Breaking news: Ohio governor signs landmark anti-puppy-mill law

By on June 29, 2018 with 35 Comments

History was made today in Ohio when Gov. John Kasich signed into law anti-puppy-mill legislation that implements major reforms designed to improve the lives of breeding dogs. The new law includes a ban on some of the most cruel practices used by commercial dog breeders, like stacking dogs in cages one on top of the other, and keeping the animals in cages with wire flooring.

This law is the result of the tenacious work of an army of volunteers who spent months collecting hundreds of thousands of petition signatures in order to drive change for breeding dogs, and endorsements from more than 450 veterinarians, veterinary clinics, animal rescues and shelters, faith leaders and Ohio businesses. We are grateful to each and every one of them for their hard work.

The bill Gov. Kasich signed today upgrades current commercial dog breeder regulations, which were proven to be weak and difficult to enforce. It is a major step forward in ending puppy mill cruelty in the nation’s second-largest puppy mill state, and will position Ohio as a national leader in protecting breeding dogs from harm. A majority of the new law’s provisions will go into effect 90 days from today, the day of signing.

Standards of care in the new law will allow dogs more space to move around freely in clean enclosures with solid flooring, have proper food, water, exercise and socialization, and receive annual veterinary exams. There will be a limit on the number of times a mother dog can be bred.

This law not only protects breeding dogs but serves to protect the public as well because commercial breeders, regardless of where they are located, will have to adhere to these humane standards if they sell to Ohio consumers. Ohioans often unknowingly buy sick, inbred and weakened dogs from mills, leading to heartache and major veterinary costs.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture will continue to license and inspect breeders under the law and those found in violation will be required to pay civil penalties. When there is a violation of state animal cruelty and neglect laws, local law enforcement officials can pursue criminal charges.

Let us not forget that no law is a silver bullet. To fully stop puppy mill cruelty, Ohio consumers – and Americans everywhere – must refuse to buy puppies from pet stores and online from breeders they haven’t met or screened. Instead, consider adoption first when adding a new companion animal to your family, and today let’s celebrate our huge win in Ohio.

Companion Animals, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative)

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  1. Brian O'Neill says:

    He should be President John Kasich rather than the lying fraud we are having to endure now. He has a heart and a soul unlike the liar in chief.

    • Catherine Francis Campion says:

      Thank you I agree. I adopted a pup with abuse issues from the same background as a puppy mill. Kye my dog rescued me and shows me what real love is. I look at his physical scars daily and dream of a country where no animal abuse is tolerated. Thank you for caring John Kasich!

    • Shadylady1 says:

      Give it a REST!!!

    • Dereck says:

      Ignorant comment. Our Governor was voted in as a Republican gained office and fell to the pressure of leftist ideologies. As far as our President I stand for him our flag and our brothers and sisters fighting for idiots like yourself to be able to be miserable asshats that can’t unite behind our country. Hope you feel as miserable as you seem :).

      • Linda says:

        Perhaps we need to stop all of this Dem-Rep stuff and support whomever and whatever gets the job done. I’m sick of the division. Dont think we camt loose our freedoms and even our country because of it…we’re all on dangerous ground right now. LISTEN TO YOURSELVES!

    • Deedee D says:

      I thought the SAME thing!

    • Dominic says:


    • Michele says:

      No he shouldn’t. He also signed the Bill that preempted any local Ohio municipalities from passing pet sales bans. It is the very least he could do to make up for that horrible act.

      • Linda says:

        Our local pet stores take in dogs from rescue groups and sell them. Perhaps that is why. I think they may even only be allowed to take animals from the SPCA and rescue groups, but not 100% positive.

      • Kimberly says:

        EXACTLY. He signed Goddard’s Law at the same time he signed the law preventing a ban on sales in Pet Stores. The amendment was thrown into a larger bill at the last minute. Thanks, a lot. That should be illegal

    • Cathy says:

      I’m a Democrat and I’ll admit, I was concerned (as I always am when Republicans are in power) when Kasich was elected Governor. But I’ve been impressed with his leadership over the last 8 years as our Governor and I’d be happy to have him as President if it had to be a Republican over a Democrat. A mostly sane and reasonable Republican, who’d have expected that?

    • H says:

      Typical liberal I assume. Taking any opportunity, no matter how inappropriate, to condemn Trump out of your own intolerance. Stick to the subject.

    • Pam Haywood says:

      Brian the President of the US? Or HSUS? Why are you turning an incredible win for the dogs due to the compassionate John Kasich into a political statement. See that is why puppy mills still exist due to people turning away from the issue at hand, these poor dogs and making it political.

    • Debi says:

      100% agree with you


    I am a big anima lover and advocate for animal rights,,God bless.

