Neighborhood Pit Bull owners seeking status or bragging rights, and gang-bangers looking to settle scores or move up the ladder, and even other, less than savory characters stage impromptu dog fights in back alleys or basements or backyards.

** In recent years, federal laws have been strengthened to combat dogfighting and cockfighting — updgrading the jail time, banning the sale of cockfighting weapons and the possession and training of fighting animals. We’ve (collectively) also passed dozens of new state laws to criminalize animal fighting and strengthen the enforcement of these laws.

And this new legislation is definitely working for the animals and helping to save lives…

JEFFERSON COUNTY, OHIO: A Grand Jury charged an Ohio man with three counts of felony dogfighting after a nine-month investigation and legal action by a local animal shelter. An Ohio attorney presented the case against Sherman Bell to the Jefferson County Grand Jury pursuant to a unique provision of Ohio law, which allow local humane societies to bring criminal charges directly against animal abusers. This is the first time Ohio’s special private prosecution statute has been applied to dogfighting.

During a 2010 raid, authorities found suspected dogfighting paraphernalia on Bell’s property and seized 200 dogs along with 300 other animals such as reptiles, chickens, roosters, boars and a variety of exotic birds in terrible condition. The animals were discovered by local officers when they arrived on Bell’s property to carry out an arrest warrant for drug and weapons charges. The animal shelter also plans to file 18 counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals for the mistreatment of the dogs, reptiles and a cat found on the property. (YES, IN OHIO, ANIMAL CRUELTY IS STILL A MISDEMEANOR.. See Nitro’s Law for more info on that...)

Following the 2010 raid, all dogs were removed from the property and set up in an emergency shelter for care. The shelter’s rescue team also assisted in caring for other animals on site and placing them into foster care and permanent homes.

More than 150 dogs from the operation were placed with rescue groups and shelters across the country in several states all the way to California and New Jersey.

So why am I posting this??? Because this is happening in our backyards, my fellow Ohioans….

We NEED TO GET Nitro’s Law passed to get animal cruelty “upgraded” to a FELONY.

Right now, more than ever, organizations like the Humane Society, local rescues, shelters, etc, need your support — we need to get stories like this in the newspapers and the media…Animal Cruelty is a BIG BIG issue that needs recognition. It’s happening everywhere… more than we even know. I just heard on the news that in Cleveland, some lady’s Husky got loose and his body was found a mile away shot to death… There’s a reward out for the shooter.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE? WE NEED TO GET THIS OUT THERE FOR PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND. Let’s help to get animal cruelty and Nitro’s Law on the top of the priority list of elected officials throughout not only Ohio, but the rest of the nation, too.
Some information in this post is courtesy the Humane Society International/Humane Society Legislative Fund.
More information on animal fighting operations will be posted this month.