Ohio Dog Auctions Act
|June 30, 2012||Posted by Laura Allen under Companion Animal Breeding|
Update June 30, 2012: The Ohio Coalition to Ban Dog Auctions will not have the funds to collect the signatures necessary to bring the Ohio Dog Auctions Act to voters in November, 2012. For more on this effort, see Animal Law Coalition’s reports below.
Update May 2, 2012:The Ohio legislature has thus far failed to take action on the Ohio Dog Auctions Act despite the demand from more than 118,115 voters that the state ban dog auctions and raffles. Continue to push your Ohio state legislators to take action and pass the Ohio Dog Auctions Act – See Animal Law Coalition’s reports below for more information…..BUT in the meantime, it’s time to get the additional signatures needed to put this measure on the November, 2012 ballot if the legislature continues to fail to act!
Get a campaign kit to help gather signatures for our 2012 ballot initiative!
The kit contains an informational sheet on the top Q&A everyone needs to know on Ohio dog auctions and an informational sheet on best strategies in gather signatures from registered voters.
Please note that because this is an Initiated Statute whose rules are governed by the Ohio Secretary of State, all signatures must be collected on a hard copy Petition and cannot be collected online.
You can download at the end of this article copies of the Ohio Dog Auctions Act, instructions for gathering signatures, and a flyer, or by clicking on these links:
Download a copy of the Ohio Dog Auctions Act at the end of this article. This is the initiative petition to gather signatures from registered Ohio voters. All petitions must be received by our Treasurer, Mary O’Connor-Shaver (address is on the front of the Petition), by Monday, June 25, 2012!
Also at the end of this article you will find Instructions for Collecting Signatures in support of the Ohio Dog Auctions Act.
You will also find at the end of this article a Campaign Flyer for our ballot initiative (Ohio Dog Auctions Act) that you can download and circulate widely in Ohio.
Update April 18, 2012: Since the certification of the citizen initiated statute to ban dog auctions and raffles in Ohio, the measure has been pending in the state legislature with strong support from sponsors Reps. Peter Beck, Kathleen Clyde, and Matt Lundy. If the legislature fails to enact the measure by May 1, 2012, citizens can with an additional 118, 115 signatures, have the dog auction ban placed on November’s ballot.
Currently, an effort is under way to have the dog auctions ban initiative included in the budget bill, HB 487. A copy of the proposed ban is attached below for downloading.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Make sure your Ohio state legislators know that you want them to support the Ohio Dog Auctions Act. Find your Ohio state legislators and their contact info here. (Put in your zipcode in the top right of the page.) Write (letters or faxes are best) or call your legislators NOW!
For more information visit the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions and read Animal Law Coalition’s earlier report about this citizen initiative below.
Update Jan. 27, 2012: Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today certified that petitioners seeking a citizen initiated statute regarding dog auctions collected an additional 2,906 valid signatures. The total number of valid signatures now certified is 118,115 and meets the constitutional requirements. Petitioners needed 115,570 valid signatures, or three percent of the total vote cast for Governor in 2010. As part of the total number of signatures needed to place the measure on the ballot, petitioners must also have collected signatures from at least 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties, and within each of those counties collected enough signatures equal to 1.5 percent of the total vote cast for governor in the most recent gubernatorial election, 2010. Petitioners met or exceeded the 1.5 percent threshold in 51 counties.
The Ohio legislature now has 4 months to act on the initiative.
For more on the initiative, read Animal Law Coalition’s reports below.
Update Dec. 12, 2011: As of the deadline for gathering signatures, December 1, 2011, the Ohio Coalition to Ban Dog Auctions had collected over 150,000 signatures from 88 Ohio counties in support of a ballot initiative to ban dog auctions. Far more than the 120,700 required for the ballot initiative to continue to the next phase – consideration by the state legislature as of January 1, 2012.
First, though, the Ohio Secretary of State must confirm that there are 120,700 valid signatures. Once that is done, the initiative goes to the legislature which has the opportunity to pass the legislation and avoid a vote by voters.
For more on ballot initiatives in Ohio and the effort to stop dog auctions, read Animal Law Coalition’s report below and follow the ballot initiative drive here.
Original report Jan. 15, 2010: A state ballot initiative committee, Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions, has continued its campaign to save hundreds of "breeding" dogs which they believe are bought and sold carelessly and often treated heartlessly with little or no regard for their health and well-being.
The Ohio Dog Auctions Act is a measure whose mission is to help improve the lives of dogs in commercial breeding operations in Ohio. The proposed law would make it illegal for anyone to auction or raffle a dog in Ohio. It also would prohibit bringing dogs into the state for sale or trade that were acquired by auction or raffle elsewhere.
