The Ohio legislature has certainly faced clear opportunities to enact new legislation to regulate dog breeding and to battle the terrible fungus that is the puppy mill breeder. (And I apologize to fungus.)
A state House committee canceled debate last week on the latest bill and apparently no further discussion will take place until after the November election. The editorial did note the Senate version of the bill “was flawed in many ways,” classifying dogs as livestock. And the fines were too low.
The editorial also suggests any new bill should include a restriction on the number of dogs a breeder can own, a ban on dog auctions, standard inspections, minimum standards for animal IDs and record keeping, regular veterinary care, socialization and cleanliness and size standards for kennels.
All of that sounds reasonable to me – but I would add regular exercise requirements. I know some folks on the other side will scream about limits on the number of dogs, but the problem goes to caring for large numbers of dogs.
Another piece of anti-puppy mill legislation has been amended into a stagnant state – this time in Ohio, where after a 30-0 vote in the state Senate, the Senate Bill 130 ended up treading water until the time ran out on the latest session in the state Senate.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, the proposed law would establish a “Commercial Dog Kennel Control Authority under the state Department of Agriculture that would be responsible for licensing and setting standards of care. Large-scale breeders would be regularly inspected and required to maintain a certain level of care, including adequate size and condition of cages.”
The Animal Law Coalition reports licensing and litter registration fees were stripped from the legislation in the Senate version. The costs in implementing the regulations seems to be a concern.
Rescue groups would also fall under the regulations and according to the ALC, the latest version of the bill would bring dog breeding under agriculture, as opposed to the aforementioned Kennel Control Authority, where the funds would come from fees and penalties imposed on breeders.
And dog auctions and raffles would not be prohibited, as they should be. So it appears the other side has stripped too many important provisions that might shut down poorly operated breeding facilities. And certainly dog auctions should have been ruled illegal many years ago.
The ALC offers more information about the legislation in the link I provided above.
Kitten buried in concrete: A kitten discovered buried alive in concrete and inside a pipe died days after being rescued back in May. Law enforcement officials in Arizona are investing the case.
There are some strange allegations flying in the case, according to an article on the Star Tribune website. But the bottom line is this – the person or persons responsible need to spend a long time in prison.
Dog auctions in Ohio back in the news: Thankfully, some great people are working hard to enact a law to ban dog auctions. But the practice continues, in part due to the puppy mill practices of the Amish. WFMY News reported this week on a recent auction in Millersburg, Ohio.
Two dogs recently purchased by animal-welfare activists were found to have medical problems – from a degenerative disc and broken bones for one and an ear infection, major tooth decay and skin lesions for the other.
Paul McCartney supports Be Cruelty-Free campaign: The music icon is everyone to get behind the Humane Society International/India’s Be Cruelty-Free campaign. The mission is to end animal testing on cosmetic products – worldwide.
I’ve got updates and more information on three hot stories on the animal-welfare front.
White House suggests new steps against puppy mills: As the North Country Gazette and other sites are reporting, the official White House response to an online petition calling for improved regulations against puppy-mill operators suggests positive steps will be taken in this area.
A quote from the ASPCA: “” “The existing regulations were drafted pre-Internet. They allow many commercial breeders to operate without a license and without any inspections—meaning they are not accountable to anyone for their breeding and care standards,” says Cori Menkin, Senior Director of the ASPCA’s Puppy Mills Campaign. “The ASPCA is encouraged that the USDA has committed to help end the suffering of millions of breeding dogs and protect consumers by finally closing this loophole.” “”
More than 32,000 citizens signed the petition posted by the Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society Legislative Fund and the ASPCA.
The White House response states the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) “is currently developing proposed regulations that would ensure that Internet breeders provide their animals with care and treatment that meets the AWA standards.”
NY lawsuit stating dogs have living souls gaining media attention: A blogger on the Mother Nature Network has blogged about the New York woman who has filed a lawsuit after the puppy she purchased at a store for $1650 was diagnosed with “genetic defects.”
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.
Coy writes: “There seems to be a new awakening of humanity in this New Year. 2012 promises to hold positive change for all facets of animal welfare.” – I hope she’s right.
And – “Awareness just may be the new battle cry for this brand new year. Awareness, responsibility and education will be our greatest tools to fight the ignorance that plagues man’s best friend.” – What a great message of hope.
She is also pushing for ban on the use of gas chambers in Missouri’s shelters.
Man sentenced for videotaping acts of animal cruelty: An Illinois man has been sentenced to five years and nine months for shooting videos of his dog attacking other animals and then posting the videos on YouTube. He was also charged with drug offenses.