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Puppy Mill Regulations Take Another Step Toward 2018 Ballot

A rescued puppy sits in clean bedding at the make-shift animal shelter in Anderson County, South Carolina.
Maj. Cindi King
/
U.S. Army National Guard
A rescued puppy sits in clean bedding at the make-shift animal shelter in Anderson County, South Carolina.

Opponents of commercial dog breeding facilities known as puppy mills say the state’s current laws don’t protect animals enough. So they are trying to put an issue before Ohio voters to let them decide.

The group, Stop Puppy Mills Ohio, has received approval from Attorney General Mike DeWine for language for a proposed constitutional amendment they say would make commercial dog breeding more humane. It would limit the number of litters a female dog could produce in her lifetime, and it would also spell out care standards for puppies and breeder dogs.

"The Ohio Puppy Mill Prevention Amendment" applies to breeders with eight or more unspayed females and annual sales of more than 15 dogs.

The movement to put this before voters is backed by the Humane Society of the United States as well as other statewide and local animal welfare groups.

They will have until July 4 to collect about 306,000 valid signatures to put the issue on the ballot next November.

The measure is likely to be opposed by Amish breeders and some pet stores, including Petland. Those are the same forces that were instrumental in getting a law passed last year that made it illegal for local communities to regulate pet stores.