In the last eight years, the number of puppy mills in Ohio has increased fourfold—a consequence of the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) relaxing its regulation of these entities. To make matters worse, a shocking rule allows breeders to remove the dew claws and dock the tails of young puppies without veterinary supervision, pain medication, or anesthesia.
When AWI learned that the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review was to review the puppy mill regulations, we seized an opportunity to get this rule invalidated. AWI submitted testimony, and our Ohio action team members sprang into action, contacting committee members to object to the rule. Our voices were heard! The committee tabled that regulation, along with another that would have allowed puppy mill operators to process their own criminal background checks, rather than having the ODA do it.
This is a significant victory, but the fight isn’t over. The ODA must either abandon these ill-advised rules or come back with revisions. AWI is watching carefully to see which move it makes, and we will be ready to act and to engage Ohio residents once again if necessary.