A picture of the Ohio Statehouse on a sunny, cloudless day

Ohio is making progress, but more needs to be done

Unfortuantely, puppy mills are not illegal.

The most surprising thing to many people is that puppy mills are legal.

The Puppy Mill Project

That said, in 2018 Ohio made significant improvements in the standards of care for dogs in Ohio’s commercial breeding facilities.

House Bill 506 increases standards of care in Ohio

On September 28, 2018, H.B. 506, sponsored by Rep. Brian Hill, R-Zanesville, went into effect. This effort was made possible by hundreds of advocates across the state gathering signatures for a ballot initiative. This legislation:

– Ends the practice of stacking cages that house dogs on top of other cages
– Bans wire flooring in enclosures that house breeding dogs
– Provides constant access to clean water and nutritious food at least twice a day
– Increases kennel sizes
– Requires annual veterinary exams
– Provides protections from extreme temperatures
– States that breeders can no longer house dogs in isolation
– Places lifetime limits on the number of litters permitted per breeding mother
– Requires retailers selling puppies to acquire those animals from breeders who meet these standards, regardless of what state the breeder is located in

The Humane Society of the United States press release

Senate Bill 331 preempts communities from limiting where pet stores can get puppies

The grassroots effort that enabled the advancements of H.B. 506 were launched in response to S.B. 331, the “Petland Bill,” passed in 2016 that makes it impossible for Ohio communities to restrict the sales of dogs in pet stores only to dogs that come from shelters and rescues. Grove City and Toledo already had these restrictions in place and this bill removed those restrictions for pet stores.

So, Ohio cannot limit where pet stores can get puppies like the State of California and close to 300 local communities.

Governor Kasich signs Senate Bill 130 into law on December 11, 2012 with a dog sitting on his desk.
Governor Kasich signs Senate Bill 130 into law on December 11, 2012.

Senate Bill 130, The First Puppy Mill Bill

It took about seven years, but on December 11, 2012, the first puppy mill bill, Senate Bill 130, was passed into law by Governor John Kasich. This was a key bill in moving protections forward for dogs in Ohio’s commercial breeding facilities and set the stage for the recent updates.

Columbus Dog Connection provides a history of the bill here.

We’re not sure what’s next, but do know that we won’t rest until dogs don’t have to suffer in puppy mills. Laws are a key part of the solution, but so are we. It’s important that we continue to spread the word and make sure that people are aware of puppy mills and how not to support them.

Do you have additional information regarding puppy mill related laws in Ohio. If so, please contact us!