  3. Catherine Francis Campion says:

    Thank you I agree. I adopted a pup with abuse issues from the same background as a puppy mill. Kye my dog rescued me and shows me what real love is. I look at his physical scars daily and dream of a country where no animal abuse is tolerated. Thank you for caring John Kasich!

  4. Catherine Francis Campion says:

    This is important legislation for abused animals. My adopted dog Kye is an example of neglect in hoarding and puppy mill situations. His physical and emotional scars remind me daily how important John Kasich’s legislation really is!

  5. Maria Mercado says:

    Today seems like I won some peace on my heart!! Thanks governor I’m Pennsylvania resident and I will make sure ef u are running for presidential election I will be there for you!!

  6. María T Gutierrez says:

    Thank you so much for all your work to pass these laws.I will keep supporting HS and hopefully this law will apply around the world .Harsher punishment for the violators also need to be enforced.Thank you again.

  7. Havana Duke says:

    Well done!!! I am so proud to be part of this organization and give my part to this cause. Thank you to all these incredible people with a HUGE HEART who understand the cruelty that some humans do to innocent animals. THANK YOU ALL!!!!

  8. Julie says:

    We’ll Done to all that worked on this Project!!!

  9. Amanda V Heller says:

    Thank you Governor Kasich for signing this into law. Thank you to all the tireless supporters who made it possible. We have 6 furry babies who we cherish. I love all animals, all life, and pray for a blessed transformation of all cruel people to feel deep love and remorse so that no animal or person suffers. This I pray.

  10. Ariane says:

    I’m so thrilled with the passing of this legislation but my concern continues to be who enforces the law and where will the funding come from. The dept of agriculture is responsible for upholding federal laws that are already in place for puppy mills yet that aren’t enforced and no one is regulating it, besides checking to see that the breeder has paid the fee for a license. When I’ve contacted the dept of agriculture concerning animal treatment at puppy mills they fail to treat it as a criminal crime, as it should be! Nothing is done, no fines, no checks. They verify that the establishment has a license. So with this new state law, who is doing routine checks of these places, writing fines, re checking for compliance, etc? Where would the funding for these inspections come from? I have so much hope for these animals but I am more concerned with action than pieces of paper. I hope there is more to the plan of how these laws will be followed.

  11. Diane Ward says:

    Don’t buy a puppy anywhere near the Amish… they often have sheds out back where puppies are kept in terrible conditions. If you saw inside these dirty, hot (or COLD depending on the season) shacks you would cry!

  12. Connie Dorrmann says:

    Does this law also pertain to the Amish who are the worst offenders!

    • Cathy says:

      Connie, of course it does. But to the Amish, God’s law is the only law, so I doubt they’ll do the right thing on their own. Ohio now has the power to put an end to their wrong doing.

  13. Barbara Rose says:

    I live in Illinois,and am a lifelong Democrat who voted for Donald Trump because of his stand on American freedom and the constitution. I think every Ohio citizen should be grateful that they have John Kasich signing this legislation. I just might change completely. I would vote for John if I ever get the chance.

  14. Ashton Tunk says:

    Do you believe that Ohio’s enactment of this legislation will cause many other states to follow suit? The treatment of animals and the legality of many different practices that breeders may use is highly unethical and further action is needed. Based on my research, many states do not have laws pertaining to puppy mills. What will it take to increase national attention. Will Ohio’s recent legislative actions effect change – or does policy making from the federal government need to happen?

  15. Lynn says:

    It’s truly a wonderful bill in theory. However ironically, this summer 2 pet stores opened less than 2 miles from each other, both selling puppies of all breeds (and mixed breeds) at extremely inflated prices. The poor babies are displayed in cages with signs saying they have or have not been vet checked. Employees haven’t a clue where they came from and how they got there, and no training about the breeds. And on the other end of the spectrum, a rescue organization refused to adopt to me because I live in a condo and can’t have a fence.

  16. Alayne Mullen says:

    HORRIBLE LAW from what I can see! Politicians need to stop listening to animal rights activists who’s goal is to totally ban any breeding, dog ownership and actually talk to respected ethical breeders.

  17. Carol says:

    Wish i had known about the Amish before now. I got a sweet 10 week old puppy from the Amish, from an ad on, 8 months ago My puppy has to have surgery next week for a liver shunt, a 50/50 chance it goes well. This was caused from mother dog being cross bred.several times… I feel i saved him from that breeder, but now i pray the surgery saves him..I pray the breeder gets shut down some how..Didn’t know till later breeder was possibly puppy mill..

  18. Heather Kay says:

    They need banned completely! It’s animal abuse plain & simple!
    Who is going to actively keep up checking to make sure these standards/policies are adhered to? There’s a ridiculous amount!
    Meanwhile shelters are full of unwanted animals & killed from over crowding.

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