Pack Line Headlines: Dog auctions, dog lawsuit and puppy mill legislation

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Update on Ohio signature drive to end dog auctions: I received a release from Mary O’Connor-Shaver of Columbus Top Dogs and Ban Ohio Dog Auctions, with an update on the progress of the petition drive to ban dog auctions in Ohio.

The volunteers are very close to producing the 115,570 certified signatures needed to prompt a ballot measure for November of this year, within a very few thousand. This is great news.

From what I’ve read, once the signatures are certified, eventually the state legislature could either pass the proposed Ohio Dog Auctions Act or not act, which would mean the ballot measure appears in November.

O’Connor-Shaver states in the release – “The Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions remains steadfast in their commitment to send a strong message to state legislators that dog auctions serve as a major distribution channel for buyers and sellers from 15 states, many of whom have long standing repeated violations of the Animal Welfare Act and/or have been convicted of animal cruelty.

Again, it is important to note that dog auctions are the evil cousins to the equally evil puppy mills.

Lawsuit: Dogs are ‘living souls’ – not property: The Today Show website features an article about a woman in New York who has a launched a lawsuit targeting the legal definition of pets and highlighting the condition of puppies purchased via puppy mills.

From the article:

“Don’t call them property anymore, “”  Zakharova’s attorney, Susan Chana Lask, told “They’re not inanimate objects. They’re not tables. They’re not chairs. You don’t just throw them out.’’

“Umka is a living soul with a heart,’’ the suit reads. “She feels love and pain.’’ “”

Elena Zakharova’s lawsuit is seeking damages from the Upper East Side pet store, because her puppy was diagnosed with hip and knee problems. Also from the article: “The suit seeks to hold the store liable for the dog’s pain and suffering, as well as its medical bills, as if it were a person rather than an inanimate product.”

I don’t know if the legal system is ready to take this major step, but it is long past time to do so. Animals are indeed more than property, more than inanimate objects. Harming a living, breathing, feeling being should carry a much more severe punishment than damaging someone’s “personal property.”

New Ireland puppy ban: As of New Year’s Day, new legislation is in effect in the nation of Ireland, which greatly improves the regulations against puppy mills.

PETA notes the new law goes after – “cramped enclosures, filth, malnutrition, exposure, disease, and a lack of socialization and veterinary care.” And all puppies must be microchipped, so that the breeders can be identified.

So now Ireland has passed the US on puppy mill legislation. It’s a proud day to carry the name “Grady.” But my pride will swell to greater heights if and when our federal government passes similar legislation to shut down these houses of horror.

For every day that our elected officials in the federal and state governments bicker over subject that are too often petty in nature, dogs and other animals – such as those on factory farms – are suffering unimaginable physical and emotional pain.