Ohio leaders target puppy mills with bill

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COLUMBUS – Seeking to protect Ohio’s dogs from horrible abuse at the hands of irresponsible breeders who operate puppy mills, Ohio Sen. Gary Cates, along with Ohio Rep. Jim Hughes, R-Clintonville, and Ohio Rep. Robert Hagan, D-Youngstown, recently unveiled legislation, Senate Bill 173 and House Bill 223, that will adopt safeguards and enforcement procedures to ensure dogs used primarily for breeding purposes are not mistreated.
Bills. The bills would require the Ohio Department of Agriculture to create a state level commercial dog kennel control authority, responsible for licensing kennels and setting a standard of care for these dogs, as well as inspecting and enforcing the laws and rules regarding the standard of care in commercial kennels around the state.
Cates explained these mass-breeding facilities provide minimal or no veterinary care for their dogs. Not to mention, they are left in overcrowded, filthy cages and are forced to breed until they are too old or too ill.
“After rescuing my own dog, Pretty Girl, from a puppy mill, I saw firsthand the horrible conditions these dogs are forced to live in,” Cates said.
Standards. The bill will also set some standards for kennels, including the size and conditions of the cages in which the dogs are kept. In addition, the proposal creates guidelines for socializing, providing veterinary care and proper grooming of dogs being kept at licensed commercial kennels that house nine or more dogs.
“Hopefully, the threat of substantial fines and a jail time will drive these bad actors out of the dog-breeding business,” said Hagan.

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