Ohio governor signs bill cracking down on puppy mills, law could hinder pet foster homes

Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed into law a measure cracking down on high-volume dog breeders or so-called puppy mills.

Among other measures, the law now requires high-volume dog breeders that sell 60 or more dogs, or breeders that produce at least nine litters in a single calendar year, to become licensed and undergo yearly inspections.

"The Humane Society of the United States applauds Ohio lawmakers for working to pass this commonsense law to protect dogs and address the worst problems at puppy mills," said Melanie Kahn, Senior Director of the HSUS' Stop Puppy Mills campaign.

"No dog should be forced to spend a lifetime in a small, wire cage with no human companionship or comfort."

But while the HSUS is in favor of State Bill 130's passage, some are raising concerns.

"SB 130 was to focus on high-volume breeding facilities, puppy mills as everyone calls them. What happened though, was some rescue language was thrown into this bill where they now want foster homes to register with the Department of Agriculture," said P.A.W.S. Director Amy Beichler. "In essence, they want to regulate 501-36C not-for-profits."

P.A.W.S., or the Public Animal Welfare Society, INC., is a non-profit rescue that treats and finds homes for animals that are victims of neglect or abuse. Beichler said there are many foster homes that work with the organization.

Under the SB 130, Beichler said all foster homes working with the organization will now have to register with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, but she said many have a problem with providing private information, even if they have nothing to hide. As a result, Beichler said she had received a few phone calls of foster homeowners expressing they would no longer take in recuperating animals if SB 130 is signed into law.

"I'm extremely sad that we're here, at this place, at this time, when we're looking at so many instances of puppy mills and hoarders and backyard breeders and then you look at rescues like P.A.W.S.,, that that's what we do. So we shouldn't be anywhere near this," said Beichler.

Beichler told NewsChannel5 she asked those foster homeowners to wait until the law goes into effect before they make that decision.

The bill creates an advisory board to provide guidance on care standards for the facilities. It also allows the director of the agriculture department to contract with local veterinarians to conduct inspections, according to the Associated Press.

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