"The Ohio dog auctions are a symptom of the puppy mill industry," said Mary O’Connor-Shaver, Treasurer for the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions. "The Coalition has witnessed first-hand the atrocious conditions of dogs sold at these auctions. Often living in their own waste, many of these dogs suffer from eye, ear and respiratory infections, parasites and malnutrition."
"Dog auctions in Tuscarawas and Holmes counties serve as major distribution channels 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."
O’Connor-Shaver continued, "Here’s just one example taken from a USDA inspection report for an Ohio ‘commercial’ breeder who profits from Ohio dog auctions:
"One licensed breeder in Ohio, with no veterinary qualifications, operated on a pregnant dog without anesthesia; the breeder delayed calling a veterinarian and the dog bled to death. The inspector also found that 40 percent of the (200) dogs in the kennel were blind due to an outbreak of Leptospirosis. The inspector determined that the facility’s water was contaminated and had caused the outbreak."
"Individuals who participate in these auctions are USDA licensed commercial breeders who are raising large numbers of dogs and puppies with profit as the primary motive for existence," said Veronica Dickey, volunteer with Coalition for Animal Concerns. "Many of them are found to be unhealthy, not screened for genetic diseases, do not show resemblance to the breed standard and lack good temperament. We believe Ohioans do not wish these dog auctions to continue in our state, and we support this ballot initiative which we feel will help protect dogs from inhumane treatment and abuse."
Ohio ranks seventh among the top ten states in the nation with the most USDA licensed commercial breeding kennels, a 400% increase from just six years ago. Dogs at these facilities typically receive little to no medical care, live in conditions with little to no exercise, socialization or human interaction, and are confined inside wire cages the size of a dishwasher for life.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) considers auctions and raffles not to be reasonable and appropriate methods to obtain or transfer dogs, and they discourage Parent Club rescue groups from purchasing dogs at these events. AKC believes that the purchasing of dogs at auctions is not overall in the best interest of purebred dogs.
The Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions, a Political Action Committee (PAC) comprised of numerous individuals from animal welfare organizations, has gained support from the Athens County Humane Society, Capital Area Humane Society, Cleveland Animal Protective League (APL), Geauga Humane Society’s Rescue Village, The Federation of Humane Organizations of West Virginia, Humane Society of Delaware County, Erie Shores Humane Society, Ohio State University Buckeyes for Canines, PAWS Ohio, Animal Law Coalition, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
The process for passing the Ohio dog Auctions Act ballot initiative
The proposal to ban all dog auctions and raffles has been certified by the state Attorney General and the Ohio Ballot Board. Ohio Revised Code §§3501.05, 3519.01, .05; 3505.062
The initiative, the Ohio Dog Auctions Act would enact Section 955.54 of the Ohio Revised Code to make it unlawful for any person to auction, as defined in ORC 4707.01, or raffle a dog within Ohio for any purpose. It would also prohibit bringing a dog that was acquired through an auction or raffle into Ohio for purposes of sale or trade.
The Ohio Attorney General would have authority to investigate, conciliate and prosecute alleged violations of the Act. The Attorney General or any resident of the state could bring a civil action to enjoin a violation of the Act. A first conviction under the Act would be punishable as a minor misdemeanor and each subsequent conviction as a fourth degree misdemeanor.
ORC 4707.01 defines "auction" to mean a sale "between an auctioneer … and members of the audience or prospective purchasers, the exchanges and gestures consisting of a series of invitations for offers made by the auctioneer and offers by members of the audience or prospective purchasers, with the right to acceptance of offers with the auctioneer". "Auction" includes a sale involving advance bidding.
Before voters decide this, the state legislature must be given an opportunity to pass it. For the legislature to consider it, though, petitions must be circulated to gather signatures from Ohio voters in at least 44 of the state’s 88 counties. Only qualified electors can sign the petition. There is one petition per county. From each of these 44 counties, the signatures must equal at least 1.5% of the total vote cast for the office of governor in that county at the last gubernatorial election which was 2006. The total number of valid signatures on the petition must equal 120,700 which is at least 3% of the total vote cast for the office of governor during the 2006 gubernatorial election. Ohio Constitution Article II, §§1b, g; ORC §§ 3519.10, 14.
This signature drive in 2010 was really a continuation of the effort which began last fall, 2009. During that initial drive which ended December 14, supporters gathered 7,202 signatures. Mary O’Connor Shaver, explains, "[T]his … represents a very strong showing given that … our signature drive was not launched until after the November 3 election (efforts from our volunteers and supporters were focused on defeating Ohio Issue 2)."
Once the necessary signatures are obtained, the legislature is given an opportunity to pass the initiative as a law. If the legislature does not act on the initiative within four months of the start of the session when the initative is introduced, or fails to pass it or passes it in amended form, proponents can then try to put the issue on the ballot for voters to decide. To do that, another 120,700 signatures are required on yet another petition. Ohio Constitution Article II, Sec.1b